Do the best ideas always stick?
Schools are creators and consumers of big data. Really big data. Millions of students, teachers, and support personnel generate billions of related data points. From student identification to teacher observation to high stakes testing, data systems are collecting information to help educators make vital decisions. But educators know people are more than the sum of their data. Data must serve as an informed guide coupled with human knowledge and experience.
At RANDA, we bring our vision and experience to building the modern education system. We solve the challenges related to making big data accessible and usable. We give schools leaders the education intelligence to strategically align teacher effectiveness and student performance.
With our unique vantage point, we hear district and state leadership curious about the impact of the following popular initiatives. How can success be measured? How can technology help us improve educational systems for the good of all students? What matters most?
Personalized Learning 2.0
Technology made personalized learning a possibility in classrooms. One to one device implementation meets student need in the moment with curriculum tailored to specific needs and strengths. However, the proliferation of educational apps and tools has created an incredibly noisy marketplace. Some educational apps greatly impact student success. Others do not. How do districts know what to buy when all the data looks positive?
RANDA forecast: The next phase of personalized learning will necessarily involve a mass exodus of ineffective educational curriculum and products. With all school age children now digital natives, students themselves will drive the new digital curriculum based on engagement, effectiveness, and individual goals. As a result, true personalized learning will help create a more organic integration of technology in schools.
Social Emotional Learning
There is clear evidence that attention to factors beyond curriculum are important for managing the disparate experiences of our students, promoting resilience, and decreasing behavioral challenges. The abundance of new programs to address self-awareness, self-management, social skills, relationship-building and decision-making indicates how seriously education systems are taking this new aspect of teaching and learning. When we are talking about skills so uniquely human, is there still a place for technology to make an impact?
RANDA forecast: While there is awareness that education must pay attention to social emotional needs, there is a great deal of uncertainty about method and curriculum. This is an area where the right tools in the wrong hands may be worse than no tools at all. A new focus on training for educators in the social work domains will help remove the stigma around social work. High EQ will become a key indicator of professional success. Technology must also help schools identify the data that describes the characteristics of these high performing educators.
By 2025, the United States projects a teacher shortage of over 200,000 educators. As we face this daunting reality, school leaders are focused on raising the bar for teacher effectiveness. Above all, the job of a teacher is changing. Teachers must implement multiple district initiatives, strategizing how to fit new curriculum into busy schedules along with managing student data and caregiver communications. How can the education system recruit, support, manage and retain teachers throughout the entire teacher lifecycle?
RANDA forecast: The role of teachers has shifted away from the ‘sage on the stage’ to a collaborative approach but management supports now need to catch up. Observation and evaluation systems will need to incorporate teacher self-reflection as a critical part of understanding how to both improve teacher performance and offer support. Mentoring programs for teachers will help train educators in the specific areas that data identifies as most effective.
The 21st century employee enters a radically different workplace than the one that existed even a few decades ago. Jobs today require significant skill in critical thinking, communication and teamwork. Teaching these skills is now a part of the mainstream curriculum with varied opinions on methodology. With standards in place at both state and local levels, how do we know that the results of these initiatives are meeting the expectations of employers?
RANDA forecast: The trend toward public and private partnerships will continue as industry looks to provide the specific knowledge necessary to develop a workforce able to meet the technological and professional requirements. As this expands, we will find almost every industry represented in the classroom. Technology will help to simplify logistics and provide rich intelligence to both educators and industry leaders.
RANDA brings the force of its experience and vision to reimagining how schools design, develop and implement software solutions that empower educators to make informed decisions. Let us know if you have a challenge to solve.