The Evolving Use of Education Data: Digital Learning

Posted by Courtney StevensO

June 25, 2020

“The Evolving Use of Education Data” series will illustrate how Hoonuit can help districts and educators identify and help solve for challenges created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic schools were forced to abruptly close, and immediately transition to at-home digital learning. This new reality has brought to light inequities in education technology, the need for digital learning analytics, and more. Hoonuit is dedicated to helping educators and districts address the upcoming challenges with actionable insights about the impact of current events on student success, and how to best meet their current needs.  

Learning Management Systems 

The adoption and usage of Learning Management Systems (LMS) and other digital tools increased exponentially throughout March and continued through the end of the school year as districts switched to distance learning. These systems allow students to post assignments, maintain message boards, and upload additional class content. Students log in to follow an online schedule of events, upload their completed assignments, and stay organized.

Some of the most common Learning Management Systems are Canvas, Google Classroom, Moodle, Edmodo, and Schoology and Quizlet. Hoonuit ingests student usage and engagement reports that you can analyze alongside other data sets like assessment and demographics. While many K-12 schools used (LMS) in some capacity, the total shift to remote learning introduced new challenges, and revealed technology gaps that educators will need to address in the coming school year. 

The Digital Divide 

Using learning management systems begins with students being able to access those systems. Unfortunately, according to The Hechinger Report, a vast amount of remote learning equipment still hasn’t reached many American students. This digital divide is widening the learning gap every day. 

Only 24 percent of public school teachers reported that all of their students had access to a computer or tablet to use for school work, according to a nationally representative survey of 600 public school teachers conducted in early May by Educators for Excellence (E4E). Children from low-income homes were also three times more likely to lack consistent access to a device. In addition, studies have shown that while bigger and more affluent districts are able to secure larger orders of computers and tablets, smaller and more rural districts can’t find enough for their students. 

To meet the needs of their students, and address concerns about access to Wi-Fi and equipment, and underlying issues behind attendance, teachers and schools need to know which students are accessing their LMS, and how they are engaging with it. Hoonuit can help districts and educators solve for these needs with digital learning analytics.

Moving Forward with Digital Learning Analytics 

Districts have a short term need to understand student participation in remote learning during these school closures as well as measure the impact of COVID-19 and digital learning on student success. At Hoonuit, we immediately put our comprehensive capabilities to the test to help districts surface this data. 

Now, as districts plan for upcoming school year, we are confident that blended learning in some capacity is the new normal for the foreseeable future and the need for digital learning analytics will be essential. Districts will now have a permanent need for a clear picture of:

1) Which students have access to learning in a remote environment 

2) Which students are actively engaging in digital learning 

3) The direct, actionable relationships between student success and engaging in digital learning tools

Hoonuit has the most robust data model in education. Our solution can bring in all the necessary data points educators need to gain a holistic picture of where a child is at and help create solutions to meet their new education reality. 

Identify, Engage & Manage Outcomes 

COVID-19 may have transformed teaching and learning overnight, but we’re here to help empower educators with the tools they need to understand and improve student outcomes. 

Learning Access: Hoonuit solutions and easy-to-use dashboards can help education leaders understand what percentage of their student population are being served, and specifically identify those students with data by subgroup.  

Learning Engagement: How are student interacting with content? How many sessions or courses have they completed? It’s important to see how the curriculum is being interacted with to better plan for interventions and solutions. 

Outcomes Correlation: Digital learning analytics give educators the tools to easily correlate digital learning engagement data with other student data to understand the impact, anticipate the outcome and use insights to take action and address needs.

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, new ways of working are needed. The role of data-driven education both during the response to COVID-19, and upcoming blended learning will be critical. Hoonuit can provide the education technology insights necessary create success. We’re ready for what comes next, and we want to help make the upcoming year as informative, and actionable as possible. 

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