As technology becomes more dominant in the educational setting, it is important to have a system that will work cohesively among a number of areas to enhance communication and productivity. The implementation of whiteboard systems has been a welcome advantage in assisting teachers and administrators in the identification of student and district-centered solutions.
A viable student-centered solution
The Student Progress Tracking whiteboard offers a number of benefits in helping educators identify students who may need extra attention. Students who are at-risk, borderline or need intervention frequently fall through the cracks due to the lack of an efficient tracking method that will indicate patterns and deficiencies before they become detrimental. This provides an opportunity for the teacher to explore these identifiers to establish student-specific criteria to address those needs.
Why tracking student progress can be beneficial
Although there is some opposition to student tracking, when used effectively, it can benefit both teachers and students in the classroom. According to a study evaluating whether or not student tracking improved learning, the outcomes showed that “tracking by initial achievement improves student learning because it allows the teacher to focus instruction.”
Tracking student progress and learning objectives is also beneficial by assisting the teacher in pairing students who demonstrate higher learning proficiencies with students of lower learning levels to work together on projects and assignments. Evidence indicates that peer teaching offers direct benefits: students feel more comfortable and open, direct interaction between students promotes active learning, and peer teachers reinforce their own learning.
We received a grant for our long term commitment to making sure each student’s strengths and weaknesses are assessed and identified. With the boards, we can see each student and manage their learning progress. We bought the privacy screen because we want to use student names on the board and could not do that in our conference room unless we cover the board (names) when it is not in use. Seeing all the students helps us create and execute our strategy and makes department meetings more effectivePrincipal – Middle School, St Petersburg, FL
How does this work?
For teachers, a whiteboard tracking system details each student, their progress in each subject and the trends on how students absorb the information being taught. This helps in identifying when students have complete comprehension of a topic, or if the lesson is too challenging. Having this information in a color-coded, detailed format will assist in creating strategies and lessons to meet each student at their area of need.
“We set the board up to show how our special ed kids are doing. It helps us keep track of IEP’s (individual education programs) and student goals. We put ours on a stand so we could move it from room to room for meetings. Putting our school name on the board was a nice touch.”Guidance Specialist – Elementary School, Daytona Beach, FL
Further educational enhancements
Confidentiality of student records can be a major issue. The whiteboard systems are equipped with safety enhancements, such as a pulley-operated privacy screen, or a reverse-side privacy option to secure student data. For teachers who work directly with administrators and counselors, this is a good solution for providing at-a-glance, evidence-based information to keep everyone on the same page.
Schools have used whiteboards to monitor IEP’s and goals for Special Education students, in tracking classroom test scores to identify students who need additional assistance in grasping the material, and in the evaluation of students’ strengths, weaknesses and progression. In all three scenarios, there have been positive outcomes.
The student progress tracker is a positive step in the right direction that provides real-time solutions for an enhanced learning environment. The system can be adapted to the teacher’s classroom needs, whether it is tracking student progress, attendance, behavior, lesson planning or group assessments. This is a great tool to assist with parent contact, administrative intervention, and in developing initiatives to promote student success.
The goal was to find a way track the progress of a group of kids that had previously been identified as needing extra attention and instruction before they take their end of course exams. We knew that we found the answer with this board. We use the colored magnet dots to indicate their current test score for each subject. Each color is going to represent a specific test score range. This helps us to better identify the students that need one on one instructions and those that might be able to better benefit in group sessions with students having similar scores. Since we aren’t putting the student names on the cards (confidentiality reasons – code system will be used), we are able to put the actual test scores on the lower portion of the card, along with any practice test scores and pertinent notes.”Counselor – High School, Paragould, AR
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