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When Data Flows to Teachers in Realtime

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Categories: Adopters, Events, Ideas, Tin Can, Use Cases

Posted 11 March 2013


We rolled out of SXSWedu with new Tin Can tools that I’m very excited about. We’ve joined forces with Metryx and ABCYa to build something new that unites disparate, but incredibly important, initiatives in a strikingly useful way.

The Problem Space

When students are using different learning tools, a teacher does not have a good way to get a view of how the student is doing across tools. Often, they have to login in to each tool’s reporting to find out how that student is performing in that one particular silo. It’s much like this post I wrote awhile back.

Two weeks ago: Imagine Johnny’s practicing counting with Math Bingo and Suzy’s working on subtraction with Quick Touch Math. Mrs. Stevens, Johnny and Suzy’s teacher, is helping kids get their applications going, answering questions from the 20 some kids in the room. She’s also trying her best to observe behavior from all of the kids and help to guide them to activities that are better suited if they are struggling or far beyond their current activity. In order to see how well they’re doing inside of the applications she has to keep two browser windows open with the reporting from Math Bingo and Quick Touch Math AND constantly refresh them.

The Response

We worked with ABCYa and Metryx to modify a couple of existing math applications to make Tin Can statements about how the student is interacting with them. Both ABCYa’s Math Bingo and Quick Touch Math make Tin Can statements to the LRS in SCORM Cloud. Simple enough, right? The more interesting part is that Metryx pulls those statements in from the LRS and makes them understandable to a teacher standing in a classroom, in realtime, on a mobile device. Metryx is a mobile application that helps teachers run formative assessments in real time by giving them a mobile clipboard in which they can collect information and see their data analyzed in real time from any mobile device or computer. Metryx then helps teachers to intervene sooner and adjust lessons to the student’s level. Formative, if you will. Metryx also allows the teacher to manually track activities that happen in the classroom alongside the automated data fed in by technology. This gives the teacher an amazingly rich picture of the student’s level of proficiency in any skill that they are teaching or tracking. Once the student has achieved a learning objective, Metryx effortlessly sends that data to InBloom. InBloom (formerly SLC) is an initiative to enable school systems to collect data, transfer information, and personalize learning experiences in school systems.

Now: Mrs. Stevens can see her iPad continually update as students work in Math Bingo and Quick Touch Math. She can also collect manually tracked activities and qualitative data along with the automated data flowing in from the math applications. When she determines Suzy has achieved the Common Core Standard for subtraction at her level, Mrs. Stevens can send that data straight to the schools InBloom warehouse. Now, even the principal can see in real time how the students are progressing towards these achievements.

This video shows the live apps working in realtime with Metryx, you’ll also see Tin Can Draw in there. You can read more about Tin Can Draw here.

Huge thanks to the Metryx team, the ABCYa team, and Brian Rogers for going down the rabbit hole with me! There’s more to come, this is just the beginning.

Here’s the fully produced video!

  • Todd Shaffer

    Very cool implementation, checking those platforms out now!

  • kay_lehmann

    This is the kind of “in the future” explanation of TinCanAPI that I have been using with principals and teachers to try to explain
    the possibilities for analytics in K-12! You have arrived
    in the future!

  • Conrad Hamer

    Fascinating, I certainly will be keeping an eye on this from the UK.

  • bthatraju

    this is simply rocking… keep going

  • Shawn Rubin

    We’d love to chat through how this could be used in the UK. Get in touch @MyMetryx or contact us at

  • Shawn Rubin

    Todd, glad you’re excited about this. We are ready to take this across the k-12 space and looking for folks interested in helping us make this happen. Feel free to reach out to me at

  • Brian Dusablon

    This is excellent. Simple, practical. Well done.

  • jmosteiro

    absolutely interesting post I wanted to hear. Now we can start thinking about teachers interacting with students with collaborative activities

  • Pingback: Webinar Q&A Follow Up: Rethinking Learning Systems with the Tin Can API - Tin Can API()

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