The education industry is evolving and as a result teachers must learn to change with it. With the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) now adopted in every state— excluding Nebraska, Texas, Virginia and Alaska—there is a new emphasis placed on tracking the student’s journey from K-12. More specifically, one initiative of the CCSS is to track this journey through quantifiable data.
For example, the way teachers track student success is up to their discretion, but in many cases standardized testing serves as a bench mark reporting system for how well teachers are communicating lesson plans and cirrcula to their students. However, standardized testing isn’t the only way to quantify student’s academic growth through elementary and secondary education.
In earlier parts of this series we’ve covered a number of ways SharePoint implementation can help your school district improve and therefore better prepare its student body for the challenges that await them post-graduation. Whether it was through building communities in part one, storing content in or efficient content searches in , we’ve already established the value SharePoint has in a school district (we recommend you catch up on the series for an in depth look at each point). However, the biggest advantage of becoming a SharePoint school district is the actionable insights it enables you to gather.
One of the key features of SharePoint is its insight features. Business intelligence (BI)—or the actionable data you gain from making sense of raw information—isn’t a term normally associated with education, because schools aren’t perceived as businesses. But what if we looked at them as such? The board of education would represent the board of trustees, the principals would be our CEOs and the teachers our top employees who are tasked with producing a great product: successful and well educated students.
Currently, your teachers are probably tracking their student’s academic growth through standardized tests and grade books. Sure, there is nothing wrong with these methods as they have been successful in the past, but what if you could take it one step further? With SharePoint implementation teachers can not only track their student’s grades, but also tie those grades into lesson plans and curricula. For instance, if you’re a geometry teacher whose students are learning proofs for the first time, you won’t have to wait until the midterm to determine why a certain student is struggling.
By gauging your students’ competence in each lesson plan and reporting it in SharePoint, you’ll be able to see the exact lesson plan that caused a student’s performance to decline. What’s more, is that once your site is set up with your specifications, teachers can simply enter information into the SharePoint platform and it will automatically visualize the data through charts and reports.
But, Insights are much more than just an advanced way of grade tracking. In the prequels to this post we discussed how SharePoint is a great collaboration tool for school districts, and that same level of collaboration is just as applicable with SharePoint insights. If you’ve been able to identify a problem in your lesson plan through the SharePoint implementation, you’ll be able to identify a solution as the system allows you to search for a lesson plan that’s proven successful by your colleagues.
In addition to helping teachers, SharePoint can also help principals run a better school. It can let them see through real-time data which departments are performing best, as well as how other departments in different schools throughout the district compare. Principals could also use this tool to see how students as a whole are performing during the morning versus the afternoon or in classrooms with more technology or less.
And, if we take one more step back and look at SharePoint implementation on a more macro scale, we can see that the superintendent could use this tool to see how schools in their district compare to one another, and decide based on BI which requires more attention, resources and funding.
The future of your school district’s students should be based off of more information than just standardized test scores and a green grade book. As global workforces and the enterprises that hire them grow smarter, our schools need to keep pace to ensure their students’ future success. With SharePoint implementation schools can begin to access the smart data needed to become more efficient, more intelligent and overall, more successful.