Revolutionizing special education: New partnership innovates data collection

For K12 superintendents and educational leaders, staying abreast of technological advancements is a necessity, especially when it comes to addressing the unique needs of special education programs.

As the educational landscape continues to evolve, the integration of technology in our schools plays a pivotal role in shaping effective teaching and learning strategies. For K12 superintendents and educational leaders, staying abreast of technological advancements is not just an option, it’s a necessity—especially when it comes to addressing the unique needs of special education programs.

Stages Learning, a frontrunner in the edtech space, is proud to announce an exciting development that promises to transform how educational outcomes are measured and improved for students with autism and related cognitive delays.

Innovating with a purpose

Stages Learning is known for its Language Builder: Academic Readiness Intervention System (ARIS for short), designed to support students with autism and related cognitive challenges specifically. This comprehensive program includes everything a teacher needs to be successful in supporting learning readiness for children, including lesson plans, physical materials, and a rich emphasis on data collection and compliance.

Stages’ new venture, a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), exemplifies their shared commitment to innovation in special education. Together, the two organizations are exploring the digitization of ARIS data collection and assessment results, aiming to streamline the process and enhance the accuracy of data analysis.

This partnership is not just about technological advancement; it’s about solving a critical issue faced by educators and parents alike—ensuring that special education curricula makes a tangible impact on student learning.

Understanding the challenge

The prevalence of autism in our schools is on the rise, making support for this population a top priority for superintendents nationwide. The challenge is twofold: not only do district leaders seek effective solutions to support this growing population, but they also need robust assessment and data tracking tools. These tools must enable educators to track and study student growth metrics, providing insights that are both substantive and aligned with individualized educational goals.

Moreover, they must facilitate clear communication of progress to parents and families, ensuring that every stakeholder is engaged and informed. Compliance is critical, and effective and easy-to-implement data collection is at the heart of this work.

Our response to the challenge

Educators consistently share the need to collect data on physical sheets so as not to distract students with electronic devices, yet they also need to have the data in a digitized format so that they can more efficiently monitor progress. Recognizing these needs, Stages Learning and AWS have embarked on a pilot program designed to simplify the transition of student learning data to a digital platform, and remove the obstacles of duplicative data entry.

In essence, this partnership creates a program that will enable educators, using their cell phones, to convert their handwritten data collection into a digital format that can then be easily analyzed. The success of this initiative will empower district leaders to analyze trends and tailor learning experiences to the individual needs of each student with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and related cognitive delays.

By leveraging our partnership with AWS, we are not just advocating for technological innovation; we are championing a cause. We believe, as articulated by Jennifer Womble, that “Autism education is everyone’s business.”

A call to action

We stand at the threshold of a significant shift in the narrative surrounding special education. By embracing technology and innovation, we can overcome the challenges faced by educators, parents, and students alike. Our collaboration with AWS is a testament to our dedication to this cause, and we invite you to join us in this journey.

To learn more about how ARIS data collection can transform special education in your district, we encourage you to reach out and become part of this groundbreaking initiative.

As we look to the future, the partnership between Stages Learning and AWS symbolizes more than just technological progress; it represents a shared vision for a world where every student, regardless of their learning needs, has access to the best educational opportunities. Together, we are setting a new standard for special education, one that prioritizes innovation, inclusivity, and above all, the success of our students.

Dr. Kari Stubbs is senior vice president of business development and Anish Raguraman is director of product management at Stages Learning.

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