Educa accommodates most workflow and documentation needs. While our default settings represent common workflows, there's a lot you can change. Think about these learning story settings:
- Learning story template questions
- Do we need a private field for teacher notes?
- Should there be a story review process for at least some teachers?
- Collaboration rules - setting edit rights for each child
- What frameworks or curriculum goal sets do you want to link to?
Learning Story Template
Go to "Site Settings" (at the top right) and click on "General" to change the learning story template questions and the privacy settings for each box.
Most services make the first two boxes visible to parents using some version of our default questions: What learning is happening here? and Opportunities and possibilities. What's next?
The third reflection box provides an opportunity for private teacher reflection and can be labeled to fit your process. It could be used for a private evaluation of a child's progress or for reflections on the teaching that went into that story. Private reflection boxes by default do not print and are only visible to the educator(s) who wrote the story.
Story Review and Mentoring (called Story Approval)
Educa provides the opportunity for learning stories to be reviewed and discussed in real time with a mentor or reviewer (using private comment boxes) before being shared with families and posted to a child's portfolio. This workflow not only provides regular training and mentoring opportunities, it is also a way to make sure that learning stories shared with parents meet your high service standards.
While this Educa feature - called Story Approval - is turned off by default, most services turn it on. When you turn it on, you will need to do a few things immediately:
- Give publishing rights to senior teachers - so they will see "Publish" as their learning story action, rather than "Submit for Approval"
- Enable reviewer responsibility to your selected teachers (in their teacher profiles)
- Assign reviewers to teachers who need stories to be approved.
Educa has a Pending Story page, notifications and workflow options to help make the task story approval manageable for story reviewers. To get full details on setting up story approval and reviewer assignment, click here.
Collaboration - Who Can Edit Stories
In Educa, if teachers can see a child, they have the right to create and edit learning stories for that child. And so by assigning a teacher to a class you are giving that teacher the write to create stories and edit existing stories for children in that class.
If there are children you'd like a teacher to write stories for that are not in that teacher's class, Educa has a way to do that - profile children. A teacher can be assigned "profile children" in two ways:
- Individually, admins can assign teachers to a child in "Edit Profile" mode in each child's profile or
- Mass update using Site Settings, General, then Profile Teachers.
Educators can see all of their profile children in their Teacher Portfolio.
To see how the profile children assignment works in detail, click here. Note, home-based settings are slightly different due to the Visiting Teacher role Educa has created. Learn more on home child care settings here.
Setting Framework or Curriculum Goals
Create learning visibility by connecting your learning stories to public frameworks or private curriculum goal sets. Educa has number of state and national curriculum frameworks and specialty curriculum available for activation.
To activate a curriculum and/or create your own curriculum, so that it will appear in each learning story and be available for linking, got to Curriculum under the Tools tab. Then check to activate -- more on the curriculum set up here. If a framework you'd like to use is not there, just ask us and we will add it.
Many services select at least one public framework and one that is their own or at least more proprietary to them - Educa has Montessori, Lutheran and other specialty goals as well.
Note, this curriculum selection process is important, as Educa tracks curriculum usage by child. The more curriculum goal sets you choose, the more spread will be the outcome data points.
To learn more about writing learning stories have these posts also:
Writing amazing learning stories
Learning stories as assessment
The magic of learning stories
Webinar on creating engaging learning stories