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Capture Authentic Student Work with EdLight

*I've partnered with this company to help teachers and students grow a culture of feedback in their assessment processes.

If there is one thing we can all agree on in the last year, it's that technology can be a powerful tool to keep students learning regardless of where they are and a time-saver for busy teachers who are always looking for more efficient ways of doing our important work.

When I was in the classroom, I was always looking for good tools that supported my gradeless philosophy and also offered flexibility for how students submitted work and also how I was able to provide authentic feedback.

Recently, I learned about Edlight, a new tool that is all about authentic student learning. It was born out of the need to collect handwritten work from students while in these remote environments and it of course was developed by teachers. The more I become acquainted with the tool, the more I wish I had it while I was in the classroom.

Here are some of the features I appreciate most:

Ease of work collection: Many folks may be using tools like Google classroom, but some classes like math and science are better done in writing. Or if you're an English teacher like I was and your students prefer to draft in a notebook, this tool has a solution for that. Students can easily take pictures with their Chromebooks, phones, or tablets and upload their learning right into the portal and then teachers can see more than just their answers, they can see their thinking. Many programs like Castle learning or other test prep sites are helpful with multiple-choice questions but don't provide opportunities for students to show their thinking.

Feedback aligned to Success Criteria with a Speech Feedback Option

There's a lot going on in this first picture, but a picture speaks a thousand words - a cliche that is accurate. Teachers can type feedback directly on the student work with an easy-to-use dashboard and even put stickers on it too. Success criteria is on the side of the page for teachers to check off what is has been met successfully and what still needs work. There is a status update on the side too for telling students if revisions are necessary or if the work is complete and work can be stored like a portfolio as it will tell which version of the work you are looking at.

Additionally, if you're scoring work on a rubric, you can add a score on the dashboard as well.

For me, the best part of this is the speech feature. As an English teacher providing tons of feedback on different versions of writing, I always appreciated using a voice extension on Google so that students could hear my voice when receiving constructive feedback in particular. Edlight can do that.

Ease of task creation and sharing

With this part, you can copy it from other platforms or start from scratch. You title it and put in the directions, add a rubric and/or success criteria and then you can add the task directly to a platform, assign it to students, or share as needed. It is a very user-friendly platform.

Group Assessment for ease of Grouping and Small Group instruction

Another feature I find useful is their group assessing feature. You can see all of your students' work on one page for comparisons of challenges and review data all in one place. As you review the work, you can make instructional decisions about what you see and group students accordingly, making sure to differentiate the tasks moving forward.

Educators can also use this platform for RTI or group tutoring when it comes time to build skills, accelerate learning and deepen learning throughout a semester.

As I continue to explore this tool, I can think of many ways they can continue to expand it and that's why I'm working with them. They are a remarkable group of folks who are responsive to teacher needs. This was always important to me when I was using new tools. Building these partnerships offered me first-hand experience in seeing the changes I wanted for my students. If you have a question or a suggestion, they are open to hearing them.

And the best feature of this product is that teachers can use it for free. So if you're a teacher who is switching your assessment practices and you're looking for a tool that supports student learning. Check it out -

If you tried it already or you are trying it now, I'd love to hear what you think about it. What do you love? What do you wish it could do if it doesn't do it already? Let me know in the comments.

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