Category: Before Class, After Class
Driving Whole School Improvement with Sharepoint and Power Bi
by Alan Crawford
Everyone in Education and Business is continually looking for Innovation & Efficiencies that can help you function better.
We took four pillars
- Using Technology to save time and enhance learning.
- We see technology as way of bringing everyone together
- The technology does the heavy lifting for staff and students.
- It levels the playing field both inside and outside the classroom.
As a senior leader at Shireland Collegiate Academy and an advocate of technology, we have harnessed the power of Microsoft to help us Drive Whole School Improvement.
Microsoft recognise our drive to improve and have celebrated our achievements with Microsoft Showcase School and Training Academies status, we regularly find ourselves hosting groups of people who are looking to integrate technology and achieve some of the efficiencies that we have gained.
One of the first things we have done is to recognise that time is precious for both staff and students; with that in mind we have created our own SharePoint platform within Office 365 that is the backbone for everything that the Shireland does.
We wanted to cut the amount of time spent on planning and marking so we created a planning bank for staff where they can add to and take out of, we asked staff to use both oral and video feedback and direct students to the comments that suited them.
Staff make use of their Surface pro 4 device to record and upload to the platform and students know exactly where to go for each subject class and subject.
There was also the need to make our development plans living documents that we referred to far more than the paper based versions we had been using, utilising Microsoft Planner we created a visible document that could be seen by all staff connected to the subject or area. Staff took to the idea and uploaded evidence of items completed.
As an Academy we decided that to meet the needs of our intake we needed to change the way that our curriculum is delivered, many arrive with poor literacy skills and a clear focus on these skills through a thematic approach has helped to improve student transition.
Not being an Academy to stand still I am excited with our newest project involving Power Bi, this is going to change the way we look at our pastoral data and give us information in real time that we have not had before. We plan to use this to inform parents where students are on a daily basis.
The data will tell us where the students are likely to have gaps because they have missed a particular subject for a number of hours compared to their other subjects.
We know that the data is only as good as the information entered in to the system so we are working hard with staff to achieve accuracy and then asking the question, what next.
Saving time is important and we calculate that we have already saved 2.5 hours per week by using an announcements section in SharePoint as opposed to having morning briefings, but what we will not do is allow our staff to become faceless in the use of technology. Technology has its place and where appropriate and with the right fit, we will use it.