Published by: New Visions for Public Schools
Since its introduction in September 2009, DataCation has grown in usage from a small network of New York City schools to nearly 3,000 schools in five states. The expansion of DataCation is tied in important ways to Rogers’s theory of individual adoption patterns and Coburn’s theory of scale. In New York City, DataCation was rolled out after the introduction of previous reforms (NCLB, New York City Accountability, Inquiry, College Readiness Metrics and Data Specialist Network). DataCation further amplified the adoption process by meeting users within the flow of their work.
But the desire to meet users within the flow of their work results in platform redesign, and, redesign often invites complexity. Removing the obstacles presented by complexity can be addressed by implementing other, high-leverage strategies like training and responsiveness. Trainings, school visits, webinars and ongoing technical support alleviate the anxieties that innovations introduce and help users feel at ease with the system. In the case of DataCation, the attention to training and professional development decreased its perceived complexity.