Data and Privacy
In recognition of the powerful benefits that come from interweaving academic and social-emotional learning, a shift in data collection, assessment, and interpretation is underway. Providing countless avenues of insight, data serves as the building block of assessment (diagnostic, formative, and summative), indicator of interest, and metric of progress.
Calls for strong integration of social, emotional, and behavioral skills into core academic curricula are now heard from community and family voices, as reports of 82 percent of Americans say it is highly important for schools to help students develop interpersonal skills such as being cooperative, respectful of others, and persistent at solving problems (PDK Poll, 2019). Further, 91 percent of families are “interested in knowing about their child’s social-emotional learning,” (Harris Poll, 2017).
Accurate measurement and assessment of these skills is necessary to evaluate programmatic effectiveness and success. Moreover, ensuring data privacy, protection and security is paramount as these data points entail and include incredibly sensitive and personal information.
A personalized, learner-centered environment uses technology to securely and efficiently protect, collect, analyze, and organize data. This increases differentiation opportunities and outcomes to better meet students where they are, spurring authentic skill, content acquisition and growth, and articulates the need for mental health services where appropriate.
That said, data collected is only as good as data explained. Efforts to articulate and communicate data findings provide transparency and intention for all involved parties, including students and stakeholders. When the data indicates a need for a particular student, it becomes a moral imperative to act.
- What assessments are in place to both monitor and enhance acquisition of any needed services related to health and well-being?
- What data points are measurable from these assessments?
- What needs can be pinpointed from the assessments?
- How can assessments and assignments be designed to more fully celebrate the diversity of students’ assets, contributions, and cultural perspectives?
- How can data be better interpreted and represented through a lens of equity?
- What communication mechanisms can best articulate growth markers for SEL, health, and well-being?
- Are communication efforts designed in terms that are friendly to
- general education teachers;
- students, as appropriate to grade level;
- families; and
- other stakeholders?
- Are the efforts communicated in such a way that these audiences can understand the interconnections of academic and SEL skills?
- How is data and privacy protected, and how is this relayed to stakeholders?
- How will data inform professional learning practices?
- How can coaches help teachers interpret data, ensure student privacy, and provide practical next-step guidance?
In this era of data, equity, and sustainability, it’s a lot to put on a tech leader’s plate. In this episode, the hosts chat with Diane Doersch, former CTO of Green Bay Schools and Technical Project Director for Digital Promise to discuss the sustainability toolkit she’s put together for leaders as well as exploring ways to expand the racial and gender divides that exist within the tech field.
Data literacy is at the heart of effective decisionmaking in classrooms, schools, districts, and communities. All students, including those in need of acceleration, remediation, or intervention, provide teachers, counselors, interventionists, coaches, and administrators with a true wealth of data in various forms.