#beyondthetextbook – Considering Inputs

  • So we need APIs that’ll help us pull our data out of the tools we use and put it into the tools that we use so that we can build dashboards of useful data
  • input information, not output information – but maybe some of both – descriptive tools – not prescriptive ones this is important and I need to write about it
  • inputs rather than outputs; experiences rather than tests
  • describing the learning by the institution – not so much on the student1
Mimi Ito, responding to Doug and my ideas, said it like this in a really solid summary of the entire DML 2012 Conference: #

We need to be looking much more at the connections, relationships, and spirit of inquiry that goes into the system, and focusing less on optimizing measures and pathways that sort kids, schools, and teachers based on output metrics. #

The continuing comments on my last post, as well as some of the thinking I saved to do for later, are helping me to make more sense of the notion of focusing on inputs, at least how that might relate to the #beyondthetestbook conversation. #

  1. This was in reference to comments by Gever Tulley that much of assessment in his school is done by the staff and about the experiences they’ve created – did they accomplish what they wanted them to, etc. – and there’s less emphasis on what each individual student learned. The students themselves are focused on what they’ve learned. There’s some control left for them in their learning. []
  2. And the making resonated with me – it’s less about the actual dashboard, and more about owning a process through laying hands on the data and the pieces and building something out of them. []
  3. Maybe I was wrong about this – are there data sources that I’m not thinking about? []
  4. Certainly, students would figure out ways to game these systems, but tracking inputs could be a fine way to see what a student was doing – and where they were stuck, or confused, or frustrated, or what have you. There’s potential there. There’s also danger there – tracking data and privacy concerns are important and worthy of consideration. []
  5. I looked, quickly, but couldn’t find the exact tweet. My apologies. []
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