Tagged: learning journals

Feedback and visual aids

No, it is not deja-vu, there is no glitch in the blog, you are seeing the same image at the top of two posts in a row. For this week I decided to improve my infographic about how to create a learning journal. Last year I thought about how to help students understand the agency they have over their learning journals and how to use it so I thought I would create a visual aid for the classroom, not a large poster, but something that could be up on a couple of walls, or even taped on the desks. Last week’s post was about the construction of the learning journal infographic (see last week’s post).

The before: my first attempt

My first attempt

Those who gave feedback.

There is always room for improvement is something we tell our students so often, so why not model that behaviour in ourselves? So I had a chat about it with my students about the poster they started using. I used an assignment we are working on about design and creating digital artifacts as an intro to bring in how we can give feedback and improve our work, and as the students love to tell you your mistakes they had no problem picking out some ways for me to improve.  I was also at a workshop last week and I asked some teachers from other schools what they thought, liked, and would change. Our instructor Tanya also gave me some feedback about my infographic. 

Changes made

  • Align the icons to demonstrate continuity and consecutiveness between the sections.
  • Get rid of the orange colour as it is a bit too distracting.
  • Add an icon for the title.
  • Demonstrate flow between sections to show steps.
  • Change the title to enhance the message of what learning journals are all about. 

My students were not happy with the title area, they found it a little wordy and wanted more images. So I used the noun project to find something that can also help illustrates the nature of a learning journal, and that it is about sharing ideas, getting, and giving feedback about learning to extend learning. I decided to keep the school colours as they contrast nicely with each other and the white text.

The second draft…

The resources for this week came at an interesting time. I made the mistake of watching How to avoid death by Powerpoint on a dinner break right before back to school night. The sudden panic of worrying about putting everyone to sleep, and then getting more emails about the information I planned on imparting set in as I frantically made edits to include more elements of visual hierarchy in my presentation, change the background from white to black,  work with titles and text sizes, and created new slides as simply photos as talking points. I mentioned this to the parent community and they gave me positive feedback on my presentation. This resource was another motivation for part of the enhancements to my poster. I wanted to create a flow between the steps, and really guide the reader along the path of creating an authentic learning journal post.

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A how-to of learning journals

I wanted to share an infographic I made about Learning Journal posts.   Since we started using Seesaw a few years ago I have wanted students to understand the agency they have in creating their learning journals. I know that this display helps students to break down the process of creating, publishing, and commenting on a post in a nice, clear, easy to digest way, much the same that infographics can do with data because they use it.

Link for full size

I had some help with Matt (our tech coach) in using Adobe as I wasn’t satisfied with the templates on Canva. We decided to roll this out to the elementary school so we used the strategy of colour contrast with some of our school colours. The students reference it all the time so I think it helps with independence and following instructions. It impacts their learning by allowing them to recognize the agency they have over how, when, and what they choose to share in their journals. We made it EAL friendly by getting our EAL teacher to improve the vocabulary and also added icons. The steps are clear and easy to identify.

Transfering to student-created artifacts

I am currently exploring digital citizenship in my classroom using the unit plan that I created with Boramy in Course 2 so we are beginning to look at contrast, colour, size, and other elements of design in class as the students will soon be creating their own media to promote positive digital citizenship. Would infographics be an option?

Students using Google Sheets to create graphs.

In class, we are also looking at how we learn best and building learning communities, and we have been graphing and displaying information about where we like to sit, volume levels and types of learning experiences we enjoy the most. I wonder how I can promote the use of infographics to present more knowledge about the class through the use of design principles?

A starting point to find more data for students to explore and present

Resources for students

I think they would enjoy it and it would help lead to a better understanding of our Lines of Inquiry.  Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything has a great list of steps to work on with students to help plan and create the infographic and I am starting to plan a unit around this.

From Katy Schrock’s Guide to Everything

I will also be using Keri-Lee Beasley’s resource as a guide for students to think about design details as they create their own media about digital citizenship, or how our class learns. Her work on font, repetition, repetition, and contrast highlight for students in a simple visual way on how to create media they can be proud of.

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