We asked Holly Glover, Director of Data Use and Privacy at Arkansas Department of Education, to comment ways that state collaboration on the new Ed-Fi Dashboards 1.3 has helped Arkansas deliver simplified educator access to valuable data on their students. With various levels of experience in the education system, Holly provided some excellent insight. This is what she had to say:
- First and foremost, we designed the dashboard development process such that classroom teachers were the primary source of information and guided the direction. From the very start of our mission to deliver educator dashboards back in 2012, we knew that if the insight dashboards were going to be a success, they needed to be tailored to the specific needs of our educators. What we found was that because Ed-Fi Dashboards were informed by educators, we already had a great starting point.
- In soliciting direct feedback from educators across the state, we identified and developed additional features to assist educators at the classroom and student level. Educators told us they wanted a list of students meeting certain criteria and wanted to have that list automatically update based on student performance over time. The Dynamic Watch List feature was born and was a highly anticipated addition to the core functionality of Ed-Fi Dashboards. Dynamic Watch List is now in place for more than 44,000 educators across the state of Arkansas and the feature alerts them when new students have been added to their list, saving invaluable time and impacting the success of students.
- We engaged in the Ed-Fi Community as a way to share this technical development work with other agencies across the nation. We worked side-by-side with Delaware and Pennsylvania to contribute innovative technology towards the development of Ed-Fi Dashboards 1.3. This cooperative model allows innovative features like Dynamic Watch Lists to be used by others involved in the Ed-Fi Community.
- We built our technology from the Ed-FI Data Standard, so Arkansas is positioned to benefit from the work of others in the Ed-Fi Community. We are highly anticipating other features of Ed-Fi Dashboards 1.3 like the Standards Mastery View contributed by the Delaware Department of Education. This will give our educators the ability to view how their class is performing on formative assessments given throughout the school year and drill down by learning standard – helping them quickly identify students who may need additional help in a particular area.
The benefits of the Ed-Fi Community are clear to educators here in Arkansas. We are proud to be a part of a group leading the movement to improve K-12 education for students by unlocking the potential of data by sharing technical developments that can be reused locally in all states and school districts.