School data rooms have for a long time been a favorite tool in schools to display and review the progress of students. They usually take the form of white boards and charts that display academic data for teachers to look at. The idea is for teacher teams and administrators to be able to analyze and discuss the performance of students in a co-operative manner.

The issue with these data displays, however it is that they could violate FERPA guidelines. The information that is shared in these data displays could be used to publicly shame students or even make them feel humiliated in front of their peers. This should not happen in schools.

Teachers also face difficulties to track progress of students using these data walls, particularly if there are a variety of grades and subjects being monitored. Teachers can work through complex issues much more easily with a digital system, which allows them to filter data by individual assignments, trends, and date ranges. They can also focus on what you should include in the data room classrooms and student groups.

A digital solution could also include an annotation tool, which allows users to create personal notes on any document stored in the system. This feature is great to keep track of projects and Q&A threads, as well for uploading documents. It would be wonderful if the solution offered access to documents, folders and activities that are based on roles, documents and folder levels, or activity.

As schools are pushed to focus on instruction based on data and assessment, it is vital that they have tools to help them review and discuss this data in a way that is collaborative. Schools can make a smart choice by selecting a digital solution that has the right mix of features that meets the needs of educators.

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