Tuesday, January 8, 2008

School data tutorials

The CASTLE project at Iowa State* promotes the development of data analysis skills in every school building.
Although not every educator needs to have the skills addressed by these tutorials, every school organization needs to have a critical mass of personnel who can work with raw data and provide assistance and/or data analyses to other staff. If educators are to truly realize the power of data-driven decision-making, these "data managers" should be in every school building, not just the district central office. This is true even in school districts that already have a comprehensive data management and analysis (i.e., data warehouse) or instructional management and assessment system, since educators in those districts often find that they still have a need to work with raw data outside of those software systems.
They provide School Data Tutorials, a series of tutorials in using intermediate to advanced spreadsheet analysis in the context of school issues. Anyone who has the combination of classroom experience and these analytical skills should have an edge. Developments in new technologies may change the way we collect and manage data but the need for analysis will grow.

*Formerly at Minnesota during the development of the data tools?

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