I read most of this study before writing this post. I didn’t finish reading because I had an idea and am thus babbling about it in an attempt to solidify it.

Anyone who has read a little bit about blended learning knows that it’s better than strictly forward facing or strictly online learning. There’s proof, I talked about it in my last post. The study I read was sponsored by Google who invested in/gave a grant to Khan Academy, so it’s no surprise that the blended learning model used Chromebooks and Khan Academy and that the results are mostly positive. But if you look past the fact that the paper is inherently bias, there are some good points about how blended learning leads to more individual learning and more precise facilitator support. This study found that the teacher’s role remains of utmost important, despite the fact that that role has changed quite dramatically with the proliferation of technology in the classroom.

Even for the educators working in the “informal” learning space, there’s likely a need for educators to assess and record learning. My current quandary is whether or not something like a teacher dashboard would be useful in these informal learning contexts. Jess Klein did this cool sketch of what the learners dashboard on Webmaker + might look like.

I wonder if a slightly different dashboard that allowed an educator to pull in data from each learner and see that data displayed as a kind of “classroom” gauge would be useful. If the student data was easily accessible for the educator, would it help him or her target where students are having problems and tailor her guidance? I think it would.

There are obvious privacy concerns, but I think that could be overcome by allowing learners/parents to opt in to allowing the educator access to the data each learner has.

What if an educator could create curriculum using a variety of online content and portals and there were a software that collected the learner data in a single dashboard? What if an educator could view the badges learners earned, the challenges they’d completed on P2PU, their learning path through Khan Academy, their paths through Webmaker content, their activities on Codecademy, their process through Webmaking – all in a single display that allowed the educator to zero in on individual learners and have continuous insight into who is stuck where? What if an educator could use this dashboard to tell others about activities that work really well or downright suck?

It’s just a random idea, and to be honest, I don’t know what the need is for such a thing, particularly for “informal” educators. Would love to hear what you all think.

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