Parents of Hampden Street School students, explain how blogging and e-portfolios work to help them stay connected with their children's learning. Rebecca Armstrong says it means that, "Even if you’re not at school all the time, that you constantly know what’s going on".
Darren Palmer: The e-learning is a big thing and being able to see what he’s done on his blog each day if he’s done something really cool, “come and see what I’ve done”. He’s doing programming, coding, and things like that.
Rebecca Armstrong: With my daughter’s blog and or e-portfolio, the way it works is we have an email that comes to us whenever she’s been doing some work on it so it’s constantly updated. So a little email comes up saying that my daughter’s done some work on this, she’s uploaded this, she’s worked on that, she’s finalised that, so automatically we can all have a quick look at it and talk about that immediately.
Darren Palmer: We used to get the written report, well now it’s an interaction between the student and the teacher and they can see that, and they can see where the teacher’s saying, “Hey you need to pull your socks up in this department”, or, “Well done on that”, and, “Love that”, so it gives them engagement too.
Rebecca Armstrong: Because you’re not having to wait, a.) There’s no surprises about where her learning’s at, so you’re not going, “Oh goodness, I wonder if there’s an area that she’s having trouble in”, because they’re so honest and up-front with where they’re at, where their next steps are, what they could have worked better on, then you immediately can talk about that as a family.
Rachel Kearney: Lucy or Milly will come home from school and say, “Mum, I’ve done this today and it’s on my blog, can I show you what I’ve done on my blog?”, and so it’s really great because we can just bring it up and it’s there.
Lucy: On our blogs, I’ve got Kloey’s blog up here because I was just looking at her blog and I’ve just been commenting on her genius hour page and I’ve been giving her some feedback and so down here I said, “Your latest genius hour was really cool, great to see you posting about it. I think it was really effective the way you made those animal toys and how you put it on your email conversation”.
Kloey: It’s kind of great to see that you have a comment and people are looking on your blog at what you are doing. It also helps to improve your blog and make it better and it kind of encourages you to work on it more.
Rachel Kearney: We just can go onto the blog whenever we want to, as parents, and look at it ourselves and post comments as well, the feedback’s really important for them.
Lucy: And then you can reflect on it and see what you’ve been doing and you’re able to go back, way back into Term 1 and then go right forward into Term 4 and see the differences.
Rebecca Armstrong: As a parent, you feel far more engaged with what your child’s doing because of the things that are coming up more often. You know immediately where they’re at from either their honest feedback, or the teachers sometimes do little video snippets, or oral things where you can hear their voice but you might not be able to see their face about how they’re going at the time, or they will quickly write some feedback below what they’ve just done, so you feel, even if you’re not at school all the time, that you constantly know what’s going on.