Teachers need to keep track of, collect, and juggle a ton of information:
- Student Information System details
- Learning Management Systems variables, modules, assessments
- Assessment data from different platforms for different subjects
- Personalized learning details for each student from apps and websites
- Any number of other data sets they’ve collected
Now, imagine if all that information were easily accessible in one dashboard or teacher platform. Sound impossible? Maybe not, if marketers and product designers take this wish seriously, and work toward making it a reality. Teacher’s aren’t afraid of being experimenters, which is a good thing because the classroom is ever evolving. If your company provides a solution to this information and organizational dilemma, teachers will likely be willing to try it.
Too many apps…the tools are too subject oriented when I’d rather focus on the big picture… learning doesn’t exist in silos…
These are some of the issues teachers have about the technology tools commonly used today. The goal here should be: Simplify the process for teachers. Adding well intentioned products to the market that address one subject or facet of education isn’t necessarily discouraged, but it does create yet another variable teachers must keep track of to create a clear picture of student success and progress.
If a new tool came into the market that simply linked a learning management system to a student information system, teachers would probably be happy for it. But, if another tool could access the information and assets teachers create in a variety of platforms, and present a clear picture for all the stakeholders in student success, they may very well flock to that tool like moths to a flame.
Google Classroom does provide an integrated approach to learning modules and communication, offering collaboration with hundreds of external apps, including some student information systems like Aeries. Not all of the major SIS apps are included, but this approach is a very good (and successful) start in the right direction. Another example is the Learning Management System Schoology, which provides enterprise only integration with the Power School SIS, one of the leading student information systems.
Other Industries Know How to Create a Clear Picture of Data
A good comparison to this dilemma could be outside the education industry altogether: personal finance. Think of a budgeting tool that connects via login to the variety of banks and investment organizations a user might have, and then loads the data into one interface for planning purposes. For the education industry, a tool could be developed to link many of the common administrative, teacher, and student platforms together, loading the data and information into one easy to use space.
Privacy and data security considerations must be made, and whichever developer endeavors to create such a platform will likely need to prove that their security features are well established. Student Information and learning management system creators will need to approve of their teacher platform being used in a collaborative space such as this. Smaller platforms may find that allowing compatibility with such a universal tool helps them find new users or clients. Perhaps certain standards for data collection will be needed to allow compatibility, like formatting and metadata variables. If you build such a tool that ties most of the learning modules and data together, the teachers will come, and be grateful for the help. This is probably just wishful thinking, right? I dare an educational product developer to prove me wrong!