For module two I decided to focus on Google because I work in a Google district, though as I began to research, I ended going a bit off the Google track towards the end of my research. I started with two ISTE standards:
4.5 c “Evaluate PD Impact: Evaluate the impact of professional learning and continually make improvements to meet the schoolwide vision for using technology for high-impact teaching and learning” (ISTE, n.d.).
4.6 a “Facilitate Data Collection and Analysis: Assist educators and leaders in securely collecting and analyzing student data” (ISTE, n.d.).
I thought that these standards somewhat went hand in hand as they both had to do with analyzing and evaluating data, even though the first one is about evaluating data regarding professional development and the second one is about student data.
I worked with ChatGPT to refine my questions, and this is the final version: In the context of a school district utilizing Google’s suite of educational tools, what are the most effective methods and tools for evaluating the impact of professional development programs on educators and teaching practices? Considering the need for data security and privacy, what are the recommended Google tools or practices for collecting and analyzing student data effectively within a school district?
I started by researching whether or not it was common practice to evaluate the impact of professional development. I found an article by Darling-Hammond et al. (2017) which was a literature of 35 previous studies on professional development articles. Based on their review of the literature the authors found that few states have systems created systems for tracking the outcomes of professional development, which also means that there is in turn, no tracking of the impact of PD in these states (Darling-Hammond et al., 2017). I found this to be somewhat disheartening because those of us who do put together professional development opportunities may never know the outcomes of their hard work if it is not tracked.
As I started to research this from the angle of someone who is in the process of becoming a Google certified coach, which makes sense in a Google district, I discovered that Google has specific training in place for their potential coaches on collecting professional develop pre- and post- coaching data. The Google For Education coaching page also discusses how to measure the impact the coaching has on the students as well (GoogleForEducation, 2020, June 18). Google for Education suggests doing a short-term and a long-term progress survey, as well as onboarding and exit surveys. What I like about this is that it would provide tangible data that an EdTech Coach could share with administrators about the direct effect that their coaching is having in the classroom and on student performance.
The second part of my question took me in a different direction than I anticipated. I ended up going down the rabbit hole of data security rather than Google apps. When looking at what Google Apps are good for collecting and analyzing student data, I realized that I would probably suggest to my teachers that they should use Google Forms, Classroom, Sheets, etc. These are all basic built-in apps and didn’t really require much additional research from me. However, data security was of significantly more interest and importance in the light of the ever-increasing number of educational applications that seem to be popping up every day.
I found two articles on data security that were of extreme interest. The first was provided to me by a classmate and is by Torchia (2022, Feb. 22). Torchia’s article gives an overview of 5 steps that K-12 schools systems can follow for stronger data security. This includes providing professional development to administrators on the importance of data security. Implementing districtwide policies and giving resources so that they can be enforced. Identifying where and how student data is stored, both on the cloud and on campus servers, then determine who has access to it. Identifying your districts systematic vulnerabilities, and finally, making a plan for data privacy remediation and protection moving forward (Torchia, 2022, Feb. 22). These steps are a great place to start for a district that has not previously considered student data privacy.
The second article I found really picked up where this one left off and focused on websites and applications. As a teacher I know that we use many websites and apps to supplement education and collect student data. I’m just not sure how often most teachers think about student data privacy when signing up for the newest, latest, and greatest educational website. This is where an EdTech Coach can come in and help a district set up a system for approving new online learning tools. Thompson (2023, March 15) suggests following these steps: Identify one person as team leader – when you first start talking about student data privacy and the compliance laws surrounding the topic. Develop a plan and strategy for communicating within the district and the community. Identify the websites and applications that are currently being used within the district. Research FERPA, COPPA and any other laws and regulations that apply to student data privacy. Review the applications and websites for compliance. Start with 10-20 so you don’t get overwhelmed. Create a district approved list of apps and share it with teachers (Thompson, 2023, March 15). I would add a 7th step – create a process for teachers to apply to add more websites and apps and they are constantly being developed. This way teachers don’t feel like they are being put into a box.
Tracking the impact of professional development is essential for an EdTech coach, otherwise, we would not know if what we are doing is working. I would also say that it is equally important for teachers to have effective systems in place for tracking student data. Just as important is thinking about the security of student data and how we are handling student data privacy. I now have some things to take back to my district, especially concerning online learning apps.
Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M., Gardner, M., & Espinoza, D. (2017). Effective Teacher Development. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED606743.pdf
GoogleForEducation. (2020, June 18). Measuring coaching impact. Google coach training. Retrieved February 3, 2024 from https://skillshop.exceedlms.com/student/path/37078/activity/52791#/page/65607f109b0e2c761521bc33
ISTE. (n.d.). ISTE Standards: Coaches. International Society for Technology in Education. https://www.iste.org/standards/iste-standards-for-coaches
OpenAI. (2024a). ChatGPT. (February 10, 2024 Version)[DALL-E model]. https://chat.openai.com/g/g-pmuQfob8d-image-generator
OpenAI. (2024b). ChatGPT. (February 10, 2024 Version)[DALL-E model]. https://chat.openai.com/g/g-pmuQfob8d-image-generator
Thompson, R. (2023, March 15). 6 Steps to protect student data privacy. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/protecting-student-data-privacy/
Torchia, R. (2022, Feb. 22). The checklist: 5 Steps to secure student data. EdTech Magazine. https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2022/02/checklist-5-steps-secure-student-data