Bringing Analytics and Professional Learning Together

Posted by Paul HesserO

August 16, 2018

At Hoonuit, we strive to help educators understand what their data means, why it’s important, and how to use it to improve student outcomes.


Fall is nearly upon. As we move into the new school year, Hoonuit continues to strengthen its commitment to empower educators through intelligent insights and actionable knowledge. This process began last summer, when Atomic Learning and Versifit Technologies came together under the Hoonuit banner with the goal of providing educators with more “who knew it!” moments — the feeling you get when you learn something new.


Leveraging our expansive library of online learning experiences and industry-leading data management and analytics tools, our team has crafted a comprehensive environment designed to help districts and education agencies develop data-driven cultures and enable the success of educators in individualizing instruction and maximizing performance.


But we’re not done. This fall, Hoonuit is introducing a powerful new enhancement that embeds aligned professional learning materials directly in our analytics platform, empowering educators to engage with data in a deeper, more meaningful way to drive positive change in schools and classrooms.


Building Data Literacy


Research shows that 61 percent of teachers believe that data and digital tools make them better educators, yet 67 percent of teachers admit that they “are not fully satisfied with the effectiveness of the data or the tools for working data that they have access to on a regular basis.”


What’s more, even when educators are provided with top-notch digital tools, widespread data illiteracy means that most teachers are ill-equipped to transform data into action. As District of Columbia Public Schools Instructional Coach and 2012 Maryland State Teacher of the Year Josh Parker puts it, “We are data-rich but information poor. We have access to a range of data points, but our understanding of what they measure, why they matter, and how they impact practices is shallow.”


As such, we realize that the immense potential of data-driven education requires a two-pronged approach. First, teachers need to have access to data analytics tools that are capable of drawing actionable insights out of overlapping datasets. Second, we understand that teachers need ongoing professional learning resources that help them develop — and maintain — data literacy.


A Way Forward


With our latest addition, we hope to serve both needs and truly become both tool and trainer, both conveyor and explainer of data. When an educator drills down into each of our easy-to-understand data visualizations, they’re automatically presented with action-oriented “next steps.” Such real-world contextualization addresses Parker’s concern that teachers lack insight into why certain data matters and how it bears upon their day-to-day work.


Further, by embedding professional learning experiences directly within our data dashboards, we make it easy for administrators to deliver ongoing, dynamic professional development in lieu of less effective, outdated “sit and get” sessions. This is absolutely critical, as the best professional learning experiences are relevant not only to skills gaps identified in assessment cycles past, but to whatever an educator is working on — and possibly struggling with — in any given moment.


With this new integration we continue our decades-long tradition of supporting district initiatives revolving around empowering educators to improve student outcomes.


We’ve got big plans for our second school year as Hoonuit, and we’re excited to continue doing everything in our power to help educators engage with professional learning experiences that are aligned with the real-world data they generate, gather, and interact with every day.

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