As improvements in educational technologies empower students to become better learners, they also help teachers become better educators. Specifically, shifting to a digitally-focused teaching and learning environment can greatly assist in the drive for more effective learning. For example, what if each trace left by students as they engage in online learning could be tracked and analysed? Teachers would have far greater insight into how individual students learn and could target their teaching accordingly.
This field – known as learning analytics – is currently taking the world, and Jacaranda, by storm. So much so that we decided to host a series of ‘Learning Analytics Masterclasses’ for Principals, Heads of Departments and eLearning Coordinators to promote this new learning technology. The events were held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and helped attendees understand how to leverage data at various levels (school, classroom, student) to help them make more informed decisions about teaching and learning.
Speaking at each of these conferences was Professor Gregor Kennedy, Pro Vice-Chancellor in Educational Innovation at the University of Melbourne. Kicking off each event, Gregor methodically broke down the field of learning analytics, explaining what it entails and why it is so important for the future of education. Continuing, he used real-world education examples to explain how teachers can leverage data to gain full visibility of students, helping them to tailor support and feedback at an individual level.
Also speaking at each event was our very own Chris Gray, General Manager of Global Education. Chris’s presentation highlighted Jacaranda’s continued commitment to leveraging emerging technologies in order to enrich learning and teaching capabilities. He also gave attendees an exclusive preview of our latest development in the learning analytics field:
- Jacaranda learnON: an immersive digital learning platform for Years 7-10 which delivers trusted Jacaranda content in new and better ways to maximise learning outcomes in the classroom. It provides students and teachers with a dashboard and 360-degree view of progress and achievement levels for each title.
- Jacaranda Dashboard: a new, highly visible interface which provides schools with a high-level view of students’ usage, engagement and results within the Jacaranda Digital Bundle.
Interest and engagement with the topic was evident once both speakers opened the floor to questions, and it was clear that everyone in the room came away with a heightened understanding of learning analytics and how best to use data in the classroom. There was also a keen interest among attendees to continue the conversation and suggestions for future topics included ‘how to engage reluctant teachers with digital learning’ and ‘where to find the best digital learning tools’.
What would you like to hear about at a future event? Are you using data at your school and if so, how? We’d love to hear from you so please send us your ideas in the comments below!
For a video recap of the presentations, please visit https://youtu.be/t4tqKrk9zcw.