Hello fellow educators & Bloggers,
Well week one of Professional Experience (PE) is done and it has been fabulous! On day one I was introduced to a new system the Foundation Stage group (equivalent of Kindergarten & Prep in Queensland) are trialling for observation and documentation. The system is called Interactive Learning Diary (ILD). The system was set up by the husband of an early years educator in the UK who was tired of his wife coming home with paper observations and photos to cut out and glue into Learning Journeys and then separately make note of assessment related to the observations. The system operates from a Web site and then there is an app for iPads. When the school has the system in place the educator can use the iPad to take photos, add children’s names, text, titles and assessment information (directly linked to UK’s EYFS curriculum) and then the observation can be uploaded to the main system where all information is stored. Educators can then review individual observations, children’s individual learning diaries as well as graphs on assessment information for individuals, classes or the school. On top of this there is also a Parent Portal where parents can access their child’s relevant information…no more storing large ‘books’ for learning portfolios and accessible any time! I have been using the system all week and I must say I love it! It has made observation and documentation so easy and the information sharing between educators and parents is also much faster and more accessible. It is still in development so there are some things to be added to the app including the ability to take and use audio and video recordings. When these are up and running educators will no longer have to worry about carrying a digital camera, video and/or clipboard…they will just need their iPad and all information will be recorded and shared in minutes! ILD has a couple of hiccups to be ironed out the main one I can see isthat educators are assumed to know how the assessment works so for new comers to EYFS it takes a while to learn thye ropes but with mentor assistance that is overcome. The second issue is that sometimes (twice out of 16 observations for me so far) it does not want to send the observation to the server saying ‘send failed – check observation’. It does not tell you what is wrong with the observation (& no body else can seem to find a problem with it) so educators are just left to try and find a way to make it work. Frustrating…
Now here is the big down side for all of you in Australia and the rest of the world…ILD is only set up for the UK :-(. That means we are going to need someone in Australia to create a system related to our EYLF for us to enjoy such a fabulous tool. After using ILD I am really hoping it happens soon.