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How data visualisation can help to improve student learning experiences

Tech and Innovation

Posted on February 20, 2017

4 min read

Data visualisation has the potential to change the way that students and teachers measure learning outcomes writes Susi Steigler-Peters, Global Education Executive at Telstra.

Technology has a growing importance in how our kids learn. From tablets to teaching code, schools across the country have adopted tech to ensure that today’s students – and tomorrow’s leaders – are equipped with digital literacy skills. While technology drives change, the way that teachers and parents monitor student performance hasn’t. There are a number of tried and tested touchpoints – parent teacher interviews, report cards, standardised tests like NAPLAN. But how do teachers and parents monitor day-to-day learning in a typical classroom of 30? We believe that teachers can harness technology as a tool to help transform learning to improve student performance and create personalised learning paths for everyone.

Imagine what it could mean for you and your child if they could see at a glance how they had been progressing at school over the course of a term, or even over a week, or a single day. No more waiting nervously for the report card or NAPLAN results, rather a living real time dashoard on all that your child has been learning and experiencing every day.

By harnessing data to provide real-time insights into a student’s progress, teachers and parents have a new opportunity to help protect that student from falling behind, and in fact, help to propel them forward. The power of applying data visualisation technology to the learning experience presents immense opportunities for our children and our education system.

Telstra has been trailing a learning analytics dashboard, in cooperation with an advisory board of educators that could play a role in delivering real-time data visualisation of learning performance levels for education systems around the country. We’re already working with early adopters – the education leaders and teachers who are passionate about technology for learning – to pilot new ways to help empower teachers to get a real-time view on student performance.

I believe dashboards such as this could have the potential to transform the way we educate, and advance the way our students learn by empowering them to take charge of their academic destiny.

If we imagine 15 years or so from now, schools, TAFEs and universities – not only in this country, but around the world – will not exist in the way we know them. Schools will be transformed into learning hubs, where students will enroll in learning, but not in a particular school.

For example, you might have a 15-year-old who is doing six subjects. Instead of going to school, she will visit a range of learning hubs within a district at any given time. And if that 15-year-old happens to live with a family that’s highly mobile due to the parents’ work, it doesn’t matter which hub he or she attends because through the personalised learning, cloud-based environment he or she can always be connected.

These developments place a good deal more of the responsibility for learning in the hands of the learner, but will also result in more sophisticated input being required from other stakeholders. Teachers will be increasingly seen as learning architects who mentor students as together they co-create new knowledge.

This is an incredible opportunity for Australia’s education system, and if seized we could become a world leader in learning analytics and data visualisation, acting as an example to educational institutions everywhere.

We owe it to our students to deliver this innovation as soon as we possibly can, to equip our students with the tools they need for lifelong success in learning. For the young people of Australia, it’s an opportunity too good to miss.

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Tech and Innovation

Posted on September 4, 2014

2 min read

Yesterday was one of my most proud at Telstra. In full collaboration with the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta we developed the connected classroom as part of  “The Delany Connective”. The Delany Connective aims to transform learning and teaching at Delany College, Granville. It focuses on 21st century learning experiences that connect students, teachers and the community.

Just six months in, the transformation has been extraordinary. Students are more engaged – they want to be there! In fact, they often don’t want to leave the classroom at recess or lunch because the way they are learning is so engaging, exciting and relevant.

So how was all this achieved in six short months? Teachers abandoned paper-based, rote learning and teacher-led instruction in favour of a new pedagogical model that focuses on the 4Cs – creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. (more…)

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