Last spring I was able to complete my Instructional Systems Design Apprenticeship within my school district. I focused on teachers using data to design and differentiate learning experiences. This summer I spent a lot of time analyzing the information I had collected and projects that I had completed. In reflection I felt that my project was very strong in the aspects of gathering and organizing data and making data easily available to teachers, however it lacked information in the area of how to use this information to inform instruction.
The National Educational Technology Standards state that teachers should be able to engage in professional growth and leadership. I would like to be able to use blogging and shared webspace as a means of encouraging teachers to discuss "best practices" for improving lessons to meet specific student needs, as identified through data analysis. Creating a tool for teachers to discuss data, with specific student information remaining anonymous, and share ideas will encourage differentiation and build a sense of community within the school. Teachers must see this community as a way to discuss their own strengths, as well as share classroom struggles in a non-threatening way. Teachers can then learn from one another and build on the wealth of experience they collectively possess.
Creating an electronic tool that can be accessed at the teacher's convenience would be helpful to my co-workers because they are already overwhelmed by the amount of meetings and lack of time. Perpaps the discussion tool could even be organized according to specific data needs (for instance...Strategies for Building Fluency in the primary grades) and I could also provide links to on-line resources that are free and easily accessble within the classroom as part of centers, etc.
Creating a tool such as this would be useful to my co-workers and help them to embrace the new data driven education movement and see how data can help them save time.