Perhaps the WORLD should be giving more data to SCHOOLS rather than the other way around!

How much student data should leave the campus in order to generate a clearer picture of performance and potentially help in calibrating resources and materials for learning more precisely? Well, that gets pretty tricky, pretty quickly…here at your humble little Navigation North Learning Solutions office (aka, NavNorth) tucked away in far Northern California we have been quietly working on a related, national project the last few months and have some thoughts.

Referred to in Washington DC as the Learning Registry project, and growing momentum now nationally and internationally across top education agencies, the aim is to make more DATA about the diverse, cool stuff on the Internet designed for learning… more available and searchable to schools. So while debates and rhetoric ramp up about the amount of student performance DATA that should be allowed to leave the school site and be made available to agencies that make educational resources for students, we have been focusing our efforts on making more and more DATA about the learning resources more available back to the school. But don’t take my word for it, listen to U.S. Education Department’s Director of Education Technology, Richard Culatta explain how that could happen at the national Datapalooza event this year.

So here is the deal…

  • Did you know that each year hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars goes out to agencies, states, universities, groups, teams, designers, scientists, researchers, (like Smithsonian, NASA, Univ. of Colorado, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, etc)…all to build cool, interesting, engaging, learning resources for students in grades from pre-school through high school?
  • Did you also know that they are absolutely free and most teachers and principals and parents don’t know anything about most of those things, or where they are, or what concepts or topics they support?
  • Did you know that in California alone, we have dedicated over $2 billion dollars to making sure that we have Internet to all of our schools and almost all of our classrooms along with devices (computers, laptops, tablets) to access and use these materials, but we largely don’t?

We are working on this. So far, the Learning Registry has captured data on over 400,000 educational items for schools. So when a teacher or a parent or even a student circle_arawants to learn how to find the Area of a Circle (Which happens to be a grade 7 Common Core Math Standard), you can certainly get returns like these that are good and free:

And less returns like these that are dated, or require an expensive textbook:

Well, we will get back to another cup of coffee and keep working at it until a bit more snow falls and beckons us to the slopes (or more realistically, one of our own kids needs some help finding an area of a triangle….hmmm, where to search for help on that one?).