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Teachers, There’s a Better Way.

Posted by

Categories: Ideas, Standards

Posted 19 July 2012


I’ve been spending a lot of time with teachers and K-12 lately. One of the main things that I’ve heard in using technology in the classroom or online is that scaling is hard. When kids get moving with an app or site, they accelerate like the roadrunner at the most wildly opportune time to set up the coyote to be smashed by the anvil.

When a teacher has multiple apps being used at once with a group, they begin feeling like the coyote. Using each app’s own backend reporting to get an overall view of the students activities over a period of time is not just hard, it’s painful. Think of all of those .csv exports with fields that don’t match in the slightest.

Let’s go to the ideal present (if there were no constraints and everything you had right now worked exactly as you dreamed it should). If all of these apps made xAPI statements, all of that data could come to one place. It could show what the group is doing across tools. It could show what an individual has done. Teachers could visualize the big picture of a student’s experiences in the class. No more logging in to multiple systems, no more dragging columns around, and forget exports.
What’s your ideal present?
  • alishahrazad

    Great post, so true Megan. I attended an edtech meetup in Seattle just over a month ago and this was the sentiment! Teachers want the freedom to choose the tools, but also want a holistic understanding of the student experience.

    The tough question is, how do we get edtech tool makers and designers to hop on the xAPI train?

  • Meganbowe

    A lot of talking to the buyers and makers, helping them understand that interoperability is much more possible than it used to be and that this should be a consideration in purchasing a tool and partnering. And probably some irresistible carrots for the edtech tools πŸ™‚ Once some schools, companies, and programs have a good way to use xAPI statements (reporting and the like) there will be much more demand for tools that can play.

  • Sounds similar to what I’ve seen from the SLC ( Any chance on having the TinCan API feed into that? It would really help with gaining traction if everyone was playing together!

  • Meganbowe

    I admire SLC and would love to make sure these two can work together. It’s really a matter of starting the conversation with them. If you have suggestions, I’m open to hearing them πŸ™‚

  • We are trying to piggyback some work on the SLC. Will let you know if we have success. Keep up the good work. By the way, your blog post sums up our experiences exactly!

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