Surrey's Making Learning Visible: A 360° Transformation

Digital Surrey school program records student learning daily

Innovative initiative puts school district in the running for $50,000 prize.

A Surrey School District initiative that allows students to record their learning digitally on a daily basis and share it with their parents has been recognized for its educational innovation.

The initiative, called Making Learning Visible: A 360° Transformation, uses technology to records kids’ learning through video, photos and notes, resulting in a digital portfolio of their work that can be shared almost immediately.

“It really is a way for three-way collaborative learning,” director of instruction Elisa Carlson told Surrey school trustees at a recent meeting. “It really is quite revolutionary. The response from parents has been fabulous.”

She said instead of parents only seeing the work their children bring home, or what they may see when they visit the school or on a report card, they can witness what their child is learning all the time and review that work with them.

Learning needs can also be responded to much more quickly as students, parents and teachers are up-to-date on activities and progress, as well as strengths and weaknesses.

The Surrey program is one of three shortlisted for a Cmolik Prize for the Enhancement of Public Education in B.C., which recognizes innovative educational practices at the kindergarten to Grade 12 levels. There were 28 entries for the annual, $50,000 prize.

Making Learning Visible is still considered to be in the pilot stage. It began last year with a handful of participating classes and expanded to 53 schools this year. While some schools still send home paper report card-like assessments, some have gone fully digital.

The Cmolik Prize was endowed to Simon Fraser University by Clifford Russell and Ellen Cmolik. The winner will be announced April 2.


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