CCA - Academic Tracker; The Struggle to Find Educational Technology's Place in the Classroom

Kinzer, Christian, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia
Jacques, Richard, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Throughout history, technology has played a key role in facilitating education. As we
have entered the digital age, a wealth of online resources has been developed for administrators,
teachers, and students to increase a capacity of learning. My technical team was approached by
the director of a small school to create a personalized system for them to track and analyze
standardized testing scores for their students over time. In parallel, my STS research examines
and critiques the current dynamic between educational technology companies, educators, and
students in an effort to provide a framework for judging the efficacy of various educational
Engaging in my STS research proved immensely valuable when applied to my technical
project. Most notably, determining economic pressures applied to educational technology
companies allowed me to understand what facets of modern educational technology are
beneficial to users as compared to other participants, such as educational technologists and their
investors. Outlining an overarching goal of general societal education was necessary to ensure
that the product created in my technical project would best serve the school administration and
its students.
In completing my technical project, my team was able to provide the school director with
an intuitive and secure system to store data on student performance and provide valuable
analytical tools for administrators. We believe that the practical use of our system can help the
director to identify students struggling academically, evaluate teacher performance, and reveal
current shortcomings of the educational experience provided by the school. With the insight
provided by our system, the director can then consider the allocation of the school’s resources
and make informed decisions to improve the overall quality of education for numerous students.
My STS research revealed a complex and interconnected narrative surrounding modern
educational technology. This helped me to understand why educational technologies provided by
large companies were not suitable to the school in my technical project. I also was able to
develop my own understanding of what constitutes quality educational technology and apply that
understanding as I progressed through my technical project. In this thesis, I hope to share key
lessons that I learned so that others can further their understanding of educational technology and
push the industry in a direction that best serves educators and students.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
educational technology, django, data privacy

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Ahmed Ibrahim
STS Advisor: Richard Jacques
Technical Team Members: Preston Troxell

Issued Date: