#SEACCR Week 1: Driven by Data

As an educator when I think of data I think of assessments: formative, summative, state standardized. In many instances I use data to drive my instruction. I look at test scores to help me decide if my student’s are mastering content in the classroom. Technology can be used to help collect data. As an educator I have used Accelerated Reader to collect data on student’s reading levels, AIMSWeb to collect data on reading fluency. I have also used apps like Socrative to collect data about content in class or to poll my students. As stated by Fleisher (2014), “every answer on a quiz can be analyzed to give teachers a precise picture of what their students have learned. A pattern of wrong answers is no longer just a bad grade; teachers can get clues to why students picked the wrong answer.”


Technology can have a positive or negative impact. I have witnessed technology having a positive impact on my students, however I’ve never really thought about the data behind it. Sandholtz (1997) states, “studies have shown that students with routine access to technology learn these basic skills faster and better when they have a chance to practice them using technology. One of the reasons cited for this improvement is that students are engaged by the technology.” Early on in my teaching career I figured out when I used technology in my classroom my students behaved better and were more engaged in my lessons. When I would use a Smartboard during my lessons my student engagement increased. When I allowed students to create digital stories after going through the writing process with paper and pencil, I heard less complaining about having to rewrite and edit work, because my students wanted to use the technology to create digital stories. I know technology motivates students, but I have never thought about how I could collect the data to prove how much technology motivates students. According to O’Hara (2014), technology positively impacts reading comprehension, content learning, test scores, and student self-esteem.


With the shift to computerized standardized based testing, more educators may want to start analyzing the correlation between the impact of technology and students test scores.



Fleisher, L (2014, March 23). Big data enters the classroom. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304756104579451241225610478

O’Hara, S. (2014, April 30). What is the impact of technology on learning? Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/what-impact-technology-learning/?page=2

Sandholtz, J. H. (1997). Teaching with technology: Creating student-centered classrooms. Teachers College Press, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1234 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027.



6 thoughts on “#SEACCR Week 1: Driven by Data

  1. I thought some of the same things when I started this class. How can I really show how technology has improved the effectiveness of my teaching? I have a feeling we will be developing several ways to make this determination throughout this class. Reading your blog got me wondering what would turn up if I Googled ways to determine how technology improves learning. One site turned out to have some interesting potential which I may use as a reference this semester. I thought you may want to check it out as well. The URL is http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI3005.pdf. At first glance, it appears to cover topics that we may find useful.

  2. I too started to look into support for technology in the classroom online. I found both ends of the spectrum (some supporting, some stating that it didn’t make a difference). Of course, online, there is room for all opinions since anyone can place something on the web. I did find a paper on technology based learning on at risk students which was fascinating. (http://books.google.com/books?id=pyUa83MTGdwC&pg=PA19&dq=technology+in+the+classroom+good+or+bad?&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ExIMVKL4Hc3ioATwq4D4Cw&ved=0CGQQ6AEwCTgK#v=onepage&q=technology%20in%20the%20classroom%20good%20or%20bad%3F&f=false). It went into how we as educators need to be conscious on the different roles that technology plays in the lives of our students. Without our data collection on the students that we have currently, we can’t just assume that they respond like others we have had in the past. This assessment must forever be ongoing. Just as technology is forever growing and developing, we need to chose the ones that best suit our students and our area.

  3. I also wonder how students will fare with the new tests…will the more tech-savvy students have an advantage?
    I suspect that certain segments of the population (such as some sped kids) will be at a distinct disadvantage. Will new testing accommodations become available for them? I’m guessing that will be the case, but maybe not soon enough.
    We’ve been using edperformance for a while now, and I suspect that will end up being excellent practice for the future spring tests.

    • I’m not familiar with edperformance. Some teachers in my district use our curriculum’s online testing resources and in the last 2 years there has been a push to have 3-8 grades use Typing Agent, in the hopes that it will prepare them for the online state tests.

  4. I agree that students become more engaged and behaved when I use my SmartBoard. They behave because they want a turn! However, I have noticed a significant decline in penmanship and hand coordination though. It may seem old school, but I hate that my students have such horrible hand writing! I also like pencil and paper so I can see what they are thinking. They can show their work, or I can see that they have erased a ton and may have struggled. So often with technology, they simply click an answer. Who knows if they just had a lucky guess, or if they actually knew the answer and how to get it. I know that it engages them and there is many benefits, but I also cant help but think students are getting kinda lazy in ways of not wanting to write!

    I have found that activities or some lessons are amazing on the SmartBoard. But when it comes to tests, I like to see their writing on paper. However, I still do bench mark testing with a computer app and like having the scores mapped out so I can adjust instruction and it saves me time.

    What do you think in regards to all the testing using technology instead of paper and pencil?

    Rachel Webb

    • I always did my DOL and math warm ups on the Smartboard, the students had to complete the questions on paper and then I would call for volunteers to share and write their answer on the SB. If a student didn’t at least try to answer a question I wouldn’t call on them to go to the SB. Of course this didn’t motivate all my students, but I it motivated a good portion of my class.

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