“Bill, I can’t do this, it’s just too much!”
“OK Justin, how can I help?”
“Between lesson plans, teaching, grading, meetings, and all the other stuff I just don’t have time to do all the data stuff for my SMART goal. I spent two hours on one part of it the other night, and I don’t feel like I got anywhere. I’m doing what I think is the right thing, but I’m an English guy, and don’t know if I’m even comparing the right stuff! I know this will help, but it is just too overwhelming to get it done...”
“If I made it to where all you had to do was paste in the scores, and everything else happened for you, would that take the stress out of the process?”
“That would be incredible, but how are you going to do that?!”
That was the beginning of where we are today. The concept that has become Simple Data, is to make the process of teaching informed by relevant data, simple to understand and use. Teachers need to teach well, and they should have tools that allow them to do that quickly, easily, and efficiently without being a technology expert. It is our philosophy, so we created tools to do just that. "Make… Data Simple."
The original tool was created to help teachers compare data for their SMART or student performance growth goal, and it was an instant hit. What came next was a turn for the better. Teachers started using it with ALL of their assessments, and began asking if there was a way to take the original tool and tailor it for that application. The solution was the “single” tool, which automated the analysis of a single assessment. As long as the assessment had some sort of number associated with it, teachers could copy and paste it, or enter it directly, and it would do its magic. Teachers got the analysis they needed to make instructional decisions quickly, and almost effortlessly. Math teachers loved it, and English teachers were absolutely ecstatic! Soon, PE, Music, Social Studies and Science teachers were using it. Before long teachers from every discipline began using it because it was, well, simple.
Analyzing multiple assessments at the same time was the next logical step. The option was implemented in short order. We began receiving such positive feedback that we were getting requests from school administrators to conduct training sessions for their entire staff. When teachers walked into the training, their demeanor indicated that they were there only because they had to be. However, at the end of the short training, usually about 30 minutes, comments were highly positive. Many teachers even stayed after to get some help putting data they already had into the tools to look at their students’ performance with fresh eyes.
The only constructive criticism we received was that they wished they didn’t have to enter the data multiple times. It was a hurdle in the Excel version, but it was an excellent suggestion. Their feedback, is the basis of the product we have today. Enter the data once and you can look at it in multiple ways. This enhancement also allowed us to provide even more functionality. The tools enable teachers to analyze everything from individual student performance to multiple classes with multiple assessments, and be able to sort the data in many different ways.
Our commitment is to "Make… Data Simple." The way we accomplish that is to listen to what teachers of all levels, from elementary to post-secondary, have to say about what they need and like. This focus on ease of use and end user satisfaction, not just reporting, has led to rave reviews from teachers, school and district administrators, and school improvement officials. Start using the tools today, and watch your stress levels plummet!
Assessment Report Examples
Single/ Filtered Single/ Multiple/ Student/ Filtered Student
For more than 25 years, Bill has been committed to serving others through teaching, leading, and mentoring in public education, private industry, and the military. As an educator he has a reputation for helping students become highly successful in STEM related careers and competitions. His students have won numerous State, National, and even World Championship level competitions. He has built and grown pre-engineering programs as a teacher and administrator at several middle and high schools, and has been on the planning and administrative teams for regional, state, and national level competitions. For his service, he has been honored at the local, regional, and state level as the Teacher, Educator, and Program of the Year, and was presented with the Virginia Technology Student Association’s highest award for career service.
Educational leadership has also come naturally for Bill. As a teacher he was a department chair, member of the school leadership team, school improvement team, and chaired the district Technology Advisory Committee. As a high school and middle school assistant principal and principal, his expertise was highly sought after related to master scheduling, school improvement, technology integration, and delivering relevant professional development that could be immediately implemented, and has been a past VSTE presenter. He continues to mentor teachers and administrators through personal relationships.
Outside of education, he has worked in several industries, and has lead several businesses to be more profitable and successful through systems integration, technology, and a deep focus on exceptional quality products and service. He served in the Virginia Army National Guard, and was chosen to be the soldier representing the State for the 50th D-Day Memorial re-enactment ceremonies in Normandy, France. In addition, he volunteers to teach and mentor boy and adult leaders in the Boy Scouts of America.
Gary has been involved in public and higher education for over thirty years. He taught at one university and two private liberal arts colleges before accepting a position in the public schools. During that time he was part of the team that helped develop the 8th Grade Computer Technology SOL Test. He received recognition from the Virginia Department of Education for the creation of educational software. He also received regional, as well as local recognition for instructional excellence. He too presented at VSTE. He holds endoresments in Fine Arts, Secondary Computer Science and Gifted and Talented Education.
Although he began his career in public school as a classroom teacher, he gradually moved into the role of an IT Specialist. During that time, he found it especially rewarding to develop custom solutions for the people and schools he supported. This mindset lead him to bring the Excel based Data Assessment Tools or EXTools to the Web. Simple Data offers greater flexibility and ease of use than the Excel version. It is platform neutral, running on a variety of devices and current browsers. The Simple Data Development Team recommends using Google Chrome for the most consistent response on multiple paltforms.
He left the public schools in June of 2015 to continue the development of Simple Data, as well as other Web based projects. He also expanded his role as an adjunct faculty member in the IST Department at Virginia Western Community College. He has graduate degrees in Fine Arts and Computer Studies, an unusual, but very useful combination.