What eduCLIMBER is getting right about student data use
The Educational Technology market is one of the fastest growing in the world. Investors are scrambling to get a piece of what is an exploding industry and it’s both a boon and pitfall for actual educators and students.
The funding is there but where most of these ed-tech companies are failing is in the function. Sure, a lot of these database and school operations systems can do some cutting-edge things but if there’s one thing I’ve learned being an educator it’s this: Teachers appreciate technology that gives them more time to teach. All of the other cool functions of education software are superfluous.
That reality of ed-tech development is what intrigued me so much about the back story of eduCLIMBER – an education database system that was created by a school employee and her systems engineer husband. Essentially Jaime Harris, a school psychologist at a small school district in Southern Wisconsin, started telling her husband anecdotally what type of a data system would help her to help more students. Matt Harris took those suggestions seriously, and built her a basic data source that centralized Jaime’s system of spreadsheets. She started using it, and so did some of the other school employees in her district. Soon, neighboring districts were asking for it too.
That path all started back in April of 2014. Today, eduCLIMBER is used by nearly 100 school districts and employs five people in addition to Matt. Jaime still works as a school psychologist and advises on ways to tweak eduCLIMBER to better fit the needs of educators. The organic, word-of-mouth nature of this ed-tech system speaks to another truth I’ve learned as an educator: Teachers will share products that make their lives a little easier.
So what exactly IS eduCLIMBER and what can it do for its users?
In a nutshell, eduCLIMBER automates data activity and organizes it in ways that educators, administrators and district-level employees can actually use.
Districts that implement eduCLIMBER have access to:
Data warehouse. Matt Harris says he built eduCLIMBER to handle just about ANY format thrown at it so that schools do not need to re-build their data to make it adaptable. Educators spend less time collecting and organizing their data, and more time analyzing it. The Data Wall feature color-codes and organizes a lot of the information educators are currently doing longer ways – with colored pencils, magnets, hand-written notes and more. The eduCLIMBER data feature is a time saving efficiency that Matt says resonates most with users.
Users can create data walls for instructional groups, grade levels, building levels, intervention groups, or any other group of students that you have created. The Data Walls are live and allow for drilling down into each assessment window.
Problem solving. The assessment data tools of eduCLIMBER are designed so educators can make adjustments during the learning process, and not simply analyze data at the end. The Response to Intervention, or RtI, framework of the software is designed to help students actually improve and not just point out areas of weakness.
PBIS. The program includes a fully customizable Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports suite to help students improve – and educators to track that improvement.
Growth monitoring. Goals can be set within eduCLIMBER and then benchmarked along the way. This includes both academic and behavioral tracking.
SLO creation. Realistic achievements can be created from District, Grade Level, Class Level and the Data Wall – along with percentile bands or selected student groups or individuals. This level of flexibility is important as it truly speaks to the wide-ranging versatility of the SLO Module allowing for a wide variety of student groupings.
Support and training. Users of eduCLIMBER report 100 percent satisfaction with the support team. It’s important to Matt and his staff that everyone subscribed to eduCLIMBER knows how to actually use it -and that’s reflected in the helpfulness and professional opportunities provided by the company for educators.
“It tracks what you are planning to do, and allows districts to set goals and track them,” Jaime Harris said. “My heart is with students and to support teachers. EduCLIMBER helps free up educators from data analysis tasks and have more time to teach.”
What does eduCLIMBER look like?
Since some readers appreciate a visualization of what all this data means in color, take a look at a few screenshots and descriptions provided by eduCLIMBER:
This is a screen shot of a Grade Level search for math. Each of the data set in this search represent an assessment in math for 3rd grade. You can drill down into each of these data sets to look at individual student data all the way down to the domain level. SLO’s can be created and managed from the Grade Level Tab. Each of these can be printed off or pinned onto your dash board for “live” use.
This is a screenshot of an individual student record. This is the location of all the data available for this student, both academic and behavioral. This record also lets you know if this child has been tagged for any instructional groups, if she is in any interventions, if she has any forms from her teachers, and all current and historical assessment data for her.
This is a screenshot of an Academic Intervention Report. This report gives you the Rate of Improvement for all the interventions that district has in place by School, Grade, Tier, Strategy, Interventionist, and Gender. The report is “live” which allows you to drill down to get more detailed information on the intervention to help determine your strategy moving forward.
What customers are saying about eduCLIMBER
John Humphries, Director of Student Services for the Dodgeville, Wisconsin School District has this to say about eduCLIMBER:
“We’ve used eduCLIMBER for about 1.5 years. The main benefits are ease of use for teachers and pupil services staff, and responsiveness of the eduCLIMBER team. Because they’re so closely tied to daily use of the system in schools, they’ve been able to create a system that just makes sense for our teams.
We’re focused on data-based decision-making and using a problem-solving process with grade-level teams. EduCLIMBER makes that process smooth and efficient. It’s helped us make significant gains in student outcomes.”
Ashley Bath, District Response to Intervention Coordinator in the Appleton Area School District, says:
“EduCLIMBER brings all of our district and state assessments and behavioral data into one place. With the emphasis on making data based decisions, it was easy for schools and staff to buy into its use because the data is automatically available for every professional educator in our district.
Now instead of using their collaboration time searching for searching or inputting the data, the focus within our buildings and professional learning communities has really shifted to analyzing the data and improving our strategies and outcomes for students.”