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The Daily Dish: The Use of Technology and Data to Support Student Learning

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June 01, 2015 01:58 pm


The Daily Dish digs deeper into one of the day’s top news stories on K–12 education. Make sure to add High School Soup to your RSS feed for all the latest updates and follow the Alliance on Twitter at @All4Ed for more education news.

The use of digital instructional tools and data in the classroom can help to support student success in learning. This week, The Hechinger Report’s Jennifer D. Jordan examines how West Warwick Public Schools in Rhode Island has implemented blended learning into the classroom with the hopes that the model will “help the district achieve its goal of customized learning for every student, at the pace and in the style best suited to each child.”

West Warwick hosted the fifth of 13 regional Future Ready Summits April 21-22. Hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education and U.S. Department of Education, these summits help local districts and superintendents improve teaching and student learning outcomes through the effective use of technology. For more on the summit, check out the Future Ready Providence Storify full of highlights from the two-day event.

Jordan’s article explains that this “working- class” district is leading Rhode Island’s charge to become the first fully blended learning state, combining teacher-led instruction with self-paced student learning online. Holly Walsh, the overseer of instructional technology and e-learning for the Rhode Island Department of Education, explains in the article that the move towards blended learning is not about the device in the hands of students. Rather, Walsh says, “It’s about changing the ways teachers teach and students learn.”

Tom Daccord, executive director of the professional learning organization EdTechTeacher, echoes Walsh’s comments in a piece for eSchoolNews. Daccord writes that “…the fundamental challenge of integrating technology is not in learning how to use apps,” but rather “imagining the innovative ways in which the tool can be used to enhance student learning.”

As Jordan notes, teachers in West Warwick actively use the information gathered on students’ performances through the blended learning approach to help shape lesson plans. But many teachers across the U.S. are still working on ways to use classroom data successfully. On June 3 at 1 p.m. EDT, the Alliance and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will cohost a discussion on how teachers can better use digital instructional tools and data to support student learning.

Teachers Know Best: Making Data Work for Teachers and Students will provide recommendations about how to support teachers to effectively use data they have access to on a regular basis to personalize instruction. To watch the live video feed, register at For more information on the role of data in learning, join the Alliance June 4 at 2 p.m. EDT to learn how data systems are contributing to increases in college enrollment and persistence.

If you’re a district leader and you haven’t had the chance to attend a Future Ready summit, the next summit is June 8-9 in Baltimore, Maryland. Access registration information at

Future Ready, The Daily Dish Blog

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