Monitoring progress, performance and behaviour

Iain Bell

Iain Bell is a highly experienced, successful entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ experience who has created and sold successful businesses over a number of years. After being commissioned directly by a number of schools to build useful tools for their teachers to use, Iain created Minted Box Education to continue his work in this exciting sector. He is now managing director of its flagship product, online classroom seating planner MINTclass.

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Image credit: Pixabay // Originally published on 11th April 2017. Image credit: Pixabay // Originally published on 11th April 2017.

Increasingly, we are seeing schools turn to technological methods of teaching, communicating, reporting, monitoring students’ progress and behaviour and, well, pretty much every other aspect of school life too. With students being permitted to use personal devices for educational purposes in many schools, and homework and lesson tasks being set online, technology has become an integral part of the way teachers teach and students learn. Ask a 21st Century student to conduct their homework using only an encyclopaedia, no doubt they’ll look at you confused and aghast.

It is my prediction that technology will be increasingly used by schools to monitor students’ progress, performance and behaviour, taking advantage of the power of technology to quickly analyse data, spot trends and flag anomalies – which, when done manually by teachers with hundreds of students, can be a nigh on impossible task.

Many companies have devised clever ways of reducing the administrative “I anticipate that more schools will be looking to digitise the way they manage their students.” burden weighing heavily on teachers’ shoulders by digitally monitoring students’ academic, social and interpersonal performance. As the benefits of this method of analysing progress and behaviour are being realised, I anticipate that more and more schools will be looking to update and digitise the way they report on and manage their students. The ability provided by technology to maintain comprehensive records on students’ grades, any special educational needs, areas of strength and improvement, behavioural issues and so on means that, if a student acts out of character or if their performance takes a dip, this can be swiftly spotted and acted upon.

For instance, a device that monitors students’ behaviour and academic performance in each class, alongside other factors such as where they’re sat in the classroom, who they’re working with, how long it’s been since they last had a break and so on, will be able to automatically spot trends. As such, teachers can easily identify which factors may be inhibiting a student’s performance, such as the fact that they’re positioned at the back of the class, next to someone they don’t get along with, or they haven’t had a break for three hours. By making it easier for these trends to be spotted, teachers are able to react more quickly and spend more time resolving any issues which are preventing students from making the most of their education.

It is my view that, with edgy technology so proliferate, schools will now start to look beyond the flashy gimmicks and quirky features, and instead focus their attention on digital resources that reduce the heavy workloads that teachers are facing and help them to effectively and efficiently monitor student progress and performance. The conversations I have with schools suggest that, with limited budgets, they aren’t interested in the latest high-tech fad; they want digital solutions to everyday concerns and ones which make it easier for them to enhance the education of the children in their care, so they can help all of them to reach their full potential. And to me, that makes perfect sense.

Do you use technology to monitor these aspects of learning? Let us know below.

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