Teaching with Data

Ruminating on effective ways to use data to guide instruction in the classroom and other topics.

Starting the journey with Data

Posted by LAUSD Secondary Literacy/ELA on June 23, 2011

Data helps in our search for the best possible ways to meet our students' needs.

So, first off, you have to know that I am a HUGE Star Trek fan (not quite a Trekkie, but pretty close). When I was thinking about this blog and trying to determine a title, I thought of my favorite character from “Star Trek: Next Generations,” Mr. Data. If you do not know Lieutenant Commander Data, he is an android who is on a quest to understand what it means to be human. People think about data as being cold, impersonal; however, I argue that data, both quantitative and qualitative, can provide teachers with a greater understanding of their classes and individual students. Therefore, as Mr. Data came closer to understanding the human psyche during Star Trek’s nine seasons and three movies, I believe that educators need to come closer to understanding how to use all types of data to assist in determining the most effective ways to provide a positive, effective, and rigorous learning for their students.

Mr. Data as Sherlock Holmes symbolizes what data can actually do for educators: it provides us with the clues to help us to find the best  possible tools to help our students.

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