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CoSN and AASA Publish Professional Development Toolkit for Educational Leaders

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) have released the latest addition to the collaborative Closing the Gap: Turning Data into Action project. The "Closing the Gap Professional Development Toolkit" is a step-by-step curricular plan and set of professional resources intended to help teachers and administrators use educational data to improve instruction and student achievement.

According to CoSN and AASA, the Closing the Gap project "provides schools with best practices for reviewing and implementing student information systems (SIS) and learning management systems (LMS) solutions to become a more data-rich culture." The Toolkit is designed for educators at all levels and can be implemented at the district, school, team, or individual level.

The training curriculum is divided into five sections:

  • Building a Culture for the Effective Use of Data;
  • Establishing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs);
  • Supporting Evidence-Based Practices Through the Use of Educational Data;
  • Analyzing Data; and
  • Identifying and Selecting Technologies That Enable the Use of Data.

Each section includes videos, case studies, suggested readings, teaching tools, and other resources. The teaching tools include:

  • "Direct Teach" content to help participants meet the stated learning objectives;
  • A "Checking for Understanding" worksheet for self-assessment of "Direct Teach" learning objectives;
  • An application worksheet to help participants apply what they've learned from the "Direct Teach" content and related Closing the Gap resources;
  • A Facilitator's Guide that provides detailed instructions and related resources for teaching each segment of the training; and
  • A Facilitator's Checklist to keep track of key topics as they're taught.

CoSN and AASA developed the Toolkit in collaboration with Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company. The Closing the Gap project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

All Closing the Gap project reports and resources are provided free of charge to the K-12 educational community.

Further information about the "Closing the Gap Professional Development Toolkit" can be found on the Closing the Gap site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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