Tuesday, September 22, 2015

a PD course leads to data tracking reflection...

Just recently, I completed a 6 hour Professional Development course online with Cool Australia.
The course was about sustainability - the integration of units across the curriculum.
At the close of the course, we were asked to reflect on future perspectives of sustainability.
I am still reflecting, wondering, considering possibilities... and more...

1. Could schools connect more actively with the community?
*schools grow veggies for local restaurants?
*schools help council regions to maintain clean parks, reserves and waterways?
(Balnarring Primary School on my Mornington Peninsula contributes to the protection of the nearby Balbirooroo Wetlands)

* Year levels have particular community responsibilites, so that by the close of secondary schooling, students have participated in a range of community activities?

(For another post 'Reflections on Sustainability' see HERE)

Blue Illusion - in the Australian fashion retail scene for 15 years - partnered with Cool Australia.
By hosting a national event on 2nd August, Blue Illusion contributed 10% of sales
to the Cool Australia cause.
For more details
see HERE 
... driving change and making a real difference is integral to Blue Illusion. 
On going partnerships with charities including World Vision, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Dress for Success, Bali Life, Red Cross Australia and Smith Family are the foundation to the brand’s vision of ultimate success. 
In recent years, it is estimated that Blue Illusion has donated in excess of $500k annually.

There is now a global trend for student data tracking.
MAP = Measures of Academic Progress
A database is longitudinal if it provides the ability to track the same type of information on the same students at multiple points in time.

Sample of Australian online student tracking databases
Some Advantages
Simple, intuitive interface makes GradeXpert easy to use.
Easily record and analyse qualitative and quantitative student assessment results and normalised scores.
Add detailed comments and anecdotal notes of unlimited length to assist in monitoring student progress.
Attach any type of external file, e.g. Word document, PDF, JPG or MP3 to any assessment result or note to build up a digital portfolio for each student.

Evidence of progress is not all numbers  
 teacher observation of student's classroom interactions, attitudes and participation
 teacher observation of informal performance in class (on-going)
 audio/video recordings of students’ spoken communication
 homework comprising reading and written tasks extending class work
 formal assignments, completed in and/or out of class, related to course content and presented in written or spoken form
 tests of achievement (ie assessing what has been covered in the course)
(Pre and post tests)
 regular tests of general proficiency (ie unrelated to specific course content )
 regular progress interviews to gauge student's  perception of personal progress
 reflective/learning journals, diaries, blogs or wikis
This could include a portfolio recording a student's ongoing community service, 
sustainability efforts + student reflection.
 project work (small group or individual)
This could include creating a website with wix.com or weebly.com
In a group situation, each group member would have a strategic role to play in the final product.
Progress can be identified through self-, peer- or teacher-assessment of performance.
GradeXpert accommodates all these records 
accessible for all teachers

Final Thoughts
Sustainability seems like a difficult subject to integrate across the curriculum.
Data tracking seems like a mine field with a broad spectrum of demands.
Could both assist each other to achieve an effective outcome?

Shared on Edmodo 22.9.15

To teach is to keep learning
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