Imagining a World Where Classrooms Thrive

How Data is the Path to a Better Classroom

Imagine for a moment what it would be like if we took all of the tools businesses use to accelerate growth, maximize profits, decrease waste, reduce overhead, and minimize risk, and applied those to our classrooms. Yes, I'm asking you to imagine a world where classrooms are run on data. Now, you might think that that's already the case in your classroom, but bear with us for just another moment.

Certainly, most educators are applying their fields' best practices to make their classrooms better learning environments, but that's not the only way in which we can use data to improve our classrooms. Data isn't only important to our efforts as educators when it comes from massive research efforts. Certainly, data isn't only useful when its from a longitudinal study featuring aggregate, anonymized participants. We are sure you're aware that there are other types of data that we use in our daily lives to better inform our decisions; data that we didn't read in a scientific journal, that doesn't feature the backing of a sample size greater than n=500. As educators, some of the very best decisions we've ever made, we made with the data we gathered from our time in the field — with data we gathered from our time in our classrooms.

Perhaps you think we are giving you too much credit, but let's quickly dispel that notion with a simple example of a situation an eduator could encounter. Let's say that your student, Sam, seems distracted after lunch on a regular basis. What might you do?

Well, maybe you would begin by comparing this situation to another situation in your classroom. You might think of a time when another student proved distracted as the day wore on. You might, using that data from some years ago, conclude that there could be a connection between the problem that's affecting Sam, and the problem that affected that student some years ago. This suspicion of a pattern could be tested against data you've confirmed. For example, maybe you know that Sam is hungry because Sam doesn't eat school lunch. Knowing that hunger is affecting Sam, you recall that your previous encounter with this situation was resolved by hosting a conversation with the relevant parties and by increasing the attention you pay Sam after lunch to make the lessons really approachable. You didn't need a scientist to tell you to help Sam, did you? You simply knew, as a teacher, using your observed classroom data, what might need to be done to help Sam.

If you sat and thought of all the microinteractions, decisions, and choices presented to you every day in a classroom, you would be amazed at how many times you actually employ the use of your data. You would be wonderfully surprised that you are a data-driven teacher — something you may not have known until right this very moment. But still, there's room for improvement. There are huge swaths of data points that we're not capitalizing on within our classrooms because we don't use the right tools. It was this truth that drove us to focus on putting your own data front and center in your use of ClassRelay.

Hallpasses have always been a necessity of the classroom — as educators, we've always been keenly aware of the importance of how we deal with students exiting our classroom while class is in session. The components of a hallpass seem straightforward enough: a hallpass can be active, or a hallpass can be expired; when a hallpass is expired we need to decide if and who we should contact about the hallpass. Furthermore, a hallpass needs to be something we could create quickly and with very little friction.

The increased data you obtain from managed hallpasses could, when analyzed, transform even the most efficient educator into an even better educator by providing new data points for planning effective lessons. Consider that, with the continued use of ClassRelay, you'll have a better understanding of the hall habits of your students. Here's one way the extra data could manifest itself in your classroom to help you better serve your students: What if you knew that at 1:55PM Sam always asks to be excused to have a snack. Sam is usually back before 2:10PM and is then very attentive to your lessons. What if, follow me here, you also knew that Sam is struggling with fractions, and you were planning a lesson around fractions? The day that you're planning your fractions lesson plan you might notice that you have your schedule set up to explain fractions at the turn of 2:00PM. Now, with your hallpass data, you can move your schedule around to better serve the students who might most be in need of that extra attention to detail you plan to provide during this recap. With your hallpass data you can make a better decision that will reduce lesson repitition, increase student engagement, and make your classroom management far more data-driven.

With the use of ClassRelay you can start better analyzing how and when to deploy your lessons to reach the right student demographic at the right time, every time, because data isn't only helpful to those in marketing and finance. As a leading educator you understand that your classroom data is the fuel that makes your classroom take off toward new and exciting educational heights. The more classroom-specific data you maintain and analyze, the better your instruction can be. At ClassRelay we actively look to enhance our tools with the right data for the job of the modern educator. From our team to you: gather, analyze, learn, teach, and bring about the better tomorrow.

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