December 23, 2009 § 2 Comments

DFSI? Simply,

Dashboards for School Improvement is a new service which provides tailored assessment intelligence capabilities to schools, through the construction and implementation of bespoke dashboard solutions. These interactive dashboards can be linked to live assessment data, providing up to the minute information about student performance. Dashboards can help schools to focus on key metrics, such as examination performance or CVA, and will enable them to present this information to teachers, parents and students in a variety of attractive and interactive ways.

So now you know. It is the final week and we are not winding down (in fact it took me a whole week before I had time to post this review). DSFI have been developing a product to display customised whole school KPI (Key Performance Indicators) in dashboard form. Dashboard and KPI are common parleance for industry and may well become so for schools, but as yet fairly new to schools.

We discussed the product at length at the SSAT09 conference; customisation, the tie into active directory, parental reporting, ‘what-if’ analyses, security, filtering of displays, remote access and staff training – and possibly a few more. With confidence in both the product and the team behind it, I was keen to showcase this product with our Leadership team, governors and Sims personnel. Arranging an onsite presentation was simple enough but you can review the product for yourself at the demonstration website (Login: dfsi and Password: dfsi).

At this meeting our Sims manager was suitably impressed and our governor endorsed this type of KPI tracking as common place within industry. Overall, a positive response to what I see as a potent tool for data driven education. I am very pleased to say that the product was well received, and given the time, I will write a rational for investing in this product that has both a startup and annual fee. We hope to work closely in the development and application of dashboards within school with DSFI and aim to offer a showcase event in 2010. I hope to post again later in the year following the introduction of the dashboard product.

Perhaps I have not given dashboards sufficient praise, so again, try it out fully for yourself on the demonstration website (Login: dfsi and Password: dfsi). Remember, the dashboard is fully customisable and built for schools and your schools agenda.



November 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

Not all data is school leaves you deflated. Stats guru Hans Rosling is inspiring and he is one of many that drew my attention to that fact that Google, is making 17 of the World Bank’s World Development Indicators available to search queries.

From there I found the World Bank DataVisualizer, for those of you familiar with Hans’ presentations, it has the same look and feel – as the tool mashes the data. An amazing tool for Geographers and teachers sharing social statistics.


But there is still more, another link, this time for economists, isimulate.worldbank. Now this is outside my comfort zone but I would be happy to hear your views.


Fischer Family Trust

October 20, 2009 § Leave a comment

Sitting in on CLT, its clear I need to spend some time (not sure when) reading and processing our FFT data can be used in schools. I know it will feature in my assessment of the L4L project and whether students are reaching their full potential?

Any recommended reading would be greatly appreciated.

Data Gathering

July 11, 2008 § 1 Comment

Next year we have to work with large data sets. As a department we need to gather these large data sets but I am confident that these could be found within school subjects. Even better it could be about the students themselves. Surely Science, PE or Humanities, even Maths, gather data about the students? After watching our new ICT teacher bring several tape measures to his interview lesson to measure the students physical height, weight, foot and hand length, head circumference, the engaging power of ‘real’ data is not an opportunity we can afford to miss.

So how to collect LARGE school data sets and what data to collect. I know my good friend Tom Barrett would advise a Google Spreadsheet used as a form. Indeed I have already set up a Google form for Art for feedback and for collecting information on DVDs. Then there is SurveyMonkey, kwiksurveys looks promising. Ideas anyone on how to, and what to gather?

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