their first formal opportunity to contextualize educational technology practices as well as teacher and
student sentiments in the context of other international schools.
Clearly, as the availability and scope of educational data grows, how schools leverage such data will play
an increasing role in their ultimate success. Through our work at ASB and other IRC schools, we witness
many benefits from such inquiry, reflection, and collaboration. Recognizing that individual schools have
their own unique history, culture, and decision-making procedures, each IRC school leverages their own
data and results in their own context. Collectively, our partners have reported a variety of benefits in
leveraging data, research, and reflection including:
Organizing school constituents around project goals,
Determining if school investments in instructional technologies are “paying off”,
Better understanding how teaching and learning is evolving in your school (and where),
Measuring progress towards meeting specific project or strategic goals,
Supporting action planning with data,
Providing your school community evidence of success,
Providing the greater educational community evidence and examples of what works (and what
Building and sustaining a culture and community for leveraging data in your school.
Before web-based surveys and widespread student access to computing devices in school, the costs of
good quality research was beyond most schools. Advances in computer-based technology have
transformed how we collect, analyze, and share educational data in ways that were almost unimaginable
just a decade ago. In the coming years, a predicted “tsunami” of data and information is headed for all
levels of the educational system (Wurman, 1997). Whether it will be known as “big data” or “learner
analytics”, educational leaders and practitioners will soon witness a substantial increase in student,
teacher, and system data available to them. How will school leadership use this information? How can
educators use this information? Through this collaborative research partnership, we seek to build and
sustain a global network of schools that can proactively begin to address such questions through their
practice and collaboration together.
This paper summarizes the history, objectives, and first-year results of a very unique partnership between
school leaders, educational researchers, and data scientists. One year after our initial Spring 2013 data
collection, the IRC continues to evolve with 14 engaged and enthusiastic 1-to- 1 partner schools. Each
partner school is brave enough to ask some tough questions of their programs and investments. Similarly,
each partner school is working on how to best leverage their own results and data to improve and evolve
their programs and ultimately their school. In its short history, we are delighted that the IRC is providing
a valuable service and connection for schools. Furthermore, the IRC has provided a rich setting for evolving
best practices in educational research and our research team has broken new ground in the dynamic
online presentation of study results to schools (see examples as www.asbunplugged.org/collaborative).
As the IRC grows and evolves, our foundation for all future work will remain based on the unique
partnership between visionary school leaders, educational researchers, and data scientists. Thus, the IRC
will continue to be a model whereby the collaborative experience provides each constituent (school
leader, research, data scientist) with greater resources, a more valuable perspective, and an increased
capacity for improvement than otherwise possible.