Language Sensei is on summer break until I return to school September 3rd. Just as I spend time rethinking my teaching and learning anew, Language Sensei will be revisiting past posts concentrating on professional change and ‘easy to implement tech’.
There is a lot written about documenting student learning. How do we capture what happens as they acquire knowledge? But these days there is another person who is learning in the room – me. With a new focus on authentic learning – and the push to incorporate technology – I am often ‘learning’ more than they are. So how do I record, for me, what is happening?
Organizing – This year, as I have blogged, I tried out Evernote to capture my own learning. The ability to access my files from anywhere has been great. Not only do I put the initial lesson in – but I now often go back and update to ensure that I am ‘up to date’ on what happened. I used it extensively and have been thrilled with the ‘all in one place’ concept and the ease of access to files from my laptop, school desktop and phone. Wary of ‘crashes’, I have backed up my Evernote files as well to both Dropbox and my Mac for safety reasons (!).
Photos – I have become a big proponent of visually capturing what goes on in class. For me this is as basic as a photo of my board (if I choose to use it) and what it looks like at the start and end of class. Sometimes it is an ‘action shot’ of kids in an activity. What was going on in the room when they were working?
Audio – Audio clips of students at work are being added to my ‘files’. In a recent Yr2 group oral I used the clip to record 2 student t0 student interactions. Not only is it a ‘record’ but it is also a prompt for next time as to what students might need in the way of extra language support.
PDFs – I use my computer as many do to teach/review content. This year I automatically open a blank document and save it “Course/Date”. Then it is ready for any ‘extras’ that aren’t planned for but are needed for that day. Sometimes its extra vocabulary, or a structure that they need.
For me, the portfolio approach of audio, visual and written lesson documenting is invaluable and provide a better experience for the next group of students.