Over the course of the past two years (or potentially longer) I have loudly been proclaiming that classroom assessment must be coupled with an urgency to provide and enrich student learning by building opportunities that allow for the curation of work – and importantly the making of social connections. Like the family fridge where early learning work and activities are posted with pride, students must evolve with the understanding that their work matters. Work, an extension of the student, must be put on display. Specifically, speaking to my experience as a high school teacher, students of all grades must be empowered with an understanding that their learning and voice matters within today’s digital age; thus they must be nurtured to harness transferable multi-modal production skills that give them the 21c tools to “show what they know.” Many teachers do this across all subject areas ; from digital presentations to producing videos, students are harnessing digital technology to show their learning, construct knowledge, problem solve etc.
Now the question is: Where does the work live? Where can I find this work, interact with it and provide constructive or positive feedback?
With this, the role of social media and the practice of portfolio building and reflection is urgent to create learning that promotes engagement; giving students opportunities to create, curate and share. Great marks are amazing but acknowledgment from outside of the school can motivate on a grand scale and can authentically prepare students for the skills needed to “compete” within both hyper competitive educational and career environments . Post education is no longer talking about what one did in school – but showing . As such, the traditional resume is dead. Now , student learning and experience has to be tangible, show learning and lend itself to sharing.
Don’t take this from me; here’s a student in my Gr. 9 Intro to Business course, speaking to their understanding of why their “brand” and social profile matters. As teachers, we have a responsibility to serve students in establishing an online presence that matters.