Technology, when used skillfully, opens up possibilities never before imagined. I like to take advantage of those possibilities. In my classroom, technology is embedded into our learning. I know, though, that when I ask my Grade 7 students to use their technology to its fullest extent for learning, I must do the same. Regarding assessment, I can’t in good conscience collect the same old vague and lifeless data when I know there are better ways out there. I have to go deeper.
Assessment is so much more than recording a number from a test. A spreadsheet of assignments, tests, and scores doesn’t contain the richness of a term’s work when writing anecdotal reports. It doesn’t help me share specific examples in a parent meeting. I need a better way to guide, curate, and share learning. I need assessment information that is more specific than a simple 15 out of 20 on an assignment.
Enter FreshGrade. What I love is that they aren’t solely focused on the number, the score. They are about capturing the moments of learning. Whether it’s a poster, a group project, or a rubric, all can be recorded. All the data, percentages, effort scales, 4-point scales, and more are put together with pictures, audio, or video files to create a full picture of student learning. I can use this data to plan the next activity, write reports, or share with parents.
The ability to capture learning through pictures has been indispensable. I have had difficulties in the past when summing up a rubric or a reading conference form on a marks program. The data usually gets squeezed into some kind of percentage. FreshGrade, though, allows me to take a picture of the rubric or form and attach it to a student’s portfolio. Brilliant. The iPhone App has become essential for capturing learning in the moment. Not only does it immediately send the snapshot to a student’s portfolio, it allows me to snap a shot of group-work, add a note of feedback, and then assign it to several student portfolios at once.
FreshGrade’s effective use of technology truly makes the time I spend assessing, providing feedback, and recording data more efficient. You would think that technology could innovate assessment. FreshGrade made it happen.
Sean Robinson, Grade 7 teacher at Citadel Middle School in Port Coquitlam, BC