Sunday, 17 October 2010

Active Learning

I was asked prior to the October Break if I'd take a session on active learning on the returning in-service day. As one of several staff involved, I really didn't want to duplicate what others were doing and I certainly didn't want to make it subject specific (although it's down in the programme as active learning in Geography). I also didn't want to preach; I'm a new member of staff in the school and I'm also aware that I've a lot to learn myself in this sphere. This really got me thinking about active learning. A lot of people I talk to think this means all singing, all dancing lessons. I don't see it that way at all. Others I have discussed this with think it means that lessons are all about fun and this usually leads to some kind of debate about whether teachers are paid to teach or entertain. Again, I think it's not only possible, but necessary for active learning to be difficult, challenging and less than fun at times. I asked through my twitter network how other educators thought the term should be defined and had a significant response which all skirted around the same ideal, but was best expressed by Fearghal Kelly, who simply suggested it meant 'Brains On'.
I've put together a very basic prezi by way of introduction tomorrow for two reasons. First of all, if it's about active learning, I don't see my role as didactic, and would like to get into the active part sooner rather than later. Secondly, I thought this would be more effective than powerpoint. The movement can be quite dizzying, but I think it shows the range of opinions and the reason for either fear or confusion when it comes to staff discussing/using active learning strategies.

The main part of my input will be focused around the random activity generator from John Davitt. It's really easy to think that because students are assessed on content, we need to 'give' them that content - notes, presentations, books etc. I feel that learners will better understand content if they have to process it themselves rather than the teacher providing all of it with, sometimes, little or no deep thought required from the student. I decided to take a silly news story about Charlie the Smoking Chimp and list some assessment criteria based on the content e.g. shows a knowledge of how Charlie developed his smoking habit. As I won't have access to an itouch or iphone tomorrow, I pre-picked some examples of random activities with the help of a colleague and ran them through classtools. Hopefully, the exercise will show that people can easily arrive at the same point in terms of knowledge, while engaging more actively with the resources and the content at hand. I'm sure there will be some people who see this as trivialising learning, but I am a passionate believer that better experiences lead to better competence. One example that I may share are the story telling exercises that some S3 students produced last year- in terms of the examined content, clear and accurate, but also a real deep understanding of the content and its context within their narratives. Please let me know of any good examples you would be willing to share by leaving a comment, or contacting me on twitter at @Kenny73

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

S1 adventures in posterous

A while ago I talked here about how I thought posterous had tremendous potential for use as a portfolio or record of work. It's simplicity of posting, the low technical knowledge base required for its use and its ability to absorb just about any file all seemed tailor made for use with an S1 ICT class that myself and Robbie Alexander were sharing. As the class have now moved on to S2, I thought it might be useful to share some of the results and my own thoughts on what we achieved, mainly as a result of Robert Jones planting the seed in a discussion on twitter. If you read the students blogs, please browse back, as the most recent entries would require you to have scratch and pivot to view the files. Also, some students password protected their pages while they experimented. If any of the links are protected (they don't seem to be here), then contact me by a comment or via twitter (@Kenny73) and I'll see if they are OK for me to give you access, as there is little in the way of personal information.

A good example of a reflective learning log
This student really took to the opportunity every Friday to comment on his work from the week passed. I was very pleased by how he clearly thought about how to improve his performance and the quality of his work throughout the rotation was very high indeed. This student is a very quiet, unassuming individual and it was also nice to see him recognise that he had a place to celebrate his own achievements. The most pleasing thing for myself and Robbie as the teachers was how natural this became for the student. Finally, the blog allowed him to have an easy reference point at home for work which would previously only have been accessible for the short window of ICT class time.

A good example of independent use (here and here)
Two students had consistently creative work throughout the year, and one in particular became a real leader in the class, quite often assisting his peers and, as such, the teacher in ensuring they were able to succesfully complete the work. More interesting for me than their use of posterous to showcase their talents is the way that, without any direction from myself, they started to use their blogs to host work from other subjects. They were not the only students who did this, and I was delighted to see it. I think this gives me hope that an e-portfolio which drew together work from across subject disciplines is a possibility and, I would argue, something that many students would find natural.

A good example of peer recognition and promoting self confidence

This student came to the subject with enthusiasm and an excellent manner, but probably a little lacking in confidence in her abilities.Some of the comments she had left indicate this, for example, here she appears to recognise that she is actually more than capable of following an instruction for a task and should therefore try to work more independently. I like the way she also recognised her peers as assisting her learning. I think in many respects, what we facilitated in the class was an environment for the students to learn in a way that was most comfortable for them. Although most of the students still asked the teacher for assistance from time to time, I was genuinely pleased to see them learning from each other and finding this something that they were able and encouraged to do.

A good example of outstanding work
I could have picked a number of the children's posterous blogs here, but I feel that this students work has been excellent throughout the year. This was the initial reason that we started the use of posterous, as a way to collect evidence that students had met the course criteria and to allow them to share that work at home in a way that they wouldn't previously been able to. Some students freely told me that they showed their work to their parents, and one in particular told me that his father kept it in his favourites to browse regularly. I thought this was fantastic, and brought parents closer to the work their children were doing at school. My only disappointment is that the parents did not take the opportunity to comment themselves, as I am sure this would have been something that would have been appreciated. I think this is something that could be encouraged over time.

My own thoughts are that the students not only persisted, but experimented with their blogs because it required nothing more than sending their work from e-mail. I have previously had groups of students who have used other blogging platforms and have fallen away from these once they started to work with templates and code and so on. I am also greatly encouraged that this type of platform could be succesfully used by schools to experiment with e-portfolios. If I were to do anything differently, I as the teacher would try to comment more often on students work. I quite often passed comment on the students work in class, and left a couple of comments along with Robbie, but I think we could have been more rigorous in both offering guidance and celebrating the students successes. Hopefully other teachers will experiment with this as I think it has enormous worth. If you do, please let me know how you get on.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

How to lead?

I have been thinking hard over the last few days about my impact in the school. This stemmed from a discussion about an application form that I was intending submitting for a PT Faculty job. After the discussion, I have held the form back, as I've become acutely aware of some things that I lack as a leader. They were probably things that I knew anyway, but someone else highlighting them has made me have a major rethink about my potential career path.The form in question was described as being 'full of curriculum for excellence, but not faculty leader', and I think that's a fair assessment. I had totally underplayed quality assurance and raising attainment. While I could have redressed the form and included evidence of these (I'm very happy with our results and feel I do some quality assurance well, but often don't prioritise things like presentation of work as much as I maybe should), the element of discussion which hit home most was an observation that was made regarding my leadership of a certain situation. I had brought an idea to a departmental meeting, we had agreed on the people involved and then I had not pushed the idea through to its conclusion. I couldn't argue with the facts and I couldn't really, nor did I want to, make excuses. This is the focus of this post.

I asked my professional colleagues tonight what made a good leader. From a handful of responses (I know this isn't representative), I pulled apart the things I do well most of the time, those I do well some of the time and those I simply don't do that well at the moment. The results are below
Now, I could look at this and say that the left hand side, the things I feel that I do well are greater in number, therefore I'm worrying about nothing. However, when I look at that, I see my qualities as a classroom teacher. If I had been asked the question 'What makes a good leader?', my own response would have been the ability to take people with you. Look where that lies and there is my problem. I think I have some good ideas, which I readily share, am enthusiastic about and work hard to promote. I think I am a good judge of people and their abilities. I think I'm flexible and can adapt to a number of situations. I don't think I have cracked being either a manager or a leader of people yet. I accept the answer less desired or no answer at all too readily. I don't force a pace on others. I fleetingly enthuse people who walk away and find it easy to forget, because I don't remind them (in the whole school role- I think this is something I do quite well, funnily enough, in my subject). It's something I thought I did well in previous employment, but in hindsight, didn't really. People were working to their own agendas which just happened to benefit mine. So, from this, a number of questions are in my mind.
How do I develop as a leader? This is something I intend to make the focus of my CPD for the coming year. I hope that this then helps me answer another burning question- how do I transfer my confidence in the classroom to confidence with colleagues? I demand much from students, but struggle to demand the same from a different audience. Finally, is PT Faculty or subject really for me? I think I have a deep love and knowledge of my subject, a passion for learning and teaching and innovative approaches to motivating my students. These are all attributes I thought placed me well for that job, but maybe it's not enough, maybe the other skills are ones that you can develop on the job or maybe I should be looking down a different path? In the meantime, any suggestions on any of the issues raised, whether it be about leadership, management or career path, please feel free to comment. Many thanks to those who responded to my request earlier about leadership qualities, allowing me the opportunity to reflect more fully on these points :)

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Update on a busy term

I haven't posted here for a while for a number of reasons, but wanted to send a quick update to myself. I have been working quite a lot recently on projects which, although not school based, will hopefully have some influence on the work I do in school. Much of the most recent work has been creating literacy reading tasks for the Scottish Survey of Achievement. I had the pleasure of a two day training stint in Stirling which really opened my eyes with regards assessing students. In particular, an excellent thought-provoking presentation on validity in assessment made me realise that I have been doing things back to front in the past when creating my own assessment items. I normally constructed the questions and then the marking scheme, but actually, the two can't really be divorced. I was also interested in the range of texts being used as potential assessment items, and this is something I have been speaking to some colleagues in the English department and on the literacy working group about. In terms of completing the tasks, I am a little late due to some time off with illness, but have now had them checked over and they are ready to submit. I found the exercise difficult, but although I can't guarantee that they will be used, I really enjoyed creating most of the tasks and exploring the mechanics of making a reliable assessment item.
There have been some excellent returns in school with regards how departments are promoting literacy, and the most impressive by far was from the Design and Technology department. Unfortunately, I am finding out the hard way that some things need chasing in person rather than an e-mail (people are busy and my priority probably isn't theirs), and also that literacy is such a massive area. It's difficult where to put the next focus of the group, something which myself, a colleague from English and the school librarian will be discussing over the coming week.
I was also lucky enough to be invited to user test the National Assessment Resource by Gordon Brown of the SQA. This was a really interesting afternoon for what could be a truly fantastic resource, depending on how teachers embrace it. I think, as my Depute Head said at our recent in-service, it could be a big advance in how we share the standard in assessment. I was also approached about having an input to an LTS showcase for Global Citizenhip. I thought about some of what we do in class and viewed this as a good way to raise the profile of Geography, which fits with my long term aims of running a department. I am awaiting further details about this, but think it is an exciting opportunity. Staying with the subject focus, I have approached some potential speakers for the SAGT conference as part of my role on the committee, and really saw the value of having built up a network of contacts through online spaces such as twitter here.
That brings me nicely to this coming week whch promises to be a busy one. I have the first of three twilight sessions receiving some Glow Learn training. I don't have to travel far, it's in my school :) It will, however, be nice to see how this dovetails with some of the Future Models of Assessment work that I've been involved in through SQA, which I posted about before. I am going to an after school session on Wednesday where I'll receive an Activ Expression interactive voting kit and some training. I'd like to see how I can use this to bring more formative assessment into the classroom. I also asked last week through twitter for novel uses of ICT in Maths after a request from a colleague and got a fantastic range of replies. I've drafted a copy for the Maths department and will hopefully post on here about this later. Finally, it'll be good to see how ASDAN students respond to our latest correspondence from Mathandani. We have film to develop from the camera we sent and they have suggested a set of activities around an important date in the Malawi calendar which, as it falls in July, we will probably pull forward and may be a nice end of year project for the group to concentrate on. They are having a retrospective Burns celebration with the kit we sent as they could not source some of the ingredients easily for the recipes. This was an eye opener, even for myself, as we assumed that butter and flour would be two things that would be relatively plentiful, but it would appear not. That's it for now, time for more prelim marking...

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Posterous- Perfect for collecting evidence of progress?

I had a discussion with Doug Belshaw a while ago where I had suggested that posterous could be used as a kind of e-portfolio because of its ability to absorb so many media types and the ease of publishing. John Johnston introduced me to posterous a while ago indirectly as I just liked the simplicity of how it collected anything that grabbed his interest-photos from walks, audio from mountain tops etc. All a student really needs to be able to do is e-mail. Posterous will support text, images, video, audio files (making it an ideal podcasting platform too via the rss feed) and will also take documents. Images can be submitted as galleries, and can cross-post to a number of places, such as flickr, wordpress, blogger, youtube etc if you wished. Furthermore, you can send mixed file types to a single post. For school use, there are a number of appealing features, such as the ability to password protect the page so that only readers you want to see your blog can see it, and even better, you can protect individual posts by e-mailing to Sites can also easily be created as group sites where a number of people can easily publish to the same place too. Students could also potentially use the bookmarklet to grab pieces of text from web pages and talk about them-a much better alternative than the open plagiarism that a class recently confided to me. Possible limitations could be the 1GB of storage if this was being used over a long period of time, but the founders are clear that they are willing to discuss this if it becomes an issue and John has consistently underlined how supportive they have been to him (as recently as yesterday).
I was chatting to the PT Computing today and showed him posterous by setting one up. It took literally a minute. He was highly impressed that he could set up a blog simply by sending an e-mail, without any coding knowledge and was also surprised by the variety of media that the platform could handle when I showed him my own posterous,. He basically thought that this is the kind of thing that a) his classes should be doing in s1 computing and b) would act as a great record of a students work over a period of time. From that discussion, I'm going to do two things. With Fred's agreement, I'm going to set the s1 computing class up with posterous tomorrow and load it with their individual slides that formed the whole of the class presentation last day. Anything we produce in class, I am going to ask that the children post it to their record. Further to that, I think it would be very useful to share the information across the school. Just from working today to set up a Wiki page for a Singapore school link, there is so much less to worry about in publishing to posterous and it gives work a much wider audience including, most importantly, keeping parents in the loop with their childrens progress. It would also allow students to demonstrate progress in more than just one way i.e. paper based evidence. I would love to hear what other people think about this?

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

A day in the life

One of the things I worry about is dividing my time properly and effectively between my role as a classroom teacher and PT Development. My job is one where you can have intensely busy periods, followed by lulls. During the busy periods, it's finding time for the former that's important. Work experience, for instance, places a big demand on my time during (and sometimes after) the working day. At other times, although it seems quiet, it's important that I use my time to plan ahead and tie up loose ends. I decided to think yesterday about what I do in a day to see if I'm achieving that goal, as I'm probably between big events:

Monday Morning

I wanted to catch up on some of the work I've been doing with the learning and teaching group in the school around literacy. I have recently been working closely with our librarian, who has a fantastic enthusiasm for what we are trying to do as a group. We discussed the outcome of a previous literacy working group that I was part of 4 years ago. Looking at the returns, I wondered how many staff were aware that they existed. All of the strategies are still relevant, so we decided to publish the summary findings to the staff shared area and make individual departments aware of their previous input. I will memo departments about this during the week. Donna has also set up a wiki page with useful links to CfE and other relevant literacy documents, as well as creating space for departments to fill over time. I noticed that I have been promoted to PT of English too as she informed me that my recent presentation was his!

Later in the morning, I caught up with the DHT who is my line manager. I wanted to confirm that our enterprise group had the OK to go ahead with sourcing and selling hooded sweatshirts as an extension of the PE kit. This is something that they had presented to him before Christmas and he had then taken to the senior management team. He also has responsibility for IT matters, and this allowed me to ask about a fledgling link with a school in Singapore which a member of the Computing department has established. We discussed the use of Skype and alternatives, should IT support not allow its installation. I am still not sure if there would be anyway for the classes to meet through Glow and how that would work at the other end, something I'll need to find out. Finally, I wanted to ask about a possible fundraising activity using the upcoming winter olympics as a stimulus for a Wii tournament. I thought this would help the enterprise group raise some capital, and I intended to raise it at their meeting later in the day. My DHT also asked aboot progress with editing the radio show and I have arranged to meet the group leader period 4 tomorrow for what is hopefully a final edit.

Finally, I caught up with the colleague who is setting up the Singapore links and brought him up to date with the Skype request and afterwards, helped him set up a pbworks wiki to provide a working space for ten children from each class. We just had time for the basics as both of us were teaching the next period and plan to create a structure for the pages over the coming days and weeks.

Lunch (12.20 to 13.00)

Monday Afternoon

As I teach all three periods in the afternoon on a Monday, most of my other work goes on after school. This is usually the time for my Environmental and Life Sciences meeting, but I have been fortunate enough to be able to juggle meetings so that I can attend the Enterprise group most weeks. A PE colleague came to the meeting to speak about the hooded tops and present an alternative supplier. The group discussed the idea, but seem keen on the original supplier for quality and their ability to keep control over sale of the product. We discussed 'gifting' the sales to future Enterprise groups, making the group sustainable in the long term and giving them start up funds for whatever ventures they wished to pursue. There was a brief review of group finances and I suggested my fundraising idea (not sure it was that well recieved, so I might take it to the ASDAN group instead and see if they want to do it for charitable causes). We also had a really good input from the PT of business studies, who sometimes stays in on the meetings too. Finshed up here and left school about 4.30, 4.40pm

Monday Evening

As well as planning my lessons for Tuesday, I am a bit of a twitter addict. It can sometimes be an almighty distraction, but I have also been involved in some great professional discussions which started here. Tony Cassidy had created a resource which challenged students to come up with an iphone app idea which might have been relevant in the recent cold snap. I thought that there was a lot of potential in this for enterprise-what if a student had an idea which they could then see developed through to the app store? I made a few enquiries on twitter and found app developers, some great advice about low cost ways to do this and a brilliant suggestion from a contact in the USA to promote a school/college partnership to develop it. This is very much just an idea at the minute, but it's encouraging to note that the reality is not so impossible to achieve.I then had the opportunity to put my tuppence worth into a discussion about Glow via the SQA. Glow sometimes gets a hard press as it is not very user friendly, but I think it will definitely evolve over time, and would hope that the creases can be ironed out to see through its potential. Earlier in the evening, I had collected a variety of examples of ways in which schools are using twitter as a news feed, as I think this has definite appeal for parents and benefits the school in promoting that partnership. I would hope to be able to take this to my head teacher or DHT at some point in the coming week to hear their thoughts

Late O'Clock

Football highlights, Mario Kart and bed. I can't go to sleep straight after work, so I always have to unwind a bit. Unfortunately, my lust for gadgets has seen me comandeering my sons Nintendo DS too often. Overall, when I look back on the day, I probably do more than I think I'm doing, but also see where there are some areas I need to develop. I am a sucker for a big idea and don't always see the difficulties that I might face in realising them. For instance, the iphone app is a great idea, but how will I react if, for example, colleges don't want to know? I also see instances where I could have followed something through to the finish e.g. Why not memo about the literacy document in the shared area while I'm doing it? I am satisfied though that, in a whole school role, I managed to work with such a wide range of staff and students. Anyway, where's that D.S.?

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Embryonic Journey - A two year assessment snap shot

I was asked recently to participate in a meeting with colleagues looking at future models of assessment. The meeting was convened by Gordon Brown, an assessment manager with the SQA . I found the notion quite daunting, as the people present where ones I regarded as true innovators, players in education circles with a degree of experience and expertise that I didn't possess. Furthermore, our presentations were to an audience of interested people from SQA and LTScotland. I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction to the s1 work we have been doing, where we have made a concerted effort to shift the assessment focus from the end of unit test to continuous reflection. Of late, my thoughts have turned towards my current s3 class.

Is the vehicle important?

When I listened to others talk at the meeting, a lot of focus was around the vehicle for collecting the assessment evidence. Neil Winton and Caroline Breyley talked about the work they have been doing involving wikis. I have used wikis in a number of ways in the past, but mainly as a way for students to collaborate on exam style questions. I like the format and the ease of use. Robert Jones talked about moodle and Jaye Richards, while exploring the idea of students setting questions and e-portfolios, spoke of her own experiences in using Glow with classes. I love the idea of Glow, but the roll out has been very slow in my authority and, although I expect it to get better with age, the user experience is quite confusing. Moodle is something a lot of the people in my twitter network swear by, but I have never really had the time to explore it. Ian Stuart talked about one note, which looked absolutely fantastic and something that I personally could think of a plethora of uses for but, sad as it seems to say, because it isn't free, and budgets are tight, I didn't think it was something which would appeal financially to my school. I suppose what I am leading towards here is that, despite the obvious merits in each, I couldn't help thinking that the method of collecting the evidence is less important than the evidence itself. Each of the presenters convincingly sold the merits of the platform, clearly illustrating that there is more than one way to skin a cat. It also reminded me of the work I had been collecting via edmodo.
I started using edmodo almost exactly a year ago with my then s2 class. I love it because it is so uncomplicated, yet provides the scope to do so much with a class. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that students have actually created a convincing record of evidence to suggest they have met both the outcomes of the second year course and, more importantly for future assessment, the outcomes for their certificate course in third year. What's more, they have done this through a variety of different media, which I think is vitally important in terms of skills development and evidence of a flexible learner.

Individual/peer reflection

One of the ways in which the class has used edmodo is as a reflective space for lessons. Students have used traffic lighting to show their understanding of particular lessons. For instance, after a lesson on adptation of plants and animals to the desert, I wasn't sure that the class had grasped the main lesson outcomes- easy to check via edmodo. Students can send a note to the entire group or just to me, so if they had not understood some parts of the lesson, they were not exposing that to the class:This feature also allows students to ask questions discretely, and has been well used for aspects of the work which individuals did not fully understand, removing the stigma of asking in class. We have also experimented with peer assessment on a number of occasions. One example which springs to mind is a recent exercise about coasts, where students had to record a commentary to this clip on posterous. The commentaries were then placed on edmodo and the group were invited to feed back to me on each effort on content and presentation.

Again, as this was anonymous, I felt that students were very honest in their appraisals:
The next stage is for me to collate all of the responses and I have told students that I will wordle the outcome to each of them so that they can see at a glance the strengths of their work, but also the areas for development. What I liked about this was that it concentrated on more than just rote learning the content. Other examples of peer assessment can be found in class voting, where we set criteria for an exercise about Dubai and sustainable development. The students had to design a building and then choose a suitable site, using an exercise created by Noel Jenkins. I offered a small prize for this, but took no initial part in the judging of the work. The students voted on design traits and location and became quite vocal about some of this. Once a shortlist had been established,I asked a colleague in the design and technology department to pick a winner on design merit, while I assessed the location. The winning design was the first picture in the post here.This also embraced cross-curricular working.
The most recent example of peer assessment is taking place right now as the class are working on primary pad to collaborate on typical exam style questions in preparation for a NAB. Students have been encouraged to question statements that they don't agree with, possibly through the chat function, while collaborating to create an answer which will hopefully present them with a good revision template. As they have named themselves and their contribution is by colour, I can see at a glance who has contributed what, so as the teacher, I have the option to use either the pad or private messaging through edmodo to encourage deeper responses/ correction of errors. Here is the early stages of one pad:

I think one of the added benefits of work like this is the development of responsible use of the internet. Where chat is available, it's easy to stray from the task, and I have only recently started using exercises like this outwith the classroom, but have been delighted with the response of the students. It's all too easy sometimes not to take the risk, but when the benefits are palpable, I think we have to trust students a bit more.

Teacher feedback

Most of the activities that I have set through edmodo have been individual assignments. Edmodo allows you to keep a record of these, including the marks. Although I have set past paper style questions and kept the marks record through the platform (something I still think is a useful barometer of student knowledge and certainly a good indicator of competence against current course arrangements), most of the work I have set has been 'marked' via a comment. Initially, students did not like this, but I think some of them now find the comments a very useful measure of their progress but also something which will help them with the next steps. A good example of this would be their recent 'limestory'. Sometimes, teaching the physical environment topic at Intermediate becomes very samey, so I decided to create an exercise based around developing literacy skills . This is going to become even more important in the coming years as students will be assessed in literacy and numeracy as well as their subject choices. I gave each student an individual comment, like the one below:Some students, of course, for whatever reason, sometimes can't access the internet, but I don't think that's a barrier to keeping evidence in this way. I posted a hand written exercise and an audio story to posterous, where students work was deservedly given a wider audience, and this could easily be added to edmodo by the student in class.
I have also been able to assess different skills which appear in the arrangements, such as the abilty to interpret photos and diagrams, and a broad knowledge of physical landscapes (via the students own digital maps courtesy of umapper). Previously, I have used edmodo to challenge students to thinking skills activities, such as diamond 9 exercises, and have given a grade based on how well students have met the assessment criteria we set. Here is an example of feedback from one:
Can the whole class work together?

For assessment purposes, this might not seem that important, but on a social level and for the future development of students, I think it is vital that they are able to work in a group, large or small. I am aware it is a subjective measure that I am employing here, but it was interesting to see the different responses and levels of response when we set a collaborative mindmap as a homework exercise for the class:

This served as a great snapshot of individual understanding, but also enabled the class to learn from each other. We have since used it as the sole revision source for a past paper exercise. When students evaluated how well it had served them, they identified the primary flaw, which was a lack of case study exemplification.

So where is the evidence?

The other thing I like about edmodo is that, if I were to use it with a class from s1 through to s6, the student would have an entire portfolio of their work with grades and comments. I am able to look at a students work in isolation to see their overall progress. I can measure that progress against the rest of the class should I wish, and I can share work through the public timeline, whould I wish to celebrate success. All in all, I think it is purely another way to keep a record, but one where students don't always have to make their mistakes in public, and by public, I include their classmates. My own questions would lead me to ask am I being rigorous enough? Does this kind of assessment adequately replace the need for exams and end of unit tests as a record of evidence? I honestly don't know, but media like this gives teachers the ability to keep the work that might provide that all in the one place for scrutiny.