Greg Limperis, supervisor of instructional technology in Lawrence, Mass., says current school data-system dashboards are too voluminous and static to meet the instructional needs of today's teachers. So he envisions an alternative that is more timely, interactive, and mobile:
Imagine with me a day when a teacher can walk around the classroom connected to the intranet or Internet and speak a question that's automatically transcribed, assigned to a student, responded to, and relayed back to the teacher to help a student.
With instant data collection, a teacher can pinpoint and diagnose student trouble points, know who lacks understanding in precisely what area, and offer up precise, on-the-spot, real-time remediation. With a teacher-held device, student data could pop up on their screen about the student in their immediate proximity. An RF tag in a student ID would assist in obtaining the most vital data for a teacher to help reach that child's need at any given moment on any given day.
Limperis says the technology needed to create such systems already exists. All that's needed to make them a reality, presumably, are political willpower among school leaders and, on the part of teachers, a openness to pedagogical change. So, key question: Can you see yourself incorporating this kind of continuous interaction with student data into your instruction?