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Best Practices Report: How Data Analytics Informs District Decision-making

Executive Summary

How Seven Districts Turned Data Into Action

CatchOn and Digital Promise joined forces to provide seven participating Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools a quick way to track the value of technology investments and monitor digital engagement using data.

This executive summary highlights insights gleaned from an aggregated data analysis as well as conversations facilitated with the participating districts’ leadership teams throughout the course of the pilot.

Data Review and Analysis

Project Tomorrow®, a national education nonprofit organization, was contracted by CatchOn to do an external analysis and evaluation of the data collected through this special pilot program with the participating school districts. The methodology for the analysis included reviewing feedback collected from leaders in the seven study districts through an online survey along with a secondary data analysis of the usage and engagement data provided through the CatchOn dashboard.

Survey Findings

The pilot’s districts leaders’ feedback from the participating districts indicates that CatchOn’s data can help district leaders assess how well their licensed digital products help them achieve their missions:

  • 100% of the leaders report that reviewing their CatchOn data helps them identify gaps in student engagement that can indicate inequity.

  • 100% of the leaders say that their CatchOn data is valuable for informing their ROI analysis on technology investments.

  • 100% of the leaders believe that their CatchOn data is valuable for supporting their district’s online learning initiatives.
Digital Promise Survey Findings
In the survey, the pilot’s district leaders identified the following strategic and operational benefits of using CatchOn to support online learning initiatives:
Strategic Benefits
Operational Benefits

CatchOn provides visibility into usage to inform future decisions.

CatchOn supports our messaging efforts to our community about product choices.

CatchOn provides visibility into usage to evaluate past decisions especially pertaining to ROI considerations.

CatchOn informs our utilization analytics with access to regular and timely data.

CatchOn provides a meaningful way for us to focus on decisions on digital products to align with our district mission.

CatchOn helps us ensure that we are effectively monitoring product usage and that we follow all requirements.

District Insights and Applications

In addition to the insights gleaned from Project Tomorrow’s aggregated data findings, the participating districts shared how they used CatchOn’s data to inform decision-making and achieve EdTech efficacy. Below is a snapshot of the districts’ insights and applications:

INFORMING LICENSING AND BUDGET DECISIONS

Jeff Faust, Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Chesapeake City Public Schools, Virginia

“We want to move away from the practice of continuing to buy certain programs or tools because they have a strong legacy in education. Instead, we are going to be asking more critical questions around our renewals and licensing, such as, ‘What’s the adoption like? What’s the effectiveness of the product? Is it helping our students and teachers achieve their goals?’ And those are tough questions to answer if you only have subjective and circumstantial information. CatchOn provides us objective data we can use to inform and answer these questions.”

TRACKING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT PATTERNS

Jerry Snow, Assistant Superintendent, Piedmont City School District, Alabama

“We had 8,000 total engagements in January alone, and then it went up a little in February. We had a week off in March, and we saw the numbers dip a little, which is understandable. It’s very helpful to get this big picture view of the trends and see what is
happening.”

TRACKING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Homer Coffman, Chief Technology Officer, Baldwin County Public Schools, Alabama

“For the first time, I could actually see our one-to-one working the way it is designed to work. Instead of the devices solely being used for assessments and testing, students and staff were using their EdTech tools and devices for educational and curriculum purposes. We had 27,000 kids online, and I was able to see how active and engaged they were through CatchOn.”

IDENTIFYING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT BEST PRACTICES

Brian Young, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Morris School District, New Jersey

“From a curricular lens, we are making decisions based on need and support both for teachers and students. For us, it’s not just a monetary investment in the platform itself. With Gizmos, for example, we hosted and paid for several professional development sessions. Looking at the usage data reaffirms that we are making effective decisions, and it shows me how valuable our teachers find that particular program for online science, investigation, and inquiry.”

IDENTIFYING THE PAID TOOLS USED BY STUDENTS IN SPECIFIC COURSES

Kristi Peters, EdTech & Training Coordinator, Lincoln Public Schools, Nebraska

“As we increase literacy around how we can merge these data stories we are seeing, we will get a lot of growth across the entire curriculum department. I’m so happy to see the very specific questions our curriculum team has been asking regarding the analytics, which I think has helped us uncover what they are after. It is not surprising that the monetary piece is what initially draws people to data analytics, but once you dive into the data, there are a lot of components and
possibilities that make you want to better understand the tech tool story that aligns with a specific course or an age group of students. I think we will continue to mature in how we use CatchOn.”

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