The power of big data and analytics certainly can’t be denied. But what happens when the data you need is embedded in pages of homework, quizzes and tests and handwritten by seven-year-olds?
This is the question grade school teachers and administrators put to researchers at Xerox (NYSE: XRX) when asked how technology could help increase the level of individual instruction at a time when class sizes are growing and school budgets are tight.
Determined to solve the challenge, researchers at the Xerox Research Center Webster in New York, invented the Xerox Ignite™ Educator Support System, a one-of-a-kind workflow and software solution that pushes hand-marked student work (on paper today or on tablets tomorrow) into the digital analytics domain - making it faster for teachers to evaluate student work and easier to address the reality that students learn concepts at different paces and in different ways.
“In a very user-friendly way, Xerox has handed our grade-school teachers the gift of data analytics,” said Adele Bovard, superintendent of the Webster School District, one of several districts piloting Ignite in New York. “Instead of spending time scoring tests and making sense of the data, teachers can quickly access pertinent views of the data and focus on meeting the needs of individual students. It’s revolutionary for us.”
How it works
If, for example, a third-grade teacher wants to know how well his class has grasped a lesson on fractions, he can scan his students’ homework and assessments into the Ignite system via a range of Xerox multifunction devices. Using advanced “image capture” technology, the software reads and analyzes the students’ work in minutes. Then – in real time – the teacher can select how he wants to view the data by choosing from a number of different one-page reports such as:
An “at a glance” class summary that shows who needs extra help in what areas and who is ready to move on.
A “context” report showing how each skill for each student is growing over time.
A grade-level performance report that helps third-grade teachers share best practices and cluster students into learning groups.
A student feedback report that tells each student what he/she needs to work on.
“Not only does the scanning and 'mark lifting' technology reduce the time needed to correct papers, it frees time for the teacher to apply the detailed insights to their day-to-day instruction,” said Xerox Principal Scientist Eric Hamby. “Teachers using the system say for the first time they can see - at a glance - what a student needs.”
Ignite also makes it easier for districts to administer, score and evaluate content based on academic goals set for schools and for students, he added.
The system is available now so schools can prepare for full implementation for the 2013/2014 school year.
With sales approaching $23 billion, Xerox (NYSE: XRX) is the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. Its technology, expertise and services enable workplaces – from small businesses to large global enterprises – to simplify the way work gets done so they operate more effectively and focus more on what matters most: their real business. Headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., Xerox offers business process outsourcing and IT outsourcing services, including data processing, healthcare solutions, HR benefits management, finance support, transportation solutions, and customer relationship management services for commercial and government organizations worldwide. The company also provides extensive leading-edge document technology, services, software and genuine Xerox supplies for graphic communication and office printing environments of any size. The 140,000 people of Xerox serve clients in more than 160 countries. For more information, visit http://www.xerox.com, http://news.xerox.com or http://www.realbusiness.com. For investor information, visit http://www.xerox.com/investor.