Please meet Brian Story, a Teacher Engagement Manager and former teacher trainer for ASSISTments in North Carolina. Before joining us, Brian worked as a high school teacher, lead teacher, and organizer of Math and English remediation programs. Brian is excited to be a part of the ASSISTments team because, “It gives me the chance to help teachers integrate technology into their classrooms in a way that actually improves the student experience."
Tell me about your teaching background.
Prior to joining the ASSISTments team, I taught Science and Social Studies for ten years in Virginia and Washington D.C. in some of the nation’s highest-need schools. In this role, I orchestrated a remediation program after school and on Saturdays, where I became familiar with common core math. In addition to classroom teaching, I also maintained leadership roles throughout my career, most recently serving as the Lead Teacher for the 9th Grade Academy at my school. I care passionately about providing students with meaningful and rigorous classroom experiences regardless of the knowledge and skills with which they enter.
Why did you join the ASSISTments platform?
While I wanted to continue working in education and make the most of my expertise, I was ready to exit the classroom. When I found out about ASSISTments, the idea of training teachers appealed to me because of my previous experience coaching teachers in DC.
Once I looked into the ASSISTments platform, I noticed the focus on giving teachers data feedback. It became clear to me that ASSISTments was leveraging technology to increase the quality of classrooms. I was excited that ASSISTments makes it easier for teachers to look at data and share data with students. I have never encountered such an effective online education system that was free to teachers!
Getting meaningful data back to students is a huge time commitment. Having been a teacher myself, I can tell you that many teachers struggle to give meaningful feedback in a timely manner. I joined the ASSISTments team because I was excited to be a part of a system that addresses a huge need in classrooms: getting data and giving feedback.
What is your role at ASSISTments?
In North Carolina, we are doing the replication study that builds upon the original ASSISTments efficacy study in Maine. My role is to manage the study on the ground. I meet with teachers periodically and monitor their progress implementing ASSISTments with their students. This includes learning about specific teacher needs, how they operate in their classrooms, how they assign problems and how they review item report data with students. Additionally, I coordinate the collection and modification of new content for upload into the ASSISTments database depending on the individual teacher needs. We coordinate content from teachers so they don’t have to build it themselves, which also allows other teachers to make use of it too!
I also maintain relationships with administrators at schools. I check in with principals and assistant principals to see how teachers are doing, as well as work with instructional coaches.
How do you see tech helping education in the future?
I think the biggest potential is for AI to provide teachers with nuanced data that gives them a holistic picture of their classroom. This AI can assist teachers with grading as well as more complicated tasks such as textual analysis. Additionally, AI can can concisely bring data to the teacher immediately as students submit work
The other big area with technology is using the technology to make students a part of the conversation about their own progress. Most students’ mentality is when they receive a grade, they either like it or not and then they throw it in the trash. This is a missed opportunity for learning because students have not learned what they did correctly and incorrectly. I think technology can fundamentally help us alter the relationship between students and their work. With the help of technology, there can be a constant feedback cycle that can support improvement, and student self-awareness of their weak and strong points. I believe that these conversations can erode typical issues with student confidence, perseverance and durability when facing challenging problems.