Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 64

alone isn't the devil. Only our can demonize it.

Data has become a "four-letter word;" one that is best left unspoken in many circles, and only used when you are entirely alone or extremely angry (I picture myself stubbing my toe and screaming "DATA." :) ).

Unfortunately, data itself doesn't deserve this poor treatment.  Rather, our interpretation and use of it is what has become problematic.  We all understand that data has implications for education.  What we all don't understand is that those implications are beneficial.

Unless we turn them into negatives.

See, decision-making, about anything at all, really, requires data.  Why did you order that venti mocha frappuccino? Because some bit of data (either collected by you or someone else) led you to make that choice.  Why are you reading this blog post?  Because some piece of data encouraged you to do so.

So, in reality, we can't decide without data.  We need it.  It's that simple.

But, we can misuse data and/or apply it to situations where it shouldn't be applied.  But it isn't data that is at fault or simply the fact that the data exists.

While I understand the concern about data being collected, I think this anger and frustration misses the mark as well.  If we were that concerned about data collection, we wouldn't have cell phones, surf the web, or

-GASP- use social media.

Guess what?  In all of those cases, intense amounts of data are collected, but it is how that data is "read" and utilized that presents the problem.

So before you head on the data warpath, consider where your frustration lies.  Let's not battle the existence or collection of data.  Instead, let's teach others how to use it effectively; to truly benefit the leading and learning that happens within our schools.

Decide with data.

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