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June 9, 2014
ASCD SmartBrief Special Report
News for the Education Profession
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Special Report: Teacher effectiveness and student data
Schools nationwide continue to adopt student-centric instructional models that use data to empower teachers and engage learners. Data-driven instruction has moved beyond the education-buzzword sphere to educators' daily lexicon.

In this ASCD SmartBrief Special Report, we provide a roundup of news about recent trends in data-driven instruction, blended learning and stories about how some schools are preparing the next generation of data scientists.

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Professional Insights 
  • Q-and-A: What's trending in data-driven instruction?
    In this Q-and-A, Liz Brooke, vice president of Education and Research for Lexia Learning, discusses trends in data-driven instruction. Topics include blended learning and teacher effectiveness. "The use of data on a daily basis to inform instruction is the kind of best practice we're striving for in blended classrooms as well as in more traditional classroom settings," she said. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (6/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Four common mistakes when implementing blended learning
Effective blended learning models make classroom time more efficient. However, there are four common mistakes that can undermine the success of any blended learning implementation, rather than effectively streamlining and personalizing instruction. Learn more.
Data-driven Instruction 
  • How data can help maximize instruction, learning
    School districts nationwide use student data to foster academic success, asserts Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking. In this commentary, he shares findings from an initiative called "Closing the Gap," an effort to create a baseline of how districts use student data. "At a time when closing the achievement gap and talent gap concurrently is a necessity, it is important that leadership teams from schools and districts understand the value of data to maximize 21st century teaching and learning," he writes. District Administration magazine online (5/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Data help schools make the most of longer days
    Schools in low-income areas are improving students' performance by lengthening school days from six-and-a-half hours to eight hours. Research from the National Center on Time & Learning found successes in schools in which the staff invest time in assessing students, analyzing and using data to boost instruction and determine which students need more supports. "This process creates a continuous improvement loop that allows schools to provide excellent instruction driven by student needs," the study states. The Deseret News (Salt Lake City) (5/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Research: Oral Language skills essential for Title I and ELL students
Oral language is a predictor of future academic success. Learn how researchers suggest approaching oral language instruction, particularly in ELL and Title I populations where socioeconomic status and home experiences result in a growing academic gap. Learn more.
Blended Learning 
  • Blended learning supports students' individual needs
    More teachers nationwide have adopted blended learning -- an instructional method that, in some cases, allows them to flip their classrooms, tailoring lessons to students' individual needs. "Children are encouraged to log on, listen, and learn and at their own speed," writes John Yemma, editor-at-large for The Christian Science Monitor. "Some blast ahead; others work with concepts they find difficult until the light goes on. And teachers are freed from lecturing and can act as tutors, mentors, and coaches. That yields more cultivation and care of individual students." The Christian Science Monitor/Upfront blog (5/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Educators flip math classrooms, personalize instruction
    Inspired by an education-technology conference, three math teachers at Banks Trail Middle School in Fort Mill, S.C., have flipped their classrooms to allow students to watch videos at home and later receive personalized instruction in class. "We're more facilitators instead of direct instructors," said Emily Poeppelman, one of the three teachers. Fort Mill Times (S.C.) (5/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Blended Learning models Accelerated by iPad and Android tablets
Lexia Reading Core5 is now available on Android and iPad tablets. These mobile platforms provide greater access to personalized learning, and real-time data on student performance—a powerful accelerator for your blended learning implementation. Learn more.
Data Trends 
  • Adaptive learning: From buzzword to reality
    Adaptive learning has become casually interchangeable with "personalized learning," but there are key differences between the terms that school districts would be wise to learn, according to this article on the instructional approach. Adaptive learning is data-driven and adjusts to learners' demonstrated abilities, but there are different types to consider. Support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and an ever-growing list of tech vendors point to adaptive learning's transformation from trend to tool. T.H.E. Journal (5/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How Mich. school districts protect students' information
    Public schools in Michigan and elsewhere work to maintain and safeguard detailed personal information about students and employees, against a backdrop of recent national hacking incidents, such as the Heartbleed virus that resulted in the loss of personal and financial data from across the Web. Sam Lutgring, director of technology services for one Michigan district that also provides services to 26 other districts, said he assessed the vulnerability of data after Heartbleed, and other ed-tech leaders in the area describe precautions, security and firewalls aimed at keeping school data safe. Battle Creek Enquirer (Mich.) (tiered subscription model) (5/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Lessons in Data 
  • Using students' interests to teach them about data
    Emerging services and programs are aimed at building data-analysis skills in K-12 students by engaging their curiosity across a wide range of topics, author and journalist Suzie Boss writes in this blog post. One example is TuVaLabs, a free website where data are gathered and sorted in response to questions posted by students, she notes. Another is the Global Happiness Project, in which thousands of students in 43 states and 11 nations research metrics on quality of life and try to develop plans to improve it, Boss writes. Boss' blog (5/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
ASCD Resources 

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