Case Study

Digital Learning Journals

Aim: To tap into learning through modes other than reading and writing

Reading and writing are two integral skills of society. But what would happen if we tap into learning through other modes? If a student cannot demonstrate their learning through reading and writing, technology can be the platform to tap into their learning. Showcasing learning through video and voice recordings is a perfect way for teachers to capture evidence of student learning.

Setting The Context

Digital Learning Journals were introduced to Foundation classes. The emphasis was taken away from what the students couldn’t write to what they could tell. Although this cohort at the time were not writing, their demonstration and understanding of the topics through video recordings shed new light onto what they could and could not do.

Lesson Session: Title Page

The title page of the Digital Learning Journal was created within a Reading and Writing Language Experience session. Students brainstormed the title (which was then used on every student’s front cover for consistency) and drew a picture to make the title and the idea of what the book will contain. Students took a photo of the front cover, recorded their voice and created their first page in their digital learning journal.

Digital Learning Journals

Lesson Session: Technical Aspects and Expectations

Support was given to teachers to help students with the technical aspects of the app.   Students were broken into small groups of 6 where they were given assistance to use the app. Over the course of 3, 1 hour sessions all 40 Foundation students were competent with using the app. They were able to independently:

  • Locate the app on their iPads
  • Locate their Learning Journal and open it
  • Add a new page
  • Take and add a photo
  • Record and add audio recording
  • Modify the layout of the page including colours

Lesson Session: Going Beyond

To keep Interactive Learning Journals simple in Foundation, one journal was used for all record keeping. Content ranged from English (oral language, prewriting of formulating detailed sentences, showcasing their learning of maths using concrete materials.

Many times we ask Foundation students to draw a representation of their work. What they draw and what they have done are far from similar! Instead of drawing, they photograph and explain their thinking.

The Foundation students are now articulating their learning, verbalising learning intentions and reflecting on the purpose of lessons.

Interactive Learning Journals for Inquiry Based Learning

Every term, to enhance the learning occurring during Inquiry Based Learning sessions, students created learning journals.

These learning journals are viewed as ‘learning in progress’. As students’ learning develops over the term, they add their learning to their journal. Videos, images and audio recordings are collected to showcase student learning. Teachers have access to these journals and these journals become evidence of multiple curriculum standards and areas being met. Each learning journal contains the big question, student questions and student inquiry in their own path. The information collected by students goes far beyond the usual drawing and writing of what they have learnt. The focus is also at students understanding that learning is continuous as they have evidence of their learning development.

As these journals contain multiple Victorian Curriculum areas, the teacher will have access to ongoing student assessment. These journals are shared on a social media platform (Showbie, Google Classroom or SeasSaw) so the teacher has access to evidence on their own digital device – gone are the days we bring home workbooks to mark!

Every journal is produced by the student. Information in these journals is unique to the student. The concept of individualised work and learning is emphasised in these books. Every journal is different, because every child’s inquiry and ability is different.

HOW WAS THIS ACHIEVED?

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