Resources provided by Jennifer L. Morrison

Seize the Data  

Seize the Data is an initiative close to my heart.  I was contacted by the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) in 2012 to put together an online data literacy course for teachers and administrators, and train a small cadre of master public school educators as data facilitators to coach and support their peers with the course material.  What I didn’t know when I started was how much I would learn and grow in the process – it has been an amazing journey.  I am proud to count myself among their number, and share their goal to build a new generation of data literate classroom educators and school leaders. 

The Data Litercacy 01 course is available free of charge to public and public charter school teachers and administrators in North Carolina through Seize the Data.  Please visit Online Courses for further information.  The NCCAT Seize the Data Initiative is a service to the teachers of North Carolina provided through the Professional Development Programs of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and funded as a part of the Race to the Top, an initiative sponsored by the United States Department of Education.

If needed, Seize the Data facilitators should contact me directly for access to material from the following meetings: Data Literacy Bootcamp (Ocracoke NC, September 2012) and Seize the Data Working Sessions (Cullowhee NC, April 2013).  Resource updated 7/7/2013.   


Sample Data Notebook

I got the idea for data notebooks from one of Alan Blankstein's contributors to Failure Is NOT an Option, a high school principal who had instituted a fairly rigid notebook requirement for his teachers.  They were all expected to collect a laundry list of items in notebooks as dictated by the principal.  I theorized that notebooks would be much more effective if teachers chose important data based on three organizing dimensions: type, time, and level of thinking.  Based on that idea, I produced this Sample Data Notebook for the North Carolina Teacher Academy's week-long professional development module, Using Data to Build Classroom Learning Communities.  It was used state-wide with hundreds of teachers and administrators beginning in the summer of 2006. 

Because I have seen school performance decline when there is an over-emphasis on data notebooks, these days I advocate data dialogue rather than focusing teachers on any kind of data collection.  Remember - data literacy is the ability to both gather and use data to improve learning.  Before asking teachers to collect data in data notebooks, on data walls, in data websites, etc., I warn data enthusiasts that it is important we teachers have a level of data literacy in place.  Without understanding of purposes and the overarching issues, data collection can be a dangerous distraction.  Resource updated 1/1/2012.