The Living Learning Record
Doug Stacey and his colleagues at Rutland Elementary School have been leaders in leveraging technology with their students for many years now. Recently, Doug has been experimenting with an innovative approach to Communicating Student Learning (CSL) that involves what one might call a “living learning record”. This “living learning record” is a way for Doug to bring greater value and emphasis to the observations and conversations that go on each day in his vibrant classroom. Often, we see products being the dominant form of evidence that reflect where a student is at when it comes to a given learning standard. This is often because products are more tangible whereas observations and conversations often go unrecorded. With Doug’s “living learning record” he has created a prototype in which each student in his class has their own Google Doc with the learning standards listed for a given term. As students are engaged in learning throughout the day, Doug actively observes his students and engages in conversations with them about their learning. At any given time, Doug may hear or see a student demonstrate growth in a particular learning standard. When this occurs, Doug jumps right into that student’s learning record and updates it in real-time to reflect his observation/conversation.
In addition to Doug’s exploration of a “living learning record” he also invites students at the end of each term to conference with him and provide further evidence (again through conversation) to update/amend anything on the record that the student feels should be changed. When it comes to Doug and his colleagues’ next steps, they are focusing in on the products they collect as well. Their students are currently using Seesaw to document evidence of learning and Doug is curious about what “touchstones” might be the most important to capture each term. For example, having students select their strongest writing sample (in their eyes) and share their thinking on it.