‘Big Data’ Tools and Strategies for Every School: Drive Student Learning by Unlocking the Secrets of Your Data

Scott GenzerYour school  already has “big data.”  You have plenty of surveys, standardized tests, grades, teacher comments, demographics, college placements, ELL and IDEA information and many other streams of data.

What you need are the “big data” strategies that harness that data so that you can make better decisions about curriculum, instruction and other aspects of education.

It is easy to get started.  I’ve helped schools of all sizes capture, process, understand and act on the insights in their data.  Now I’m inviting you to work with me to leverage the valuable and specific knowledge in your data that will unleash your students’ learning potential.

I’ve teamed up with Larry Sterne and Educational Research Newsletter & Webinars to offer virtual group coaching on “big data” strategies. Learn how to effectively use big data and become a better team while you are working on the very real challenges that face your school or district. We will work together via live screen-share so that you can get the most out of your data. Group coaching is for educators across all disciplines and grade levels and will be customized to your specific needs!

How It Works

  • Educators in the group can be teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals or a mix of all.  They can all be in your school or district or you can choose to team up with another school or district–your choice!
  • Your team’s leader will have an introductory 30-minute phone call with Scott to discuss group’s priorities and goals. We also will survey each participant before the coaching program to explore specific needs.
  • The 8-week program features 90-minute live coaching sessions every two weeks. Each session includes a 30-minute presentation by Scott based on the specific needs of your group followed by 60 minutes of group and coach interactions.  (Structure can be changed to suit your needs)
  • During 60 minutes of interaction, participants will be able to share experiences, ask questions and get feedback from Scott and other group members.
  • A private Facebook group will be set up and facilitated by Scott. Participants will be able to connect, share and solve problems together in an organic and ongoing way over the duration of the program. Everyone will automatically receive email notifications of new posts.
  • Each group session will be recorded so that if anyone is unable to attend live they can participate later at a time more convenient for them.
  • Scott will provide the group with resources based on the specific needs and goals. Relevant articles, planning guides and handouts will be provided. Participants will be encouraged to share other resources with the group.
  • Ongoing support from Scott. Participants can email or post questions or comments in the private Facebook group at any time during the session, and he will respond as soon as possible.

Possible topics to be covered  

Coaching will cover these or other topics, depending on the specific goals and needs of your group:

  • What is data mining?
  • How to pose relevant questions (e.g. where is math curriculum weak? where is it strong?) and how to look for patterns in the data
  • Taking an inventory of your data sources
  • Preparing yourself and your data for mining: extraction, transfer, upload. How to get the data in a usable form
  • What software and expertise do you need?
  • Pitfalls and limitations of educational data mining: over-fitting, correlation vs. causation, absolute vs. growth data, data-driven vs. data-informed decisions, cold vs. hot data, the need to triangulate, legal and security concerns
  • Discovering patterns in student data and creating student groupings with mining techniques
  • How to create models that make predictions on student performance
  • Mining unstructured school data (e.g. teacher comments, student portfolios, etc.)
  • Best practices for using data results
  • The future of data mining and predictive analytics in education

About the Speaker:

Scott Genzer is a world-recognized education data analyst and speaker. He is a certified RapidMiner data analyst and a member of the CEDS and Ed-Fi Data Standard workgroup teams. Scott has more than 20 years of K-12 hands-on experience as a former school principal and secondary math teacher, and is a former Senior Examiner for the International Baccalaureate.

Scott received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts degrees from Columbia University and has worked as an independent consultant in education data for public and independent schools in the US and internationally since 2013.