In order to ensure best practices, Ontario sets standards and expectations to help educators support student success. But as edtech solutions keep changing, how can teachers ensure their technology and pedagogy comply with the Ministry of Education?
A unique region with unique needs
While Ontario has one of the best school systems in the world, teachers lack an all-encompassing way to track evidence of learning that meets Ministry best practices. For example, aligning performance standards as outlined in the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Growing Success vision, TACK, or Thinking, Application, Communication, and Knowledge/Understanding, are hard to support in most gradebook software. Teachers need to be able to capture progress against the “6 Cs,” which represent character, citizenship, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and teamwork, and creativity and imagination, as proposed by Dr. Michael Fullan in his education advisory report to the Premier of Ontario.
The question of edtech security
In order to keep up, many teachers have reached out to the Internet for freeware to fill the gap. This however, raises the concern around safety and security of student data. How are schools managing and approaching the transition between proprietary and open platforms, as well as legacy systems, to keep up with Ontario’s guidelines—all the while safeguarding sensitive information? Free apps raise questions around where data is stored and what it is being used for. What happens if or when a free vendor starts charging in the future? What if that data is lost?
Custom software realities
Some larger boards have tried developing their own teaching and learning software systems. But software development is a difficult and expensive process, and it’s hard to make systems that scale to the levels required by school boards. There is an added challenge to navigate when trying to share student data securely while engaging parents in the educational process. The rise of mobile devices has raised expectations for what students and parents should be able to access anytime and anywhere.
Innovation in education management
How does a school board innovate in such an environment? As Walt Disney Chairman and CEO, Bob Igor said, “The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” Learn from K-12 edtech expert, Edsby, who is working with many large school boards on these exact issues, is helping educators find their path to innovation – you’ll read more about these schools in part 2 of this blog. And thanks to Edsby’s new partnership with ORION, Ontario boards can have higher performance, better security, storage of data and local storage of data in Canada.
Learn more about what Edsby can do for your school at the upcoming webinar, All-in-One Learning Management for Ontario Schools.