Student Behaviour: Using Technology to Create a Forensic Behaviour Analysis

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Student Behaviour: Using Technology to Create a Forensic Behaviour Analysis

[Category: After Class, In Class]
Student Behaviour: Using Technology to Create a Forensic Behaviour Analysis
by Jon Tait

If you’ve been in education any longer than 5 minutes you’ll know that everything that moves is rated, analysed and judged against a set criteria. Performance data, progress data and gender gaps are analysed to the nth degree so we can better understand our schools. However, the one thing that usually drives all of these data sets, student behaviour, is usually left lagging behind.

If we know that student behaviour is one of the root drivers for our performance as a school, then surely we should be putting enough time and effort into analysing what is going on and why? Ask yourself the following two questions:

Does your school perform a forensic analysis of academic performance?
Does your school perform a forensic analysis of student behaviour?

My guess is that all of you answered yes to the first question, but only some of you answered yes to the second.

With the advances we’ve seen in recent years in accessible digital technology, the amount of data we have at our fingertips and the systems we have available to analyse this is staggering. I remember coming into the profession and writing out detention notes on triplicate paper and putting one copy in the teacher’s locker, one in the tutor’s locker and the other going to the year leader.

Thankfully this is now all communicated with one click of a mouse button.

But how good is your analysis? Can you spot the trends of behaviour in your school? Or are your year leaders facing groundhog day every day because the same things keep happening on the same days?

My view on this is simple. In this day and age, with the technology we have at our fingertips, this is not acceptable any longer. If you either cannot spot the trends in the classrooms around you, or you are not prepared to do something about it, then that is weak leadership.

Your analysis should be able to detect trends in student behaviour in terms of which day of the week things are more likely to happen, the time of day (eg. Do you have more problems in a morning or afternoon), the subjects or teachers that have seen spikes in behaviour and even as detailed as the position in the class that these behaviours are coming from. The system that my school currently uses even has artificial intelligence built in to show how likely any two students sitting together are of displaying negative behaviour in that lesson.

Imagine a school where your behaviour analysis could help your teachers create better seating plans and your data could help you timetable the right lessons on the right days and with the right teachers…….so what is stopping you?


Written by Jon Tait

Jon is a deputy headteacher working in a large and diverse secondary school in the UK with over 10 years experience in Behaviour, Attendance, Raising Achievement, Professional Development and leading on Teaching & Learning. As well as being a Microsoft Innovative Educator, Jon regularly talks and writes about innovative ways to use technology in education on his own Edutait blog and in 2015 delivered a talk on the world-famous TED stage, talking about ‘The Future of Learning’.

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