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Empowering everyone: How an educator became a Power Apps champion

Headshot of article author Bryony Wolf

An illustrated headshot of a woman named Lauren who is a Power Apps Champion in the education sector.

Elementary school principal, Lauren, has no formal IT background or training. But she knew enough about technology to know that it could help her preserve valuable data about her students—data that was being lost due to outmoded collection techniques. While exploring what was possible with Microsoft Power Platform, she discovered Power Apps and used it to make an essential solution that’s now in use at her school.

A key part of Lauren’s job as assistant principal is ensuring that her fellow educators have the information they require to adequately meet the needs of their students. When it came to reading assessments, Lauren realized that a great deal of important data and context for each student wasn’t being saved. Lauren doesn’t have a background in tech, but she knew that a technical solution was what she was looking for. And it was right in front of her.

A quote by Lauren that says, “A great deal of important information was getting lost. And in some cases, it wasn’t being recorded at all.”

A new kind of challenge for Lauren

Assessing a student’s reading level is a lengthy process involving detailed observation. Traditionally, all of the associated data was collected on paper, and then a few key details were inputted into a database. As a result, a great deal of important information was getting lost. And in some cases, it wasn’t being recorded at all. Lauren was determined to find a way to ensure these helpful insights were captured so that teachers were enabled to form a more detailed, holistic view of their students.

“I think I can make a Power App”

Like a lot of people who don’t have a tech background, Lauren was initially hesitant to begin. But she was somewhat familiar with Microsoft solutions and Microsoft Power Platform in particular. While exploring the software, she noticed a button that read simply, “create an app.” After a little more exploration, Lauren was ready to take her idea for a modern, digital approach to reading assessment to her boss. With support from school leadership and her colleagues, Lauren was able to find out how much she could accomplish with Power Apps.

From years of experience with outdated methods, Lauren’s colleagues knew her app could be a big benefit and were more than willing to help her get it up and running. Together, they worked on inputting their existing data into the app and then using the app as a data entry point for further assessments.

“Teachers can access and use data much more quickly than they could in the past”

Lauren’s app gave teachers an easy-access, intuitive way to capture data about the reading levels of their students. Turning this paper-dependent, non-centralized information trail into a digital, online database not only ensured that the information was being kept, but that it was accessible to everyone—increasing the opportunities for teacher-student connections. And for Lauren, it gave her a better view of the overall needs of her building.

Lauren’s reading assessment app was just her first step. She continues to evolve and expand the capabilities of her reading assessment app, while also exploring additional ways to empower both students and teachers at her school and in her district. She has plans to bring more of the data that’s so valuable to teachers together in ways that are quick, easy, and insightful. She also plans to build an app for students that will enable them to partner with their teachers to set goals and track progress.

Learn more about Microsoft Power Apps and how you can start working with it today.