There’s nothing worse than giving children a battery of tests and then not knowing what the results mean for the students, school and its teachers. That’s where applying the lessons of big data analytics come in. Used to predict what we buy and where we want to travel, the technology can help in schools as well.
Based on a deep dive into the data, teachers and administrators can not only spot those who are leading or lagging, but find school- or district-wide trends. The latest additions predict educational outcomes, both good and bad.
More than mere trend-mongering, data mining at schools can be a valuable tool in identifying students who are at risk or spotting places that need new resources. A server filled with test results, grades and demographic information is meaningless unless you can lift out what’s important and act on what it is telling you.
In a very real sense, the trends are all there waiting to be spotted. All you have to do is have the right software to see both the forest and the trees.
Composed of four parts, Guide K12 is an all-in-one analytic package that can help districts to visualize the raw data with graphs, charts and especially maps. To start, Explorer is for quick trend spotting and trying to see how the numbers – such as test scores or student demographics – relate to each other and are changing over time. By contrast, GK12’s Planner package can create hypothetical what-if scenarios at school and the program’s Adviser can deliver reports that administrators can use and distribute to staff, state officials and parents. Finally, GK12’s SchoolSearch is a window on your district that the community and parents can use to see what’s going on at the area’s schools.
Big data is at the heart of Panorama Education with the goal of making every bit of student information count toward their future. Behind the scenes, Panorama churns through reams of test and activity results to create comparisons among students within a school, district or against national averages. The program is pwoerful enough to not only use your district’s current information but it produces good looking informative reports that are personalized for each recipient for everything from state officials to parents.
If your district uses Renaissance math and literacy programs, there’s already a big data engine at work behind the scenes. Called Learnalytics, the database securely stores the results of problems and quizzes and analyzes them for student-by-student and class changes as well as big picture trends. Behind the scenes, the Learnalytics program also tracks what each child likes to do academically, how they learn and can even suggest new books for individual students that would not only fit right into their educational goals but ones they just might enjoy to read.
SAS Enterprise Analytics for Education
This company’s software helps just about every manufacturer and retailer deliver the right mix of goods on time to customers, and it can help to create a data-driven school. SAS software can provide a unique view of every student based on the totality of what he or she does. In addition to always having the right data at your fingertips, the SAS software slices and dices your district’s data and let you decide how its presented without the need for programmers. The SAS school analytical software is secure, can work with Office and the results can be distributed to mobile devices.