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  • Heather Clayton Staker

18. Data-Driven Learning with guest Michael Norton

Updated: Mar 9

Use this tool to help your students read and respond to their own data. Click here for the printable Progress Power Tracker. Scroll down for commentary about why and how to use it.

The time will come soon when you'll care more about the student dashboard than the teacher dashboard. Students are learning to drive their own learning. Students need to know how to view and analyze their own data without relying on the teacher.


In last week's Ready to Blend Podcast, Episode 18: Data-Driven Learning with Michael Norton, we talk about this prediction.


In short, we're moving from the days of "data-driven instruction" to "data-driven learning." When students are granted the agency and skills to act on their own data, they're better able to control their academic results in the short-term, plus they develop key skills that they'll need as adults in this data-soaked world. As they age, they need to know how to find the right data among the noise, analyze it for its meaning, and then do the next right thing based on their analysis.



Teachers and school leaders, you can start by checking that any software you purchase is primed for easy data access for your students. It should be optimized for their viewing. Invite a student panel to review the data dashboards of different software platforms. They can choose the software based on which one gives them the tools and functionality they need in a clear, direct, intuitive way, with plenty of options for what they can do next to improve their data.


Then, equip your learners to analyze their own data. You can download the Progress Power Tracker above, as a start. Invite your learners to graph their goals for the week in a blue pen. Then, day by day, they can use a red pen to graph actual results. At the bottom of the sheet, they can analyze their goals compared to their actual results and reflect on how to narrow that gap. You can role play with yourself as the student a few times to show your students how it's done.


Be sure to give your students both the TOOLS and the TIME they need to enable them to change their results. It's no help to see one's data if there's no way to change it. For example, you could provide a range of activities and flex minutes when they can take actions on their own accord to improve their results. They will be gratified as they see that they have the personal power to effectuate change in their own lives.