I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how I collect data in the classroom. Our board goal here in the Waterloo Region District school Board is to have students demonstrate thinking. As I use a lot of digital technology in the classroom I’ve been thinking about how I can leverage the technology to show the journey of each student.

I’ve recently adopted Anne Doelman’s means of using voice to text to record thinking. I’ve also been taking photos and writing a reflection at the end of the week.  I feel like we live in a data driven society where everything is dependent upon numbers and I really feel that learning can’t be reduced to that simple a form. I have lots of data about my students but it is not in number form. I can tell you each student’s individual strengths and areas for growth in all aspects of the curriculum but numbers don’t give a complete picture. My data comes from sitting down having conversations, observing the behavior in class, reading student work, and giving feedback on what he or she can do to improve his or her skills rather than adding up some numbers on a test. Learning is so complex that I don’t see how it can be explained without rich anecdotal and observational data.

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