School Committee reviews new learning information system

By Andrea Ray | Feb 15, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Director of Curriculum & Instruction Dr. Andrea Schwamb and Office Depot Instructional Lead Consultant Bryan Bown discuss the merits of Watson Enlighten.

“Someone asked about what the best student information system was,” said Dr. Andrea Schwamb Wednesday night, at Wareham’s School Committee meeting. “Well, that’s Watson Enlighten.”

Schwamb, the Director of Curriculum & Instruction at Wareham Public Schools, presented the benefits of the system alongside Office Depot Instructional Lead Consultant Bryan Bown. Watson Enlighten, which is also in use in the healthcare field, is owned by Office Depot.

Bown explained that the system will take every piece of data available from each student - including test scores, midterm grades, infractions, even tardiness - to learn about each student and recommend an individual pathway based on the assessment of the student’s data. “Watson will work with students from kindergarten to 12th grade. All of the data will be able to form their pathways,” he said.

The data collected in the system will be analyzed by Watson, which will then be able to recommend to the teacher which way the child might learn best. Educational materials from various sources will already be available in the system, so the teacher will not need to track them down.

Committee member Judy Caporiccio, speaking by phone from Florida, said she was impressed, but questioned the cost of the system.

“Do you think this might be more affordable in a few years?” she asked.

“I gave a high-level cost, but I think that in the future the cost will be affordable for everyone. Of course the true cost won’t show until we come in and see the data points,” Bown conceded.

“So the cost is determined by what you need to do to get us up and running,” Caporiccio observed. Bown agreed, adding that there would also be a yearly license fee.

Commitee member Geoff Swett remained concerned about the extra time teachers would need to input data. “As a teacher, sometimes I was in charge of 120 students at one time,” he told Bown. “Where is a teacher going to find time to sit down and input all of this data. What good is it if the teacher won’t have time to individualize?”

“Watson prescribes all of the info itself,” Bown said. “Teachers don’t need to input anything. Because Watson has a lot of teaching resources, teachers might be able to find everything they need in the system already, instead of searching for teaching materials.”

Comments (4)
Posted by: Andrea Smith | Feb 17, 2017 06:11

Estimated cost?

 

How can Watson develop individual pathways for each student if data regarding each student isn't first entered into the system? The following  quotes from above article seem to contradict one another.

 

"Bown explained that the system will take every piece of data available from each student - including test scores, midterm grades, infractions, even tardiness - to learn about each student and recommend an individual pathway based on the assessment of the student’s data. “Watson will work with students from kindergarten to 12th grade. All of the data will be able to form their pathways,” he said."

 

Geoff Swett, "“Where is a teacher going to find time to sit down and input all of this data. What good is it if the teacher won’t have time to individualize?”

 

“Watson prescribes all of the info itself,” Bown said. “Teachers don’t need to input anything. Because Watson has a lot of teaching resources, teachers might be able to find everything they need in the system already, instead of searching for teaching materials.”

 

 


 

 

 



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Feb 17, 2017 07:15

What is the cost of the additional staff to input all this data?



Posted by: desertsky | Feb 17, 2017 11:30

It might be interesting to see the data that details how many kids actually followed the "path" that was developed for them. Many of the kids who need monitoring the most are the ones who graduate with no real plan for the future. I think the end results from school systems that have used this program might reveal how successful this actually has been. I am hopeful this information will chart "new paths" for students but frankly, I am very doubtful.



Posted by: Steve Holmes | Feb 18, 2017 10:36

With today's technology and a good integration specialist, I would think that Watson would either replace the current Power School, or the data entered into Power School could be reformatted and downloaded into Watson. Teachers input all this information into Power School already. Only seeing Power School from a parent's view, I don't know if it is able to project suggested paths for students. It may be possible to do away with Power School and using Watson just shifting the cost. Would like to see more details.



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