I always look forward to Derek Wenmoth’s release of CORE Education’s “Ten Trends”. I have been reading these trends for over a decade and they continue to be insightful and provide a great digital compass for educators throughout New Zealand.

I was delighted to see that Real-time reporting is one of this year’s Ten Trends and that LINC-ED features as a tool to support schools on this journey.

Further, Derek also refers to “The Ministry of Education’s principles of effective reporting and information” and since LINC-ED is one of the featured tools, I would like to unpack how it aligns with these principles.

LINC-ED provides a broad platform, with a wide range of options for schools to choose from in order to report effectively. The available options enable “parents and whānau to clearly see their child’s progress and achievement and how they are building key competencies and ‘learning-to-learn’ skills in a broad range of subjects, not just the traditional core subjects of literacy and numeracy”.

In the following, I will explain how LINC-ED can provide reporting to parents and how this tool can support ongoing communication between parents and teachers.

Many schools have developed their own learning progressions, based on the New Zealand Curriculum and other documents, such as the literacy and numeracy progressions.

LINC-ED’s progression-based reporting enables schools to share students’ progress in real time with parents and the students themselves against the curriculum. Parents require information about how to read the progress and understand next steps and key milestones. It is important to remember that learning is not linear and that students will likely be working across curriculum levels. Children don’t fit into boxes and as such tracking progress should not be about ticking boxes.

Progressions can be competency or values based, which is essential as we see a necessary change towards a focus on 21st Century skills. We are seeing more and more schools making the shift away from a traditional, industrial model of education, and towards a future focussed approach highlighting innovation, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. This is discussed within the recent Stuff article about the changes Spotswood College have made to their curriculum. We understand that the changes to reporting must match the pedagogical shifts and thus will continue to adapt to make this happen.

Something to keep in mind is that for learning to be effective it needs to be personalised. One size definitely does not fit all. Our system provides the opportunity for individual, personalised goals to be set and then used as tags so that students can see evidence of their progress towards achieving their personal goals. Furthermore, progress charts allow parents to visually see how students are progressing over time and additionally, schools are presented with the information they need to make data-driven decisions. Each school can then decide whether they will make the assessment results available to parents as well.

Based on the goals and targets established in the personal learning plan, a digital badging system can also be created. Badges can be awarded based on the completion of sets of goals or criteria giving parents and students a clear picture of their successes and next steps.

Taking it up a notch, when sharing learning stories, teachers and students can tag the learning to either a set of tags set by the school or to tags based on their current goals. This provides schools with powerful ways to track the content being shared and to provide evidence of learning that is easily tracked. This is complemented by LINC-ED providing the full portfolio of learning. It offers the ability for teachers, students and parents to post learning comments, work samples, artefacts. These may be in the form of images, videos and links to docs, slides etc. The beauty of LINC-ED is all of the information is kept in the one place and enables a student’s learning journey to build over time. Nothing is lost from year to year or teacher to teacher.

In short, LINC-ED is a platform that has thought of it all and I am proud that we are aligned on this year’s CORE Ten Trends. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of real-time reporting, or how Linc-Ed can benefit you, your school and your community, please get in touch.

Paul Sibson is the co-founder and CTO of LINC-ED, New Zealand’s premier Student Management System (SMS). Originally a school principal with a Masters in IT in Education, Paul is passionate about keeping schools compliant and relevant via integrated digital solutions.

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. Paul can be contacted at [email protected]