2019 marks 10 years since LINC-ED offered an alternative to traditional, bi-annual reporting in favour of ongoing, online reporting in order to better reflect the learning journey of each student. Since first launching LINC-ED to the parents of 500 students back in 2009, we have now helped almost 200 schools on their journey towards shifting all formal reporting of student progress, achievement and learning stories online.
We’ve been on quite a ride for the last 10 years as we established a company, welcomed our first customers and built a world-class team of educators to work alongside schools who share our vision for sharing learning in an easy and sustainable manner.
So it was with great interest that I read the recent article in the New Zealand Herald sharing news of a report to Chris Hipkins that, amongst other things, suggests bi-annual school reports should be replaced with a more ongoing form of digital reporting.
At LINC-ED we welcome this recommendation and I would like to share some of the learnings that we have amassed when supporting schools to transition their reporting processes.
Here are some considerations that should be made when choosing a Student Management and Reporting System (SMS) for your school:
Choose a system that aligns with your vision for teaching and learning - it should be customisable to reflect this.
Have a clear end-goal for what you want your reporting to look like and how you want teachers, students and parents to contribute to this.
Based on your school’s vision and curriculum, ensure the system is designed to share all learning and student information in one place, including:
- Teacher and student comments (posts) with supporting images, documents and video;
- Assessment and achievement information in a clear and easy-to-follow format;
- Progress and next steps in learning;
- Attendance and well-being;
- Effective reporting options for Māori learners and families in Te Reo.
Plan your implementation with a structured, timetabled approach. Allow for teacher training and discussion, manage teacher workload and a prepare a staged roll-out of additional features, functionality and content over time.
Regularly communicate with parents about your reporting, so they feel included, informed, and are able to understand what is being shared and when.
Work with a system that is responsive to school’s needs, providing regular enhancements and online resources to assist with staff training.
Work with a system that offers examples of best practice and opportunities for professional development with experienced consultants who have worked in a range of school contexts.
Moving to ongoing, digital reporting is a significant change for many schools and their parent community. Therefore a change leadership plan is absolutely essential. If you would like to learn more about LINC-ED and how we support schools move towards online, timely and meaningful reporting, please visit www.linc-ed.com.
Aimie Sibson is the co-founder and CEO of LINC-ED, New Zealand’s premier Student Management System (SMS). Originally a secondary school teacher, Aimie is passionate about supporting teachers and students with the integration of digital technologies in the classroom.
Utilising student-voice, parent-voice, and your school's curriculum. LINC-ED is a highly customisable SMS that is changing the way we learn, inform and connect. Aimie can be contacted at www.linc-ed.com.