A Chat with Schoolytics’ Aaron Wertman and John Putnam
Every teacher, administrator, parent and student knows what a challenging year this has been for education. The introduction of virtual instruction and hybrid learning models has created an entirely new way of assessing students and making sure they are successful in the classroom.
Eduscape recently entered into a partnership with Schoolytics to simplify data collection, aggregation, and analysis to quickly generate insights to student learning trends and patterns. The platform’s various dashboards allow users to utilize data and automated alert systems to identify risks and learning patterns associated with their students.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Schoolytics CEO Aaron Wertman and Head of Business Development and School Success John Putnam to talk about the biggest challenges their schools have been facing, what makes Schoolytics unique, and how their new partnership with Eduscape can help schools and districts succeed.
When asked to pinpoint the number one concern Schoolytics is hearing from schools right now, Aaron Wertman noted, “The big challenge has been all of the indicators they have used in the past have been thrown out the window.” Aaron remarked that the past indicators for attendance and grades are unavailable or have changed because of virtual learning, so it has been important to establish new ways of understanding how students are engaging.
As a Google for Education Partner, Schoolytics is focused on Google related-products. Its integration with Google Classroom summarizes classroom data across the district and school, coursework completion rates, and grade averages. Additional reporting for Google Meet data provides the number of minutes of instruction; and Google Drive data includes how many times a document has been viewed or edited.
Aaron notes this data allows schools to learn how to more easily identify students that may be disengaged or at-risk, and also give teachers another lens to look at how they think about their instructional content. “It’s about having a richer view of that student development and understanding how they’re engaging.” For example, teachers and administrators can see what tools they’re using (such as Nearpod or Jamboard), how often they’re used, and what kind of outcomes they lead to with their students.
“Data is vital in filling in those stop gaps towards student performance,” adds John Putnam. He says using real-time data to help predict how students are going to perform allows quicker action on the part of the education leaders. Using this data can help determine if a student will struggle in the future if they aren’t currently engaging with the material.
When it comes to helping schools balance remote, hybrid and face-to-face instruction, Aaron says simplifying things that teachers are already doing is key. Not just having all of the data about your students, but understanding what that data actually means and how to use it. As a former teacher, John notes how little time educators have. “Having something like Schoolytics with a very simple dashboard to provide you with those key indicators just makes life easier.” Teachers and administrators can have student data within a very short timeframe in order to start seeing where those gaps in equity exist.
“It’s about turning data into information effortlessly,” adds Aaron. Schools have a lot of data across different systems, so it’s important to simplify that process to turn those numbers into meaningful insights.
Eduscape, through its partnership with Schoolytics, works with schools and districts in order to provide a professional development program that makes the most out of their data and ensures that students reap the benefits. The Eduscape team, in conjunction with a school district, works to identify engagement gaps at the source and deliver professional learning solutions to address the issue(s).
For more information about Schoolytics, or to get started, visit www.schoolytics.io.