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Red Beach School – Where to next

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In this Ministry of Education seminar, staff, students, and a parent from Red Beach School discuss the use of e-portfolios as a teaching and learning tool. Here, Chris Bradbeer describes the vision for the next part of the Red Beach School learning journey and answers questions from the seminar audience.

This seminar is presented in six clips:

  1. The Red Beach School vision
  2. How we have developed e-reflection in our school
  3. Students' perspectives
  4. A parent's perspective
  5. A teacher's perspective
  6. Where to next and questions


Justin: Thank you Miss Finlayson. I'll hand over to Mr Bradbeer to explain where the learning journals are heading next within our school.

Chris Bradbeer: And so we are thinking where to next really for learning journals and how we can make this tool and what we've got here even better. From a Knowledge Net side we're looking at streaming video and audio so that the students can be using flip videos or the cameras and upload the videos immediately and it will be on a media server that is housed at KnowledgeNet. Ultimately it would be nice to have RSS feeds for parents so that when a student had gone on they get a little reminder in their email saying your child has just gone on and they've added a new reflection. From a Musac point of view we are trialling version 2 at the moment and to date it has been successful which we are delighted about which is going to make it a lot easier for us to get good assessment data up for parents to see and attendance data as well.

From our point of view we've been sharing this a lot at school. We've started to bring other classes on board with it. These guys have been involved in training and doing some professional development for teachers and showing them how to run this in the program. They spent half a day with a group of teachers and so we're looking at next year it going school wide. And bringing parents on board is always really important for us and at times with KnowledgeNet has been challenging. We've tried to expediate it a little bit by putting all our mid year reports up on KnowledgeNet and if you want to read your child's mid year report you will need your login. So we are hoping that works next week.

Assessment data can look really good and will look really good once we get into version 2 and it will enable us to look at things like STAR reading, and AsTTLe and PATs. And have a much better look and feel about it for parents. So we are really excited about that. We currently have attendance data on a daily basis which comes straight from Musac's absences our e-attendance program which keeps parents up to date with that. So it comes back to that the view of attendance, assessment and learning that is going on. As I said we have been bringing others on board. These are some shots of these guys doing PD for our teachers. Never underestimate the power of student voice, they do a great job. So that is about all for us today, we would just like to say thank you.

Justin: It has been a pleasure to present to you today. You may have some questions which we are happy to answer.

Question: Percentage wise of the work that the students do on this is done in the class and how much of it is done at home?

Student: Well I mostly share even with at home and at school. Mostly we get one or two times at school to go on through the day and I'd say about half each or like, so 50% at school and 50% at home.

Student: Well I think I do a tiny, tiny bit more at school that at home, but well sometimes, well ever since we heard about coming here I think I've done it a lot more.

Teacher: It definitely started as we, to start it off we put it in the reading and the maths tumble so whatever learning outcome they had for that week in their maths group or the reading group it become part of the tumble. So they worked with us and then they worked in their group the next day to consolidate and the next day they would be on their learning journals talking about that WALHT and whether they felt like they understood it and they got it and everything. And that was how it started off but it has just kind of exploded from there as you can see from these guys. It is still a requirement that obviously once a week they are in there at reading tumble and once a week in their maths tumble but they go on much more than that now. So there are specific times as well as their own times when they go in.

Question: Do some of the things you've learnt around eportfolios help you with learning you do outside of school?

Student: Well it does help you because when you, you can see what, like in numeracy you can see what people do and see oh I might do that because I haven't learnt that yet. And also in the literacy journal you can always get good books to read and that's always good. And also if someone did some writing you could see, compare your one with their one and see oh I messed up that and I could add that in next time.

Student: Well you can actually kind of make connections with outside school and inside school. For example if you said something really hard outside school you could compare it with something you did hard inside school for work that you did.

Student: At our school we have success criteria of how we are going to do something and a WALHT (we are learning how to). And I think that can actually, well with learning journals you can use the things you have done from there, and like in swimming: what are you trying to do what is your goal? To do a certain amount of lengths. How am I going to do this? And why am I doing this? And the learning journals have definitely improved how you can do things outside of school and not just inside and achieve at higher levels than before.

Questions: What happens if you make a spelling mistake?

Student: Well when I go on at home I have Google Chrome so it underlines it automatically but if I don't have it I copy it and then paste it onto Word and then fix it up and then paste it back.

Teacher: We had exactly the same question when we had some examples up a few weeks ago with dreadful spelling. And the question was should that boy have gone back and, should we have said to him, come on go back in and check your spelling, because that is really important. But then we looked at well, this guy you know, he's made a real effort to get on here. He's actually started thinking reflectively, he's started talking about his learning, and his spelling dreadful. And we actually thought, well, for this environment what's the most important thing really. And so whilst that might be a conversation I might have with him in a couple of month's time, at the moment I'm thinking no it's more important for him to be getting his ideas up and his thoughts and sharing his reflections and engaging in that feedback that he is able to give other people as well.

Student: If I could improve learning journals I think I would give like grandparents and other family the chance to go on as well. And maybe a little alert thing that tells you if someone has responded to feedback or not and or when you add a new one on other people's ones if they are your peers then there's a thing that you can go in and comment on their new entry.

Teacher: We've started looking at this issue and we're slowly bringing parents on board and with our whole journey with KnowledgeNet it has been quite a slow journey to bring parents on board. The main reason is I think that they need a purpose, they need a reason to go on. And as soon as we are getting more attendance data and assessment data and things like learning journals and that, a window into the learning in the classroom, I think that will really encourage parents to go on more. Because there is a reason for it. At the moment there is not quite that reason. We do have some students that don't have access at home. We make sure they get time at school so they are not disadvantaged by that.

Question: Can parents get access through the school if they wanted to?

Teacher: We have a digital classroom so that is available. We haven't made it available for parents in the morning really but it is certainly an option that we could look at. So it is something to think about.

Published on: 20 Jul 2010