Special Reports

Little Data And Its Impact In Education


While there's a lot of talk surrounding the impact and significance of big data in almost all types of industry, one innovative school district in Phoenix, Arizona is using little data to redefine education in many ways.

Little data, as opposed to big data, is more personal because it tells about the personal habits and behavior of each individual, whereas big data is used by companies and businesses to analyze people.

For example, big data will tell a company what kind of book a person will read. Little data, on the other hand, tells more about the habit of a person, such as how many pages does he read or when does he read most often - in the morning, evening, or afternoon? Using such specific data, educators can use this to find out exactly what the strengths and weaknesses of their students are. As a result, they will be able to provide a more personalized curriculum for each student.

This is what the Dysart school district hopes to do with the students in that district whether they are in a traditional classroom or a high-tech classroom. At the moment, they have already created their own three-pronged system called the iPLAN after observing the data collection and management of various schools.

With the iPLAN, teachers and administrators are able to keep track of students' state test results allowing them to determine areas of weaknesses and strengthening them.

Aside from the overview, iPLAN also includes various resources to help teachers plan the curriculum on a long-term basis as well as teacher training. However, this is all big data. So where does little data come in? It comes with teachers working together and brainstorm which data method collection works best for the grade level and subjects they teach in.

It's amazing how teachers come up with very creative methods even with the absence of technology. For example, Marley Park Elementary School teachers ask their students to report their scores to the teachers and then make a graph of it in their notebooks. Through this, the teachers can track down their students' performance and be able to offer individualized instruction to their students based on their needs.

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