Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Join us on Twitter at at 9:00pm ET, on Wednesday, 9/25/13, using the hashtag #LivEd to discuss, "Homework" Chat archive will be posted shortly after the chat.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

**Disclaimer - This post does not reflect the views of #LivEd or @bill_m_4, only the views of myself (@ryanhorne0076). The hope is to start a robust discussion on the topic of DDI (Data Driven Instruction)**


Let me begin by saying I like data. I like data to help me make everyday decisions in my own personal life. I like data as an educator. Every teacher uses data in one form or another to assess their students’ learning. So, how much data is too much data?


First of all, this post is written with no data to support, or debunk, my statements. If you are looking for links on DDI (Data Driven Instruction) research, links to other blog posts on the same topic, or expert quotes on DDI, then you’ll want to look elsewhere. This is simply my stream of consciousness on the topic. The omission of data is done purposely. I am writing this post on data, without including any data, to try and prove my point.


Emily - SRI: 784, SMI: 658, ELA: 717. At first glance I feel as though I’m looking at a ten year old’s credit score, not their school learning accomplishments. What do these numbers say? What do they really mean? Perhaps more importantly, what are we NOT seeing when these numbers are the only information we see about a student?


When students are identified by their various test results, we de-personalize them. They become a walking collection of lexile levels, reading scores, and math percentiles. Many schools have gone “all-in” in the current hand that is DDI. The pendulum has seemed to swing so far that we no longer talk about students as people, but rather their most recent summative test results. I want to know more about my students.  I want to know HOW they like to learn. I want to know WHAT they like to learn. I want to know what INTERESTS them.


Why is this trend happening now? The technology that allows us to administer tests, collect results, and disaggregate data used to be so complex and expensive that it was reserved for the few experts who had both the statistical knowledge and sufficient funds to filter the data and purchase the infrastructure. Now, the technology is available to most educators in an easy to use format, provided by most major edtech companies, at competitive prices. Now many educators have a warehouse of student data at their fingertips with various amounts of training on how to read and interpret that data.


Sometimes in education, we are adverse to an educational trend because the trend is new to us, it makes us uncomfortable, we are unsure of the trend because of our lack of knowledge. We fear the trend because it is not the way we always have done things in the past. What if the trend invokes different intuitions? What if the trend feels deeply flawed or inherently wrong? Not because it’s different, confusing, or new, but because it simply feels wrong?


Our students are spending so much valuable, precious, face-to-face classroom time taking standardized tests. We cannot get this face-to-face time back. Students are unintentionally taught this is a big part of learning. Do some learning, pencil in bubbles. More learning, then click on the correct answer. So many students are being turned off to the learning process, as this has become the learning process.


How much of the DDI trend has been kick started and perpetuated by big money edtech corporations? There’s huge money in standardized testing. Huge money in warehousing data. How much of the DDI trend has been written into law by legislation lobbied by these corporations? Who is profiting the most from DDI? Our country? Our students? Various CEO’s?

How much data do we need to prove that a system is broken? How much data do we need to show what our students have achieved and what they are capable of? Does the data that defines our kids need to be warehoused on a server in Silicon Valley, or does the data that defines our kids need to be coming from the people who know them the best?
Join us on Twitter at at 9:00pm ET, on Wednesday, 9/18/13, using the hashtag #LivEd to discuss, "Data driven instruction, how much is too much?" Chat archive will be posted shortly after the chat.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Join us on Twitter at at 9:00pm ET, on Wednesday, 9/11/13, using the hashtag #LivEd to discuss, "Creating digital citizens" Chat archive will be posted shortly after the chat.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Join us on Twitter at at 9:00pm ET, on Wednesday, 9/4/13, using the hashtag #LivEd to discuss, "How do we bring the nobility back to teaching?" Chat archive will be posted shortly after the chat.

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow us on Twitter!