For a number of years now we have been using learning logs in class. These logs allow children to set targets for their learning, in consultation with their teacher and, over the years, we have advanced their use so that the children self assess their progress towards their target and offer some ideas as to where we might find examples of their success that might be used as evidence. I have felt since I first saw glowblogs that their blog would work very well as a kind of personal reflective space that they could look back upon over the years and see their progress in their own words.
Since my first set of posts we have been running two systems; the paper based learning log and the blog and after a period of evaluation the SMT felt that neither was being done as effectively as they might be, as the time spent on one was to the detriment of the other. So we made the leap. Last week we decided, with the backing of our forward thinking HT, that the way forward for our senior pupils was to move the lot, wholesale onto the glow blog and only focus on that.
We decided to move forward with our 3 most senior classes; a primary 6, a primary6/7 and a primary 7. The teachers and myself had a conversation and looked at all the things that our paper based log had that our blog didn’t and what then needed added. First and most obvious was the 4 capacities records where our children note times throughout the session that they felt they met one or more of the capacities. This was easily covered by the children simply adding pages to their blog for each of Successful Learner, Confident Individual, Effective Contributor and Responsible Citizen and dragging the pages widget onto the sidebar.
We were keen that the blog did not just become a list of targets so we wanted some way of differentiating them from other blog posts and make it easy for teachers to see when targets were being set and evaluated. We went belt and braces on this by insisting all targets are set in purple and when they are evaluated it is done in orange and the date of the evaluation is added. In an ideal world children will also be able to attach a piece of work they think meets the success criteria. As part of trying to make this happen we have managed to get the photocopier working as a scanner which deposits scans into a shared area on our network. Of course I now need to find a time to show all the office staff how to do this ….
We are also insisting that children log their targets in curriculum categories so we spent a bit of time adding the appropriate curricular areas and dragging the categories widget onto the sidebar as well. This way teachers and children can check the dropdown for categories and see the post count against each one. We are also encouraging (for encouraging read insisting!) the children to link their target to what they see as the appropriate experience and outcome from A Curriculum for Excellence planning tool from LTscotland website. I think it is really important that children be able to browse around their experiences and outcomes and start to realise that what they do on a daily basis has broader meaning and is part of a larger whole, we need to keep encouraging our children to see the links between their learning and their real life.
So, we will watch them all with interest and see what they make of it.