Funny thing around data – when students are an intricate part of the conversation, it takes on a whole different meaning. Recently, I was facilitating one of our Joint Teams (LSS/Classroom partners and Learning Technologies) with a focus on supporting learners with written output challenges. There were several tools that provide significant success for students. These I’ll write about at a later date. What really intrigued me was the rising conversation from teachers about the connections to communicating student learning. I had shared how we could use audio and images as a enhancer for students to record their understandings and how important it was to have snapshots of these over time to reflect. As these take advantage of a digital realm, the use of a place like our “student blogfolios” rose as a consideration. This allows a student to share and hold their story in the digital world, opening the door to a range of possibilities:
- access anytime anywhere by participants
- collaborative feedback in an organized manner
- connected communication between student, parent, teacher (of course anytime, anywhere)
- historic snapshots of whole child learning processes
Knowing your “why” aids in this journey. Without any advertising, our Learning Technologies team have seen this expand exponentially (yes we really only started last year with a small pilot). The implications are huge as we attempt to work through what it means to communicate deep learning in different ways, to empower students to own their voice and story, to share these breakthroughs with parents in a way that allows for dialogue.
If you are interested in this, please contact any member of the Learning Technologies team or go straight to our FORMS page to apply.
Recently we had session 2 of our Communicating Learning via ePortfolios Team. When I wrote up this session to post for the group, it struck me that these thoughts applied to everyone especially at a time when we’re all focused on assessment, report cards and all the things that come with the process.
- Learning is doing
- Learning starts with the learner’s own ideas
- Learning involves getting personally involved
- Questions drive learning and are also outcomes of learning
- Learning involves uncovering complexity
- Learning can be a group process and a group outcome
- Learning and thinking can be made visible
How might these ideas affect the way you approach a Fast ForWord learning environment, an assessment environment or what this means to think well (critically, creatively)? If you know your “why”, it’s easier to frame the assessment. I’m especially captivated by “questions drive learning and are also outcomes of learning”. Not the teacher’s questions but student’s questions.
We’d love to have your thoughts on this through the comment feature here.
In partnership with Ron Coleborn (Math consultant), we are pleased to announce two Math softwares available for teachers:
- Dreambox Learning (Math)
- Skoolbo (Math and Literacy basic skills) (Canadian version)
DreamBox is an online Math resource (K-8) intended to support personalized instruction for students from intervention to enrichment. The ongoing formative assessments within the program can align classroom practices and lessons creating a blended model of instruction. Some of our schools have been using the program in pilot and can share their stories. A small number of purchased student licenses are available. More information can be found on our Learning Technologies site (WEB RESOURCES > DREAMBOX LEARNING). Teachers who are interested may apply on our FORMS page.
Skoolbo (Canadian version)(K-5) is now available for those who are seeking practice in basic skills in Math or Literacy (building blocks). This is an online resource that provides a “game type” environment to hone basic skills. Create your avatar and the program can take you through the skillsets (based on a set of pre-tests). Or a teacher can assign specific content where practice is needed. This may enhance (RTI) Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports. We’ve registered all schools (elementary and secondary). More information can be found on our Learning Technologies site (WEB RESOURCES > SKOOLBO). Teachers who are interested may apply on our FORMS page for a class account.
Watch for a full launch in September. Perhaps I see a coordinated song and dance in the future?
Welcome back. Exciting things are afoot… This month is all about connecting and relationship building. Behind every one of those faces are stories waiting to be heard.
Changes to both our infrastructure and Fast ForWord content is going to make this an exciting year. If you are interested in having this program in your building, please contact me (there will be training in October). If you are a continuing site, here are some possibilities to consider:
- new 3 day protocol with 40 minutes or 90 minutes available (*consider getting as close to 200 minutes/week as your goal for success). This may provide timetable flexibility to some sites.
- new reports – detailing immediate achievement
- Raz-Kids (our famous online support for reading fluency and comprehension) has changed its weblink and management look. New weblink is: kidsa-z.com (Please ensure that you have changed your links on class blogs and school websites.) This program is great for classroom teachers. Applications are found > FORMS
- ARC-BC – register for a new year. Information and training: http://www.arc-bc.org/
- New BC curriculum – get the latest to explore – https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/