October 2021 | You Need Data to Know How Much It Helps Your District
Contributed by Monica Cougan, Manager of Strategic Relationships and Initiatives, CatchOn
Simplify and Strengthen Your Data Strategy to Assess EdTech Efficacy and Help Ensure Data Privacy Compliance
You won’t find too many educators who don’t know they need detailed data to make the most of their edtech investments, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows just how helpful data can be—or exactly which aspects of district performance data can help boost.
Assessing the true efficacy of edtech has long been a challenge for most districts because they often don’t have the complete picture of what tools and resources are actually being used, by whom, and for what purpose. The data that most districts have on edtech usage and efficacy is siloed, and it’s difficult to see the whole data story. CatchOn provides the tools and learning analytics that make it easy to convert that data into an accelerant to change.
Making the most of all available data can have a transformative impact because, when it comes to districts’ edtech, so much is on the line: in 2020 alone, American school districts spent more than $35 billion on hardware, software, curriculum resources, and networks; now, more than ever, districts are trying to fully understand both the return on—and impact of—those investments, while also monitoring digital assets for privacy compliance.
But just how much can data analytics help districts? Because we at CatchOn are in the data analytics business, we decided to gather some data about how helpful district-wide student-level data can be: we prepared a study of diverse school districts, gathered data about how they were using CatchOn, and analyzed that data to prepare a report.
Read on to find out just how helpful data analytics can be for your district.
To find out how powerful data analytics can be for educators, CatchOn partnered with Digital Promise, a national education nonprofit organization, to conduct a pilot study of seven school districts that are part of Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools. The primary objective of the study was to understand the potential and power of data to support key district needs. We believed that because CatchOn granted administrators better information about how various digital products were being used by students and teachers, the solution would empower districts to improve their edtech strategies.
We found that access to the data analytics within the CatchOn platform can have a profound impact on districts’ edtech strategies. Here are some key findings:
- 100% of the leaders from the Digital Promise pilot school districts report that reviewing their CatchOn data helps them identify gaps in student engagement that can indicate inequity.
- 100% of the leaders from the Digital Promise pilot school districts say that their CatchOn data is valuable for informing their ROI analysis on technology investments.
- 100% of the leaders from the Digital Promise pilot school districts believe that their CatchOn data is valuable for supporting their district’s online learning initiatives.
The districts we surveyed also believed that CatchOn’s data analytics would help them over the long-term with three critical operational benefits. Districts reported that CatchOn:
- Supported messaging efforts to the community about product choices.
- Supported utilization analytics with access to regular and timely data.
- Helped educators ensure they were effectively monitoring product usage, achieving privacy compliance, and following all their requirements.
From this initial study, the evidence suggests that CatchOn provides districts the data and analytics they need to attain better educational results, achieve high-level implementation for their investments, and monitor compliance to keep their staff and students safe. CatchOn does so in part through third-party badging that helps districts align with the privacy standards of leading education organizations such as 1EdTech.
“Through the strategic and effective use of data, school leaders can make informed decisions regarding budgets, curricula, resources, staffing, and other supports for students,” concluded Dewayne McClary, Digital Promise’s director of the League of Innovative Schools. “Data disaggregation is a powerful tool that allows school leaders to be more intentional about their decision-making and address educational inequities that have plagued student achievement and opportunity for far too long.”
Based upon the Speak Up Research Project’s findings from the 2020-21 school year, 90% of district administrators say their district has successfully implemented a one-to-one device program for their students in which students can use their devices in school and at home. Further, teachers report a 20% increase in their integration of digital content within everyday instruction in the 2020-21 school year compared to the previous year.
Taken together, these findings suggest that as long as districts wish to invest in edtech, it is well worth their while to invest in effective data analytics to evaluate and hone those efforts. Doing so will help boost student performance, promote educational equity, protect student data, and save districts money.
Because after all, the more districts know, the more they’re empowered to secure transformational results.
Special Offer for 1EdTech K-12 Member Districts
All of us at CatchOn greatly value our partnership with 1EdTech! As part of our partnership, CatchOn is offering this exclusive offer to 1EdTech K-12 member organizations:
- A 60-day trial of CatchOn
- Waiver of set up fees for the district-wide implementation of CatchOn on all school-owned devices upon purchase
Monica Cougan is the Manager of Strategic Relationships and Initiatives at CatchOn and ENA, where she leverages more than 35 years of experience in education and technology to help schools make the most of new technology. She has been an evangelist for the adoption of technology as a transformative educational tool. Monica has extensive experience helping K-12 school districts implement programs that foster systemic change.