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Schools need to address data gap says Advanced Learning

MIS software provider says schools are missing out on learning opportunities without full insight into data

Schools have a duty to address gaps in data and embrace cloud-based systems to benefit from education technology over the next 10 years, a report from Advanced Learning has suggested.

The whitepaper from the software provider was put together in association with education expert Stephen Heppell.

In 2014, the Education Technology Action Group (ETAG) was formed by the government to advise schools about how digital technologies could be used in schools. The group made a set of recommendations for schools, with one being that stronger competition in the management information systems (MIS) market was required to benefit schools and learners.

Advanced Learning’s whitepaper suggests schools with outdated MIS cannot gain an understanding of what is driving their teaching and learning.

According to the paper, intuitive reporting analytics enable schools to cross-examine large volumes of data from multiple sources to find areas of concern and identify ways to make improvements.

“Schools are often reluctant to change their existing MIS but need to realise education is entering a decade of remarkable opportunity,” said Heppell.

“To avoid being left behind, schools must move away from archaic systems and address major shortfalls in the quality and reliability of their data to enable pupils to realise their full potential.

“Only by making better use of the information they already have, whilst finding ways to harness powerful and untapped data from emerging technologies, will they be able to adopt more effective teaching strategies,” he said.

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Greg Ford, managing director of Advanced Learning, said: “Missing data can make it hard to track or acknowledge a school’s effectiveness, which can impact funding. Modern MIS systems solve the problem by providing unparalleled intelligence so schools no longer have to rely on incomplete information.

“Advanced’s Modern cloud technology ensures learner data can be collected from a variety of different sources, where teachers are able to view and understand learners as individuals.”

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As a parent of three children, one in college and two in high school, I can see just in the online enrollment process how many pieces of data have to be entered in every year. Why do the schools not maintain this basic set of data? If they cannot effectively maintain or make available the most basic details about my kids, it makes me wonder what of their academic work and analysis there is, if any.