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Teachers have always been aware that they must assess and review, gathering what evidence they could, through assessments, pop-quiz, previous years’ experience and even gut-feel. However, these methods can prove to be incredibly stressful, costly and time-consuming to undertake, and will only provide a snapshot of performance on a particular day at a particular time. Furthermore, the results can be hard to decipher, and may leave teachers with nothing more than a broad overview of their class’ performance in a particular subject.

Consequently, ‘data-driven teaching’ can appear an imposing and time-consuming prospect, many teachers would say that there is just not enough time in the day to constantly monitor individual student’s progress in an efficient and stress-free manner that actually provides worthwhile benefit for the student.

Fortunately the advent of mobile and handheld technologies has changed the world, and by extension, the classroom. With technology now offering teachers unparalleled insights into their student’s current knowledge, with live, constantly updating data that can be easy formatted into readable and actionable outcomes.

When students complete their assessments or work online, the resulting data enables teachers to easily and quickly identify individual or whole class strengths and weaknesses – student’s learning experiences can be personalised and classroom topics can be tailored to the overall progress of the class. The online review systems are efficient, navigable, and allow for teachers to create an extremely productive and tailored teaching process. By being able to view which concepts each individual student has mastered, teachers are able to understand each student’s abilities and efficiently address the areas students still need help with – less time is spent reviewing mastered topics, whilst students are able to learn individually, within a group environment.

The connectivity of today’s classroom has made live, data-driven teaching a true possibility. Teachers around the world are simultaneously reviewing and teaching entire classrooms, personalising the learning experience for students so that tasks set nurture growth and inspire a love of learning. Whilst there are always limits to what data can achieve, it is a genuinely exciting time in education when teachers can be informed with real-time information concerning their student’s knowledge in ways that would have seemed impossible only a decade ago.