Growing a Digital Data Archive @evernote @googledrive #eportfolios #iplza15 #edtech

Hard to believe, but last summer, a colleague asked me to craft a proposal for a "digital data archive," exploring the various options. I did but then promptly forgot about it when the school decided to not pursue it. In chatting with a friend at iPadpalooza 15, I remembered that I had done this and had not shared it.

Image Source: https://goo.gl/3MQRms


As such, I hope someone will find this helpful!

Overview
Provide 4 teachers with the opportunity to track quantifiable data, notes (e.g. Student Data Profile), as well as student evidence of learning in digital format (e.g. Evidence).

Professional Development
Teachers will need to complete a series of self-paced and face to face sessions. The course overview includes professional development in the eGT digital tools.

Why is this necessary?
Currently, tracking of student data is paper-based and relies upon the creation of multiple folders that would become unwieldy to create and track. The staggering number of paper folders generated by ONE freshmen class of students at the School District is unimaginable, but when one includes the sheer bulk of paper generated by 800 students, then multiplies that times each subsequent freshmen class as the program expands, paper is untenable. A digital solution is needed. Unfortunately, given the late start date and lack of funding, and professional development for teachers and training for students, the solutions offered here are only as strong as those limiting factors allow.

What happens if we don’t do implement?
High School teachers, and students, will have to manage and store what could be, at least, 800 folders if not 3200. For example, 800 accordion folders cost about $2800 (this cost does not include labels).

How will we measure success?

Success is measured by the implementation of a digital data archive that will endure from year to year for 2014-2015 students, as well as subsequent years, enabling maximum portability of work for students and facilitate tracking of student learning.

Proposal

This proposal recommends establishing a digital data archive, or digital interactive notebook, where teachers and students can collect evidence of performance by objective. This involves each student creating a private digital storage space that can be jointly accessed by students, parents,  teachers, and administrators. Two solutions are reviewed in the context of this proposal and offered for review.

Need

High School teachers have a need to collect data and evidence of student learning. Some specific needs include the following:
  1. Capturing handwritten notes, maps, drawing/images/photos
  2. Capturing student responses to document-based questions (DBQs) and free-response questions.
  3. Teachers need to be able to annotate--including text and/or audio--this student-generated content, as well as easily share that with students, parents, and be viewable by other administrators.
  4. All data captured needs to be “portable” and follow students through their high school years and beyond.

Participation

Initially, 4 World Geography teachers will facilitate 800 freshmen students during the 2014-2015 school year. The program, if successful, will expand during the 2015-2016 school year and beyond until all high school students are growing a digital data archive.

Possible Solutions

In the space below, you will find several solutions offered. These solutions are imperfect. A perfect solution would allow easy capture of teacher information per student and attachment of student artifacts, or evidence, of that performance (e.g. DBQs, FRQs) in one centralized system. All these solutions fall short of that, and as a result, will require significant teacher effort, albeit less than what would be required with a paper-based solution.

A.  GoogleClassroom & GoogleDrive


Overview
Students, each of whom have their own GoogleApps account, have access to GoogleDrive, a space to store a wide variety of files, including pictures, photos/scanned images, digital documents (e.g. word processed, spreadsheets). If they are taught to organize their work in GoogleDrive, they can share folders with their teachers each year, enabling them to have a digital repository for work. Students organize their work by school year, creating folders to house their digital work. This work will travel with them from year to year, but also be available for them to take with them when they graduate or leave School District.

Teachers create a Student Data Profile--GoogleDoc to collect Q1, Q2, etc. information, Reading lexile scores--that will be shared with the student but cannot be modified by the student.

Scenario
Upon completing her handwritten DBQ, Samantha takes a picture of her work using her smartphone (or a mobile device available at the school), then saves it to her GoogleDrive, naming it properly and saving it to the appropriate digital folder. In her GoogleDrive, she has the following folders:
  • Evidence
    • 2014-2015
    • 2015-2016
    • 2016-2017
    • 2017-2018

Each folder contains that her work for the corresponding year, as well as the Student Data Profile  that the student (e.g. Samantha) can only view but not modify because it is her teacher who owns the document.

Cost
There is no additional cost for this solution, but professional learning opportunities will need to be made available to teachers and students.

B.  Evernote Business for Schools


Overview
Evernote Business for Schools is a service that is designed to facilitate and digitization of data. To that end, Evernote--which has unlimited storage--includes apps that work on Android phone/tablet, iPhone, iPad mobile devices, as well as laptop/desktop computers. You can snap a picture of a handwritten piece of work, save it to a digital notebook, add tags (e.g. 2014-2015, WorldGeo, DBQ1), then share that notebook with others. Furthermore, digitized work is scanned and searchable (e.g. take a picture of handwritten work, and once in Evernote, the words, if legible, are searchable).

Students and teachers would be given Evernote Premium accounts, allowing for sharing of content. Evernote also allows for export of notebooks so that students could take their work out of Evernote, as well as a free version which would not be reliant on the Premium version. You can literally put anything into Evernote, including audio recordings (the Evernote app facilitates audio recording), pictures, handwritten notes, and more. Evernote Premium has an age requirement (older than 13) but that should not be a problem for students.

Evernote has been shown to be an excellent tool for collecting, documenting, and annotating student work. Watch video (http://vimeo.com/42066807).

Scenario(s)
Two scenarios are offered:
#1 - Evernote Premium for Each User: Cost-prohibitive, not recommended.

#2 - Evernote Premium for teachers, Evernote Freemium for Students: Samantha has completed her DBQ. She signs into her Evernote account and accesses the Digital Notebook her teacher has shared with her. She creates a new note and then snaps a picture of each page of her handwritten response. When done, she saves it. She then updates the “Table of Contents” in the Notebook assigned to her so she can.

This process is repeated by each students, who can only see their digital notebook, but can be accessed by whomever the teacher shares the notebook with. The teacher can also annotate--add highlighting, audio comments, text notes--to each note. Also, all notes--even handwritten ones--are searchable. Students have complete control over notes that are shared with them and the ability to create new ones.

All sharing has to be managed by the teacher, so that involves creating and sharing notebooks with each student. Each subsequent year, teachers will have to manage more student accounts. But, when the alternative is paper, digital is better.

Cost
Pricing is based on several possible options:
  1. Evernote Premium for each user: This is available at 75% discount of the regular pricing ($45 per year per user). For 800 students and 5 teachers, the cost would be approximately $9K.
  2. Evernote Freemium for all students, Premium only for teachers: The free version of Evernote is available for free to each student 14 and older.  Premium accounts are available to teachers at a cost of $45 per person. Total cost is $180. Additional digital scanners can be included per classroom to help students digitize their work. Otherwise, iPads with Evernote can be used, as can apps on mobile phones.

C.  OwnCloud


Overview
OwnCloud (http://owncloud.org/features/) is a Dropbox-style solution that allows for storage of files. It comes with its own mobile apps and allows users to store information. OwnCloud--which can be hosted by the District--allows for easy storage of data files. Web links can be shared as private or public, and users can employ AD username/passwords without having to remember yet another login. Each student has their “ownCloud” storage area that only they and their teacher (and whomever else the teacher decides) can access. Students and teacher can store content online and access it from anywhere via their mobile device (Android, iOS) or a computer.

Scenario
Samantha snaps a picture of a DBQ pages with her smartphone, then saves it to ownCloud with the proper naming convention and in the 2014-2015 folder. Her teacher is able to access all the content stored in her ownCloud so she just sends her a quick email to let her know the work has been digitized and put online.

Cost
No cost for in-house solution, although in the future, there may be depending on the size of storage needed per user.

D.  Mahara


Overview
Mahara (http://mahara.org) is a free, open source (no cost) ePortfolio solution that can be self-hosted by the District.  Mahara is a fully featured web application to build your electronic portfolio. You can create blogs, upload files, resume sharing, embed third-party resources from the web and collaborate with other users in groups. You can see how it works online at http://demo.mahara.org/ from an admin, teacher, and student perspective. An overview video is available online at https://mahara.org/features

Student accounts can be created during a mass upload, and refreshed from time to time. Furthermore, there is support for LDAP authentication (eliminating the need for manual creation of student accounts; students simply login with their Active Directory credentials). Students are able to add documents via a web interface, create notes that can encompass Student Data Profile and Evidence artifacts.

Scenario
Samantha, a freshman student, logins to the School District Digital Data Archive, creates a note that will encompass her Student Data Profile. She can modify this note at any time, as well as restrict viewing to herself and teacher(s) who may need to access it. She can also add “Evidence” that serve as artifacts of her progress on performance objectives.

Cost
No cost for in-house solution, although in the future, there may be depending on the size of storage needed per user.

Recommendations

Again, the best solution is one that best meets the needs of students and staff with minimum level of work. A chart outlining options appears on the following page.


Comparison Chart

Available funding is determined by calculating the total cost of each evidence folder per student. For 800 students, the cost for 800 wallet folders is $2800 or for 3200 folders, $11,200.

Criteria
Google Classroom/ Drive
Evernote: Scenario 2
OwnCloud
Mahara
Cost
Free
$180 for 4 teachers or $45 per teacher user.
Free
Free
Capture handwritten notes, maps, drawing/images/photos easily
No, but students can put content online.
Submit via email, app, computer, web interface
Submit via mobile app, computer, or web interface
No, but students can put content online.
Annotate student-generated content
Yes, depends.
Add audio,text annotations to each note.
No
Yes, depends.
Data is portable and follow students in District and out
Yes
Yes with Evernote Freemium account or notebook export
Yes, data is “save-able”
Yes, accounts remain.
Data host
Google
Evernote
School District
School District
Restricted access to teacher, student, parent
Yes
Yes
Yes
Unknown
Supports Teacher-only editing of Student Data Profile (allows for student viewing only)
Yes
Maybe
No
Unknown
Centralized management of accounts
Yes linked to AD/GoogleApps accounts
No...labor intensive but better than paper folder
Yes linked to AD
Yes linked to AD
Teacher Level of Expertise Required
High
Low to Medium
High
Low to Medium
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of handwritten documents
No
Yes
No
No
Setup time per student
Unk
3-4 minutes
Unk
Unknown



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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