June 2022 Update

We are incredibly excited to introduce labels to gotLearning! One of the main reasons I created gotLearning in my classroom was to better capture and organize student learning data and labels give students and teachers the ability to do that. Before gotLearning, it sometimes felt like I spent more time searching for learning evidence than I did providing feedback. I needed a platform so that students and I could get to what we needed as quickly as possible.

Labelling in gotLearning allows teachers and students to organize learning evidence according to the structures most important to them.

Labels

In gotLearning you can now attach labels to conversations or assignments making it easier for you to organize learning evidence according to the structures that are most important to you (e.g. learning goals, reflections, key evidence, strategic school pillars, etc). Once labelled you can see, at a glance, where a piece of learning evidence fits into the organizational structures you use. You can also search and sort by label as well. Want to see all the assignments and conversations associated with a specific learning goal for a particular student? gotLearning labels make finding that learning evidence easy and efficient!

Both teachers and students can add labels to their conversations. You can easily search by using the search bar or just clicking on an existing label. You also have the ability to filter qualitative learning data by class, student and label.

Assignment Summaries

We’ve also improved our assignments interface. Teachers and students both have informative assignment summary pages. Teachers can see where their class, or each of their students, are in regard to assignment progress. 

Teacher Assignment Class Summary View:

The teacher can view a summary of assignments at the student level or open the detailed view to see each learning conversation. This view can also be filtered by selecting the assignment, class or student from the filter bar.

Teacher Assignment All Students View:

Linking to gotLearning Assignments from other Platforms

Teachers can now easily copy a gotLearning assignment link in an external platform such as Canvas, Google Classroom or Schoology.

Below is a short demo of how easy it is to link to a gotLearning assignment from Google Classroom.

gotLearning Summer Series

Learn how gotLearning helps make a teacher more efficient and effective by joining one of our workshops, drop by office hours, create a cohort or sign up for a roundtable.

gotLearning – 2021 in Review

2021 was a huge year for gotLearning. Taking the concept of a Collaborative Learning System from a 6th grade humanities classroom to a fully fledged platform available to all students, teachers and classrooms around the world has been a massive undertaking.

This would not have been possible without all of the feedback we have received from teachers, students, school administrators and parents from around the world. Thank you to each and everyone of you.

We are incredibly excited to continue our mission into 2022, but we would like to take a look back at what we all have accomplished in the past year.

gotLearning's Collaborative Learning System fills the instructional gap between the Learning Management System (LMS) the Student Information System (SIS).

Some of the highlights include:

  • The defining and creation of a new EdTech category – the Collaborative Learning System (CLS).
  • Partnering with our first customers.
  • gotLearning’s beta version was built by students. We then hired our own internal software engineering team to build on their work and take the software to general availability.
  • gotLearning is now available via all web browsers and devices including Mac, Chromebook, Windows, iPad, Android tablets and mobile devices.
  • gotLearning’s mobile apps allow students and teachers to do everything they can on the web app on their phones. An added bonus is the ability to scan in non-digital work via the mobile app into Learning Conversations.
  • Mobile apps are available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
  • Three editions are now available:
    • ProTeacher for individual educators to use in their own classrooms – free for SY 2021-2022.
    • Teams for up to five educators (teachers, educational specialists and school administrators) to collaborate about and across their classes and students.
    • School Edition for schools that want to be able to curate and share learning evidence involving all of their students and stakeholders (teachers, special educators, instructional coaches, counselors, school administrators etc.)
  • Improvements to learning conversations via feedback from students, teachers and administrators.
    • Integration with Google Classroom and Google Workspace for Education.
    • Improved linking to outside resources such as LMS and SIS platforms and your favorite EdTech tools such as FlipGrid and Kahn Academy etc.

We are incredibly excited to continue to provide an elegant new platform to curate and share learning evidence. Whether in-person, hybrid or remote, educators and students can show growth over time.

We are looking forward to helping students, teachers and schools personalize learning, build student agency, implement competency-based learning, standards-based grading (or even ungrading), teaching soft-skills and creating student centered classrooms.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from gotLearning!

If you want to learn more do not hesitate to contact us.

Articles, Books and Research That Guide Us

As teachers we have all had those moments that have greatly influenced us. This post shares a few of the articles and books that have guided the educators at gotLearning.

Carl Anderson’s book

How’s it Going?

The question “How’s it Going?” is so incredibly powerful when you use it with a student. I was lucky enough to watch Carl work with students in my classroom! He truly used the phrase “How’s it Going?” with the students. What happened next was 10 minutes of masterful conferring with 4 students during a writing lesson. The learning conversations he had with them provided incredible feedback that was goal-referenced and actionable. This experience with Carl and the book solidified for me that the conversations with students about their thinking/work is where so much learning occurs.

Available from the publisher’s website.

Grant Wiggin’s article

“Seven Keys to Effective Feedback“

Grant Wiggin’s article “Seven Keys to Effective Feedback” is pure gold in regard to what feedback is and what it is not. My favorite part of the article:

Feedback Essentials:
Whether feedback is just there to be grasped or is provided by another person, helpful feedback is goal-referenced; tangible and transparent; actionable; user-friendly (specific and personalized); timely; ongoing; and consistent.”

This is a worthy read for all educators, coaches and anyone else who gives feedback to others. There are also great examples of each of the feedback essentials. Available on the ASCD website.

Paula Rutherford’s

Instruction for All Students

Besides this being written by my first year mentor teacher, this is my go to “If I was teaching on a desert island what book would you bring?” answer. One of my favorite quotes is:

“A wise educator said: We will conduct all of our interactions with students based on the most current data, research and current thinking in our field. When this information changes we will change our practice.” Paula continues with “I do not believe that this statement in any way implies that we should continue to hop from bandwagon to bandwagon looking for materials and programs that will ensure quick fixes or successes. Quite the contrary. It means that we must constantly reach out to analyze, reflect on and react to the massive body of research on teaching and learning that comes not only from those doing formal research, but also from those of us working directly with students.”

This book is dog-eared, coffee stained and been referenced more than any other book I own.

For more information visit the Just ASK Publications & Professional Development website.

Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s

Understanding by Design

Over 20 years later, Understanding by Design (UbD) is still influencing the thinking and planning of educators worldwide. The premise is simple in process but profound in its impact. Plan backwards from your goals and base your goals on transferable performances of understanding. Assess student performance against the goals throughout the learning process and use feedback to help students as they learn and grow. UbD’s “think like an assessor” is fundamental to the development of gotLearning and educators who are familiar with the tenets of UbD will comfortably incorporate this platform into their educational practice.

The clarity and simplicity of the backward design process and the corresponding UbD template allows educators worldwide to use this thinking in their context and adjust the process to their needs. gotLearning’s platform is designed with the same idea, create a clear and elegant process, laser focused on the essential elements of how classroom conversations work, allowing educators worldwide to use this platform in their context. 

Bruce Oliver’s article

“Growth-Producing Feedback”

Bruce Oliver’s wife Nancy was my 8th grade counselor – she was (and still is amazing). When I was a K12 technology training specialist I was lucky enough to work with Bruce when he was a middle school principal. His article “Growth Producing Feedback” is a must read for all teachers. While there are a multitude of resources (including research) explaining the importance of feedback, this article is the perfect spark for a teacher to immediately change and improve their practice. The best part is the Growth-Producing Feedback Discussion Tool that you can use with your colleagues to talk about what is and is not growth-producing. In my teaching and athletic coaching I consistently refer back to the phrase “Growth-Producing Feedback” to make sure the feedback I am providing is goal-oriented, emphasizing progress, timely.

The full article is available from Just ASK Publications & Professional Development’s website

John Hattie’s book

Visible Learning

Hatties research synthesis highlights the importance of feedback. Feedback is central to my teaching, empowers students and is exactly why I built gotLearning in the first place. Hattie refers to the “what happens next” phase of learning and describes it as follows in his book. 

“As will be argued throughout this book, the act of teaching reaches its epitome of success after the lesson has been structured, after the content has been delivered, and after the classroom has been organized. The art of teaching, and its major successes, relate to “what happens next” – the manner in which the teacher reacts to how the student interprets, accommodates, rejects, and/or reinvents the content and skills, how the student relates and applies the content to other tasks, and how the student reacts in light of success or failure apropos the content and the methods that the teacher has taught.

This perfectly describes the importance of the learning conversation. The back and forth between the student and teacher(s) is the “what happens next” – the “art of teaching and its major successes”. This sums up why I built the first version of gotLearning as a middle school teacher.

John Hattie’s Visible Learning is available from his website.