Lessons Learned: How to Clarify Input for English Learners

They had been filling out their worksheets for 30 minutes, but I knew I wasn’t getting through to them. I could see their eyes glazing over, their heads starting to nod, and some of them even playing with their pencils.

Topics: Technology, Standards & Instruction, Teacher Tips

The "Why” Behind the Extended Four-Year Monitoring Period

Here’s a seemingly simple question: Why did ESSA extend the monitoring period for former ELLs to four years?  

One of the more interesting accountability changes in the new ESSA legislation has to do with the requirement that districts now must monitor former ELLs for four years instead of two. We were pleased to hear this at Ellevation, given our focus on supporting digital monitoring processes for school districts, and we aren’t alone. The Council of Great City Schools praised the change, and Dr. Wayne Wright’s recent webinar compliments the adjustment as well. But I couldn’t help wondering why the change was implemented in the first place. What were lawmakers thinking?

Topics: Technology, Policy

Continuous Learning: Software Engineering at Ellevation

With a liberal arts degree and a career in an unrelated industry, I decided a few years ago to return to school to study computer science. I wanted to learn a craft, and programming appealed to me as a skill that's difficult to master, interesting to study, and that fosters creativity.

Topics: Careers, Technology

The Force Awakens: Trust the Ed-Fi Data Standard, You Must

The engineer simply couldn't take any more.

Throwing up her hands and pushing back from her IKEA desk with a clearly audible sigh of frustration, she stalked off to coffee machine for the third (or was it the fourth?) refill of her beloved Chewbacca mug.

"Hey, everything all right?" I asked.

"Column BG of this CSV file that I'm working on has this mysterious date value," the engineer replied, with a worried look on her face. "The column header says 'SysDate_42' and the values are sometimes empty. I have no idea what it means!"

Topics: Technology

Data Integration Lessons from inBloom -- Part 2

In this post -- the second in a three-part series (read Part 1) -- we'll take a closer look at the inBloom data model and API, including several elements that triggered debate and concern, and examine the differences between their definition and possible usage.

Topics: Technology

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