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Learning Skills - Using Google Forms for Reflection

Kate created an individualized digital document for each student that fosters self-awareness, assists with student planning, and increases the effectiveness of reporting. In talking about her role as an educator, Kate noted, “The truth is we know our students really well in Learning Skills.  We see them everyday. We are tracking all of them in our own ways, but it is nice, also, to be able to have data and colorful charts to be able to say, ‘here take a look - this is what you’ve been doing.’ It is a complementary visual to all the narrative writing that we do."

The three most important questions to consider when evaluating new Edtech tools are:
  • Does it work consistently?
  • Can it save educators time?
  • Does it create new ways to do things that weren’t possible before?
Kate’s Learning Skills Daily Log checks all these boxes.

In short, she created a simple and quick (takes two minutes for the student to complete) end-of-class self-awareness survey, which she calls their daily log. Each student has a link to their personal form that they complete everyday. Those results are automatically collected in a Google Spreadsheet, and easily transformed into a visual report of their ongoing progress. “The entire reason for this exercise is to cultivate self awareness. We are able to look at the data, notice patterns and make changes so they are moving in a direction of learning independence." Armed with student-inputted data and evidence, Kate is well positioned to have specific conversations with her students about how they spend their time in Learning Skills. “Its helping to prepare them for an Honors Effort grade - which, in turn is helping them internalize useful strategies for being a successful high school and college student."

The three major benefits of Kate’s Learning Skills Daily Log are the following:
  • Students have an opportunity to cultivate self-awareness through daily reflection;
  • It provides a visual roadmap for the students to consult when planning their approach to learning; and
  • It is a powerful tool for tracking and reporting more effectively to the student, his/her parents and all the other adults involved on campus.
While having a roadmap for learning strategies and content as well as providing new ways to share tracking information, the most important value of this new tool is its capacity to model ways for students to think metacognitively. Or said another way, students thinking about how they are thinking and using their time. "We need to be helping the students to cultivate self-awareness. Awareness of themselves, their responsibilities, and their learning style." It is a system that was developed to complement the work already being done in Learning Skills, and that’s what makes it a great tool. It is not a transformation, or a reinvention, it is simply a framework for reflection which can also report on all of the wonderful things that are already always happening in our classrooms.  

Moving forward now, Kate anticipates that her Official Notes will be more of a interview process that enables self-reflection, helps a student track/self-report - so the content of the note is not coming entirely from her. Further, Kate has some pioneering ideas about how we could use this tool to transform the content of Learning Skills Official Notes. “It would be great to spend five minutes on a Friday making a quick video interview{based off the insights from the weekly reflection sheet} and embed that content in an Official Note. It is more effective as a learning tool to have my students reflecting, than to have them be assessed by me.” Now, thats exciting! Utilizing evidence-based video interviews in Official Notes could be a game changer!

Click below for the full podcast interview with Kate Jones. 

Here is a sample of the form Kate has been using: 

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Located in  Andover, NH,  Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 912. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
204 Main Street  .  PO Box 500  .  Andover, NH 03216
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