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Using Technology to share Evidence at scale, remotely
16/03/2021 @ 10:00 - 11:00 GMT
With the expectation that blended learning will continue for many schools, it is clear that how teachers communicate with parents will be vital in ensuring pupil progress.
Broadening out the idea of evidence, Learning Ladders CEO and founder, Matthew Koster Marcon, emphasises the importance of sharing these moments in learning as a catalyst for communication between teachers, parents and students.
Fortunately this is an area Learning Ladders has much experience in. Any one of our member schools or those who have attended our webinars will know have heard the terms; specific, concrete and visual data and evidence used frequently when referring to improving student outcomes.
Every one of our features has been developed over time with communication in mind:
- Our new GL data dashboards for communicating your internal data evidence
- Specific, detailed and automated pupil reports for sharing evidence
- Sharing evidence of Learning Goals through Ladders at Home, our parent portal
- Portfolio evidence with 2 way communication and feedback between parent and teachers
- Gap Analysis demonstrating evidence of learning across prior years
Have a listen to the webinar recording below, there’s some incredibly useful tips for establishing these concrete examples and evidence for your parents, future colleagues and students.
Matt: Welcome to the webinar. We are going to focus today on using technology to share evidence at scale and remotely, so a slightly unusual topic. The guys in the office thought this might be quite interesting to want to cover because obviously with the lockdown in most of the world, a lot of people have been using technology to share what’s been going on from home to school, from school to home, and with blended learning. The expectation is that that will continue for many people and it’s something that we’ve been doing at Learning Ladders for a number of years. So we’re going to share some ideas and some ways that you can do it.
The first thing I think probably to address in this conversation clearly is what is the evidence and why would you share it? So for the purposes of this webinar, then I think evidence is any kind of conversation, any insights or any record around a child’s learning and what’s going on for that particular child. So when we talk about evidence and building up observation banks and that sort of stuff in education, then typically I think we quite often mean a picture or a video of a child doing something. But equally, it can be a teacher assessment. So in a professional judgement of the teacher, it can be a parent comment.
So, again, I think one of the things that has changed over the last year or so is the idea that obviously parents at home have a huge role to play in their children’s learning and anything they can do to capture moments of learning is a wonderful thing. So broadening out the idea of evidence, I think, is a really important area because it’s about to ring moments of learning so that you can build upon them. And really, ultimately, what we’re trying to do here is create great conversations about learning. So as Ken Robinson has said, education is a conversation, not a transfusion. We very firmly believe this, at Learning Ladders, as with everything that we do is about creating great conversations about learning so conversations between the children and their teacher, conversations between the children, conversations between teachers in the staff room, and then conversations between school and home. And how can we use evidence and how can we use the tools at our disposal to accelerate and prompt those conversations. So that’s the area that we’re going to sort of focus on, on today, if you like. It’s worth at this point just pausing and thinking what could be the impact? What is the prize if we can get this dialogue working properly? And there’s probably an assumption here that we will. There is an assumption here that by sharing evidence, we’re probably going to be doing it with parents. That’s not necessarily the only reason that you might want to share evidence. You may want to record evidence for your future colleagues or for moderation. But in the majority of cases, it’s for sharing it with parents. And the reason why you would do that is it’s a really good way of starting a dialogue with home. Why would you want to start a dialogue with home? Because the primary age children and younger children getting adult involved in children’s learning is potentially six times as effective as anything you will do in school. So unlocking parent power through these dialogues in these conversations is an incredibly important thing to do.
But the majority of parents say they don’t know how to help. So sharing with them and starting these conversations is the first part of this process, obviously. So we know that getting parents involved is super important. If anybody has ever been to a Learning Ladders webinar before, you know, we talk about this incessantly. This is incredibly important. If you can get parents involved in children’s learning, you can potentially add two or three years to that child’s education. It’s a really low hanging fruit, we would say a really easy way of improving children’s education. But it can be a difficult thing to do. So sharing evidence, sharing what children can do with their parents or with their future teachers is a really, really good way of bringing it to life. And it’s a really good way of stimulating conversations at home, because we know that a lot of parents will struggle with how to help their children at home. We know that a lot of parents find this difficult and as well as upskilling them so that they understand the terminology, they understand the techniques, they understand how we’re helping them, which is something obviously we do through through Learning Ladders, that is parent portal and the resources, as well as doing all of that.
If you can share evidence and you can share a picture of the child’s work, then you have a very specific concrete, visual way of starting off that conversation and something to build upon. So you can do all of that. You can do it in an automated way. This is how we do it. Those of you familiar with the platform, you need to upskill parents so they know how to help a home. So share the evidence alongside the tutorial so they know exactly how to help at home. And it can be a really, really simple process. So for those of you who are using the system just to make sure that you know where it is, I’m logged on as an admin at the moment. So if I’m going into something like class assessments and I want to start using this functionality, then very, very simply I would go into what I’m currently working on. Let’s say I’m working on the year five curriculum. This is bringing up all of the assessments that I have, all of the children, wherever I am, I’m going to have it when I’m in. And I’ve got this evidence upload button here and I can choose different ways of doing this. So there’s the standard way of doing it. So when I note an assessment, I can click on here and I can attach an observation to this particular child’s assessment history so I can attach a picture, remove an audio file. If I want to take audio notes, I can add some supporting text. I can add some sort of notes in here, and I can then upload it and share it with parents. And in our platform, we have the option. Do you want to keep it just internally or do you want to also publish it with parents? So you can use this functionality in here and this then shares with parents really, really simply through the parent platform.
When parents log in, they will then see this as a portfolio item, slightly gentler terminology in here. And they can see the pictures when you shared it. They can comment on it or make a feedback to you. It may be also that you want to upload the same piece of evidence across multiple children and multiple assessments. So this is particularly popular in early years and you can do that within the system as well. So click on the upload shared evidence. And literally all you would do here is say, well, I’ve got this one picture and that relates to this child and this objective, this child and this objective and maybe this child and this objective. And then I’ll follow the same process. I just upload upload the image, the video, whatever it is, any supporting notes I want to make in here. And I attach it to multiple children and it gets shared in the same way. So it’s a really simple thing to do within the platform. It’s part of your membership. There’s no extra fee for this. And you can upload this is related in various different areas. So that’s how you would do it within the Learning Ladders system.
That then links through to these tutorials at home. So the process would be, as a parent, I’m starting to see, right, my child is currently working on this particular objective. I can see the portfolio item. I can see the teacher’s notes but over and above that, I also then have articles in here explaining to me, (that have been written by the learning that his team, your staff don’t have to do this) explaining exactly how this works so that I can then build upon the evidence and use some to do something about it and then potentially share reciprocal evidence home. And as always, these are available in over 100 languages. So that’s your basic sharing evidence. And that process, I think, is incredibly common.
Now, people are really getting used to this idea of sharing evidence and you can do it through the platform in that way. The other thing that you might want to start looking at, taking a complete departure, is why not start sharing with parents some of the other more detailed stuff that you’re doing in school. So this is a dashboard that we have in learning that is for, for example, some of the GL data. So this is your CAT4 data, your Pass data, your Progress data, as well as your internal data. And this is possibly something that, again, you could think about sharing as evidence. It’s data evidence, but it will give you an idea and give you a building block from which to have conversations with parents. So you probably can’t see this. But in terms of the what this is these, these dials here on the different CAT4 scores. This is your Progress test score for maths, English and science. And what this is starting to do for you is give you a sense of and according to the assessments here, this is what you could broadly call the child sort of potential in these kind of areas. This is their current achievement and why there may be gaps in that process. These are their attitudes to learning. So we have here some specific data, evidence around attitudes to learning, and we can share that with parents as well. And again, it comes back to the starting point. This is all about starting conversations, about learning. So you’ve got your basic, I’m taking a picture I want to share that, I’m building up a portfolio, I’ve got two way communications with parents. That’s fantastic. You’ve got you’re much, much more detailed. I’ve got some really detailed dashboards that I can potentially share here. You could also do a sort of gentler version of this as well.
So, again, in the system, if you’re using Learning Ladders as you can go into any of the children and you can create what’s called a pupil statement, so you can choose various different subjects, different year groups. So I’m just going to choose reading in year four and I can choose any other information I want to. And this will then generate a report which will enable you to share with parents, specifically what’s been going on for that child. This is then sharing, right, these are the objectives that the child is working on. And here’s the evidence of their learning. This is what the teacher has assessed so I can very easily see where those gaps are learning. So you’ve got various different ways of doing it and they’re all designed to start a conversation.
The other way you can do it, obviously, is through pupil reports. So most schools will be familiar with sending an end of term or end of year pupil report, but why not make it really, really specific and really detailed? So, again, you can automate this process in Learning Ladders that as you can automate your end of term reports, you can automate your end of year reports, and it will enable you to share information, share evidence in a much, much more detailed way. What this is sharing here is some specific information about a school, but if I go into the actual subjects, what it will then do is they share some basic information here about progress and attainment, but sharing evidence of these are the specific strengths and specific challenges that this individual child has in maths at this moment in time with some teacher comment and some evidence in here.
So you’ll really quickly and easily sharing this with with parents in a whole new way. And again, coming back to the main point, this is all designed to start a conversation about learning the more. You can give concrete examples, concrete evidence; either for parents, for the children or for future colleagues. That’s incredibly useful to be able to see what’s going on. So the way that most people do it for parents will be through the portfolio, through the pupil reports, through the online platform and sharing that. And that’s a really fantastic thing to do. You can, of course, also share it for your future colleagues.
So by saving this evidence and by putting it within the system, you then have that in there, that your future colleagues have evidence of prior learning. And that’s a really important thing if you’re going to look to improve children’s attainment. So, again, what might that look like? Well, simplistically, you could do something like a Gap Analysis tool. So say, for example, I’m the current year five teacher and I’m about to teach reading, but I want to see how they did when they were in year four. Where’s the evidence of learning in year four? I can just really simply toggle between the groups here. So this is my current Year five AB class. These are all the objectives they had in year four. And this is where the gaps in learning are. This is where they are. I can even toggle back to year three of my previous colleagues who taught these children have gone to the trouble of identifying this for me and recording it and if I wanted to, go back into the assessments. I could actually have a look at the pictures of the work that the children have done, assuming that it’s been stored on the system as well. So you’re building up that record for children to share with them, to share with parents, to share with future colleagues all the time, starting great conversations about learning and giving everybody all the tools that they need to be able to support the child in that learning process. So those are some of the other things that we sort of talk about that we sort of see and we understand are quite good. Does it work? Yeah, absolutely. We know that it works. We’ve we’re doing some studies at the moment with our particular schools so that we understand exactly what they’re doing and how they’re getting on. We see a big improvement in their work. We know from research that this is an area that really does make a difference for improving teaching and learning and attainment for children.
So super short webinar on this one, because I wanted to leave some time for Q&A at the end, because this is the first time we’ve done this one. And I thought people might want to go into some specific answers. So if you have a question, do you just pop it into the chat or the Q&A? In summary, I would say share things with with parent, share things with with students, share things with future colleagues, start those great conversations about learning. That’s where the magic happens. But be really, really specific. Sending something home to parents saying your child has done well, we are really proud of them is lovely, but it doesn’t help learning. It needs to be much more specific. It needs to be, so what what are you doing about it? So we have been working on number bonds to 10 and your child has currently been able to do this. Here is a picture of their work. We would like you to do this at home and then share that evidence back with us is a much, much more defined process that will improve learning rather than just sending home a picture in a portfolio and saying this is what we did this week. If you’re just sending home stuff, that’s this is what we did this week. And here are some pictures of it that is clearly better than nothing and that has a value. But why not take it to the next level? Why not then link that to specific instructions for pupils and for parents about exactly what they do with that information and exactly what then comes next?
If you want to reach out to us and have a conversation about how you might set this up. We’ve been doing it for years with schools all around the world, so we’re super happy to help. If you do want to reach out to us, then this is how you can get hold of us. So we have the website, obviously, that’s me. That’s my email address. I’m fairly easy to find given I have an unusual name. So that’s my Twitter handle and that’s where you’ll find me on LinkedIn, which is another good way to find us. So it has been a quick one this week in terms of our sort of speedy webinar series. But I hope it has been useful. If you want any more help and advice, get in touch with us.
I’m going to move to questions now because I think we’ve had a couple come in already. So questions coming in.
Is there any limit on the file size?
Yes, there is. Within our system there is a file size limit, but it’s more than enough for a sort of 30 second video. If you wanted to record super high definition half hour videos or something, you wouldn’t do it through this particular platform. What I would suggest you would do is upload it to a free file saving saving platform, something like a Vimeo or a private YouTube channel, and then share the link with parents. So if you were recording a long outdoor activity or you were recording a school play or a performance or a recital or something like that, record it, upload it to a file sharing site and then share the link with parents because there is a file limit within our platform. Another comment in here. You haven’t received webinars. Apologies if you’ve not received it. I’ll chase up on that for you. But if you go to the website, if you go to learningladders.info, they’re all on the blogs, on the on the website as well. So you should be able access through those. But I’ll take a screenshot of that and make sure this gets sent to you.
Any other questions in here?
Yes, the parents are another question coming in, can parents access and keep these these these sort of pictures and stuff? Yes. So the way the system is designed in the parent portal, the parents can just download the images, print them or save them on, stick them on the fridge, do do whatever they want. That’s part of the process with with doing it as well
OK, so can you add notes to the evidence?
Yes, you can. So just to show you that, again, if you were, for example, going into this assessment here, we just go into a class and say that I was going to be doing some year five assessments and I wanted to upload some evidence, then you would just type in here.
You have a thousand characters as your limit. So very simple. Just drag and drop it off into that. OK. All right. I think we are coming to the end of the questions, if there’s any other questions that anyone has, then do let me know. Just give it one more second couple more in the Q&A.
How is privacy of data maintained for individual children?
A really good question. So as a school, you will obviously have your own individual policies for children’s privacy and how you share images as a system. The assumption is that your teachers are aware of any children who shouldn’t be photographed. So it’s entirely possible that parents may have expressed a wish that their children’s photographs are not used or not shared in any way within the platform. When you share pictures or you share evidence, it’s only ever shared with the related parents on the child’s account. So if a teacher was to share evidence for me, the only people who would see that would be my parents who are allocated onto the system. So the only way that’s different is if it’s shared evidence where everybody is seeing the same picture. So in that case, you just need to make sure that obviously you’re not sharing pictures with other people. If it’s a child who doesn’t want their picture taken and most classes will have that within the system. The majority of schools that we work with will have a very clear policy around this. Parents would have signed the policy. To say that they’re happy for children’s images to be shared is part of the terms and conditions for using the site. So when they sign up to the as a home portal, when you give them the access, it’s part of the part of the terms and conditions of the site. So they’ve they’ve got permission in that sense. And in terms of data security, then obviously the system itself is very secure because it has children’s data in any way so that the images and stuff and the evidence falls into that category. So I think that answers your question there. But do ask if you’ve got any more.
OK, I think I may have covered most of the questions there, but it was useful for those. Thank you for those. If you are a Learning Ladder’s customer and you want to find out more information about this, as always, do go into the help section. So within the help section, you have loads and loads of articles and resources. You have the recordings of CPD webinars, upcoming webinars, the community chats, all sorts of other stuff in here.
All right, thank you so much for joining us. I will make sure that the follow up of this is emailed out. Thank you very much for your time and attention and have a fabulous day of hope that was useful I’m going to draw it to a close now.