At my last school we did a prototype with Seesaw. Kindergarten teachers taught their children to use the iPad app and they did this very confidently whenever they wanted to document/share something. Grade 1 were a bit more intentional and had students document perhaps once a week. Looking at the back end of the app, I could see an initial spike in Kindergarten parents engaging with their children's artefacts, but when they got 90+ messages a week it was clear they stopped engaging as it was just overwhelming. This wasn't documenting the LEARNING, it was just documenting every single thing the students did during their day. In contrast the Grade 1 parents interacted with the artefacts shared and this remained constant during the prototype.
It's important therefore to be clear about the purpose as well as the process of documenting learning. Silvia describes this as establishing purpose, capturing information, transforming information in meaningful ways for an intended audience, and sharing the message. She notes that it is important that the documenting learning process is viewed as a natural part of the learning experience, not an add on, and that while at first it might be time-consuming, it eventually becomes part of routine practice.
There are 3 phases to documenting learning:
- The pre-documentation phase - where students need to think critically about what is going to be documented and why
- The during-documentation phase - where learning is documented both now and over time
- The post-documentation phase - which focuses on metacognition, evaluating, using and making meaning of the documented artefacts.