Rik Rowe, an inspiring high school Mathematics teacher (and yes, you should follow him on Twitter @WHSRowe), shared a great example of a student proficiency-tracking tool from "Knowing What Students Know" .
Access to information and Student Agency are 2 of the 4 cornerstones of empowerment (see the Unpacking Empowerment Infographic). This is an effective way to empower students in taking control of their learning since it provides them visual access to their information and provides a feeling of progress and control, increasing their sense of Agency. Agile uses something similar to measure progress called burnup charts. But, that is for later. Now, I want to show you what I think is a more empowering approach and offers so many other benefits to support the empowered 21st Century Learner.
Advantages of the Learning Canvas
I shared with you before the Learning Canvas, a visual aid for classrooms to manage learning in real-time (read it here ). Like a painter's canvas, it is a simple structure that allows you to paint what you want. It adapts to how you teach and how your students learn. Here are some comparisons:
Instead of measuring once a week as in the "Knowing What Student Knows" example, the Learning Canvas provides real-time tracking. Enabling faster feedback at the right time and the feeling of quick wins.
Instead of just measuring one indicator, the proficiency level, the Learning Canvas measures the learning tasks, the rate of progress, and immediately highlights impediments the learner may run into.
Instead of a piece of paper tucked away most of the time in a folder, the Learning Canvas radiates information to the learners and the teacher (and others that observe or walk by), so feedback and transparency is omnipresent.
Instead of just a tracking tool, the Learning Canvas serves to provide clarity and focus on what is to be learner, how it is to be learned, what the learner is doing now, and the actual activities and goals completed.
Instead of being a static boring (sorry, I hate paperwork) document, the Learning Canvas is visual, dynamic and tactile, engaging many learning styles.
Instead of taking additional time and overhead to track their progress, the Learning Canvas is constantly updated in-flight, not requiring additional time to graph progress.
The Learning Canvas in Action
Here is an example of it in action (remember, this is just one example, it is adaptable and puts you in control of how you use it):
You can view this in Slideshare, which might be a better viewing experience. This site is not capable of embedding it slides.
Or, watch this video:
The example Mr. Rowe provided is a great example, and I urge you to use it. In fact, Agile Classrooms uses something like this called a burnup chart as an optional tool. But, the same goals are met by the Learning Canvas, plus so much more, without the overhead. It is the Swiss Army knife of 21st Centuy Learning, greatly simplifying your classroom. It is easy, it is free, it is fun. You can make one yourself or download it from the Agile Classrooms Resources page.
The Learning Canvas is just one part of Agile Classrooms that can transform your students into empowered and collaborative learners. To learn more about creating an Agile Classrooms and make your students 21st Century ready, please, contact us.
Thank you for reading!
John Miller | Chief Empowerment Officer | Agile Classrooms