Amy Jackson
Dec 6, 2017

Notes from the Texas ASCD Conference: How Virtual Data Walls Make All the Difference

Recently we had the great honor of attending the Texas ASCD Annual Conference and joining a session hosted by leaders from McKinney Independent School District.  

In their presentation, Geoff Sanderson, McKinney ISD’s Chief Program Evaluation Officer, and principals Deborah Sanchez and Jimmy Bowser shared how their district is changing the way data is used across the district and putting teachers in control of their data.   

As part of a concentrated effort to more accurately track student achievement and needs at critical transition points, McKinney ISD developed a data monitoring matrix. But at the same time, they also realized the need to personalize the process.  As Sanderson put it, they had to find a way to ensure educators weren’t just talking about the framework, but instead, talking about the kids.

This need ultimately drove McKinney ISD to partner with IO Education and implement IO Insights for its dynamic reporting functionality and Virtual Data Wall.

“The Virtual Data Wall really resonated with me, and I’ve found that it has really resonated with a lot of our staff.” -- Geoff Sanderson

Exclusive to IO Education, the Virtual Data Wall is an interactive data analysis and reporting tool that brings data to life by displaying student photos, as opposed to raw numbers and impersonal tabular reports. The solution was designed to empower educators at all levels to leverage data in support of district goals and strategic initiatives.  

As a principal of a high achieving elementary school, Deborah Sanchez shared her story about using the Virtual Data Wall. “It has changed my role, and it has changed the role of the teacher,” she explained. Teachers are empowered to generate reports and internalize their data. Now, in the school’s weekly “Kid Chat” team meetings, teachers pull their own data and collaborate to develop targeted plans.  The Virtual Data Wall has made it possible for teachers to apply a truly data-based problem solving process and identify effective strategies.

In describing the different needs of his middle school, Jimmy Bowser also explained that the Virtual Data Wall has given teachers a new level of access to data and an ability to make meaning of it in a way they never have before.  “As a staff, we had to change the way we interacted with the data, and with each other” he explained.  The Virtual Data Wall has helped them accomplish this by providing immediate access to data and personalizing the analysis process.  Not only has this helped build a more data-driven culture across the school, it has instilled a collective responsibility for student achievement.”

We’re thrilled to learn more about McKinney ISD’s success and are always excited to share stories about how the Virtual Data Wall is helping educators go further with their data.

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Topics: Ed Tech Innovation Data Analytics District/School Leadership Featured