Infinite Insights Recap: Keller ISD Sees Multiple Gains with New “Digital Backpacks”

Posted by Ignacio YbarraO

Hoonuit’s Infinite Insights virtual event series offers education leaders a space to share their data successes,  collaborate, and ideate. This blog series summarizes the insights gleaned from each session. Watch a recording of the event here. 

On Wednesday, July 29th three of our education partners discussed plans for and the uncertainty of teaching and learning, assessment strategies, and how data will play a role in instruction this school year.

We were fortunate to have had Jennifer Price, Director of Assessment and Accountability at Keller ISD join us as one of our panelists.

  • Keller ISD serves 36,000 students across 43 campuses 
  • Focused on transforming Keller’s accountability system framework with a focus on student growth
  • Oversees all of the campus improvement planning and the district improvement planning

Keller ISD Sees Multiple Gains with New “Digital Backpacks”

This year, Keller ISD is introducing a Virtual Backpack that will simplify life for students and families while providing new key insights for its educators. Jennifer Price, Director of Assessment and Accountability, joined our Infinite Insights panel to share Keller ISD’s vision and goals.  

Keller’s technology team built the Digital Backpack which aligns its learning management system with its student information system. “On the backend, our teachers will have control of the student’s backpack. Teachers can link in Canvas or Google classroom. They might link in an online textbook if that’s what they need to put in there. Because of single sign-on, our students and parents won’t have to keep up with usernames and passwords. So that’s been a huge three-month development,” said Price. 

Teachers will gain more than the ability to add instruction and assignments to the Backpack, they will also gain insights to inform individualized instruction. “As part of this Digital Backpack, teachers will have statistics for each of their students. It will show them what their engagement looks like. Had they logged in that day? What did they spend their time in? We’re going to take that data and feed it into Hoonuit,” explained Price. 

“That will allow staff at a high level to see what is happening. For example, if you’re in charge of dyslexia, what do your students look like? Teachers will see it on a small scale with their students, but my larger goal is to take that data and put it into Hoonuit so we can look at it in a dashboard format and use filtering based upon the lens that you need to look through,” she said. 

Students will gain the advantage of one-stop shopping and provide a window into their day to day activity. “When kids log in, they’ll see a Virtual Backpack for each one of their classes and teachers will connect Google classroom or Canvas or Seesaw or whatever LMS they are using. The Virtual Backpack allows us to run engagement data that we will incorporate into our Hoonuit dashboards. So we’re going to be able to look at how often kids are engaging and how long are they in the platform,” said Price.

These dashboards will provide insight into the engagement rates of students and particularly those who are economically disadvantaged. “We’re putting processes in place for teachers to be contacting those students when that engagement is not there,” said Price. 

The ability to enter LMS data into Hoonuit’s data warehouse opens several doors. Not only will Keller ISD have the ability to leverage correlations with other data sets such as grades and attendance, but they can also measure changes brought on by COVID-19. “If we are forced to go back and forth between distance learning and in-school learning, it will be insightful to see if there are significant changes in engagement levels among our student groups,” said Price.


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