Smata: small data for learning growth

As a teacher, you know that what guides your daily decision making are the thousands of tiny clues you glean as you interact with your students. No doubt, you have numerous stories of what a learner can do. Too often, this small data – the tiny clues and relational stories – does not match with the bigger data that comes out of assessment. Too often, what counts and what success is judged by, is the result that comes from the assessment, from the big data.


You know that small data offers a valuable, fuller picture of who a learner is. What if others could see the small data too, and its value? What if you got to capture the small data and see it in a more ‘concrete’ way, using it to guide your planning as you seek to grow your learners? That is what Smata offers you.


Smata allows you to use the photos, videos and audio recordings you take daily and turn them into meaningful information that allows you to focus on growing your learners. It’s an app that’s always with you and ready when you need it, so you can capture that information as it happens, and then get back to your job of supporting the growth of your students. It’s an app that allows you to look back at what you capture as you plan. It’s an app that supports the hunches and stories you have with evidence.


The development of Smata is rooted in my personal experience of teaching and working with teachers across New Zealand, and understanding that if holistic learning growth is what schools, teachers and parents seek, then a tool is required to support and give value to that aim. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Bevan Holloway About the author

Bevan is the founder of Smata. He is a former secondary school English teacher and Core Education e-Fellow, where he researched the adoption of play pedagogy in a secondary context. Bevan works with schools across New Zealand who look to foster learner agency, both in the primary and secondary sectors. It is that work that led to the development of the Smata app.

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