I’m convinced that over the next three years in education we’re going to see a massive surge of interest in connecting data together, and turning it into useful information. I know that there is already much happening, but there’s a way to go before we can really say that all of the data that is created and collected in education is being used to improve the learning potential of individual students – whether that’s a student in a high school heading to their HSC/GCE/VCE award, or a university student being able to maximise their own learning journey.
First there’s the ‘dispersal’ barrier - the way that data is created in education – in big systems, individual spreadsheets and paper markbooks. And then there’s the ‘complexity’ barrier – both from a data analysis and a technology point of view. In fact, we even create barriers with the language we use to describe the issue – ‘business intelligence’ and ‘learning analytics’ aren’t exactly the friendliest phrases to use to encourage others.
So there will be a group of people who become genuine heroes in this situation – who are able to understand what’s on the other side of the barrier, and are able to carry people across with them, and translate the language so that a classroom teacher can easily grasp what’s possible.
Power Platform Briefings – next week
Next week, we are running free Power Platform Briefing events in Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney, which are specifically designed to help you to understand how your existing IT systems can help you to turn data into information. They are designed for IT people (IT managers, database administrators and an afternoon for developers) to help you to understand how you can visualise your information more easily – creating data visualisations, maps, SharePoint lists, dynamic Excel reports etc.
The morning until lunch (9am-1pm) is the ideal session to attend:
- The first session, will focus on connecting SQL databases and SharePoint together, to produce better reports that make sense to your users.
- The second session, until lunch, will look at how you can turn structured and unstructured information into valuable information – and how you can start to build a self-service culture for your users (so that you can tap your staff’s naturally enquiring minds)
The dates and venues are:
- 27th June – Brisbane – at the new Microsoft offices in George Street
- 28th June – Melbourne – at the Microsoft offices in Freshwater Place
- 29th June – Canberra – at the Microsoft offices in Sydney Avenue
- 30th June – Sydney – at The Menzies Hotel in Carrington Street (our North Ryde conference rooms are currently being spruced up, and are closed until August)
If you’re coming to Sydney, let me know and we can catch up over coffee to talk about how all this can be applied in education