DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #49

Dear Granddaddy, I’m a veteran school teacher who is worried our public schools are becoming data rich and information poor. Mike T.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


 I hear you, Mike. With technology, the influence of Pearson Education has, the testing craze, and the fact that institutions can get data on almost anything and anybody, we are overloaded. And sometimes all that data is not a good thing. Mark Zuckerberg is finding that out as the information that Facebook gathered on people was misused.

Our nation’s educational institutions have a cornucopia of information. The amount of data is so immense that teachers often feel as if they’re drowning in it. As a veteran teacher, Mike, I’m assuming you still remember when we teachers didn’t use computers and did everything with pen and paper. Our essential information was transferred by our own hand into our grade books in those days, and that seemed to be adequate.

People couldn’t imagine going back to that type of record keeping and data analysis today. And we never will go back to that sort of analyzing, teaching, analyzing again, and then re-teaching.

So, today, educators need to somehow cut down on all the white noise (data) in our public schools. We need to find out which information is essential and which data is really just overflow that should safely be rerouted elsewhere.

We teachers play a vital role because we’re educators who can analyze and think critically. It’s crucial now that we determine what’s essential, and how best to use information, as well as figure out which data is giving us diminishing returns on our investment of time. We need to better organize and prioritize our information and time so that we can be the most effective teachers, who are on fire rather than teachers who just have smoke coming out of our ears.

In conclusion, Mike, I know this won’t be easy, especially if your bosses are better with data than with people. But regardless, it still needs to be done because at the end of the day, it’s not about the data, it’s really all about our kids.

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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: