DataCation Rolls Out New Features to Support Differentiation, Communication and Teacher Workflow
Last year, New Visions released a report, Navigating the Data Ecosystem, that detailed the rollout of DataCation, a web-based school data management system, to our network of 75 public schools in New York City. In it, the authors examine how the ecosystem within which an innovation is released can impact its adoption and diffusion.
As DataCation prepares to release a host of new features for its suite of tools, its developers have paid particular attention to both the current ecosystem of education in New York City, and have added features that align with the needs of today’s teachers. The many educators who attended a recent “DataCation Expo” had a first look at these upcoming changes.
Advance, the new teacher evaluation system launched by the New York City Department of Education at the outset of the 2013-2014 school year, has shifted the data needs of principals, teachers and administrators. This system, comprising teacher evaluations and student outcomes, asks that educators deeply understand and document the impact of their teaching practices on student learning. We believe that DataCation will support teachers and administrators in using the new evaluation system.
DataCation has worked to ensure that its new features support differentiation to accommodate students’ various learning needs and facilitate teacher-student communication. Furthermore, its features also ensure that DataCation fits within the flow of a teacher’s busy day.
Student Submissions within Skedula
For each assignment created using this new feature, teachers can upload required and supplemental material through Google Docs/Spreadsheets/Presentations, Word, Excel, or Powerpoint. Supplemental material might include grading rubrics that communicate learning expectations to students, whereas required material is the actual assignment, duplicated for the student to complete online; students may also upload miscellaneous material that complements their work. Furthermore, teachers can easily create multiple assignments to accommodate the different levels of achievement in his or her classroom and designate the appropriate assignments for each student.
Anecdotal Badges within Skedula
This new feature allows teachers and schools to both quantify and track student anecdotals. Schools begin by assigning weights to types of anecdotals, which then determine the type of badge students receive (i.e. excellent, good, borderline, or needs intervention). This increased functionality will enable teachers to target groups of students, both for rewards and for interventions.
New PupilPath Home Screen
Part of student success relies upon the communication of learning expectations from the teacher to the student. DataCation’s new home screen supports this type of communication by formulating an individualized to-do list for each student. Students can view their ungraded assignments and check off and remove those that have been completed.
Student Submissions within Skedula
Integration with Google:
With nearly all of New Visions schools using the Google Apps domain, integrating Google into Skedula ensures teachers and students can move seamlessly (and securely) between Google Docs, Forms, or Spreadsheets and the Datacation platform. With a single sign-on function, DataCation now gives teachers the full power and functionality of the Google platform so that teachers can view, edit, respond to, and log grades for student work within the single Skedula platform.
Student Portfolio Page:
Once submitted work is graded, teachers can publish this work to the Student Portfolio page; all published assignments are now attached to the student and viewable throughout his or her entire enrollment. This allows teachers to look back over students’ previous year’s work to understand and plan for an incoming class’s skill level.
Cutting Report within Skedula
Teachers will be able look for instances of class cutting by viewing a list of students who were marked present for daily attendance, but had at least one course absence. Teachers can also define a group of students for whom attendance might be an issue and create reports for that particular group.
While these updates represent only a small part of the many features being added to DataCation’s suite of tools, they are indicative of the consideration DataCation has paid to the user experience in New York City. As teachers continue to look for ways to adapt to the many changes that have characterized this school year, they will find these tools increasingly compatible with the shifts in practice they are expected to make.
In the embedded document below, Stephanie Ring from DataCation highlights some of these new updates. We’re enthusiastic about working with our schools to begin using these great new features.
Editor’s Note: DataCation is an independent, third-party vendor to schools in New York City and elsewhere. The information above is the product of New Visions for Public Schools and does not necessarily reflect the views of DataCation or its parent company, CaseNEX, LLC.