Educa allows you to customise your site to fit your 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
Site Administrators can change your learning story template questions and the privacy of these fields in Site Settings.
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 are marked by an orange boarder and are only visible to educators with access to the story.
Story Review and Mentoring (called Story Approval)
Educa provides the opportunity for learning stories to be reviewed by mentors or trusted reviewers before being shared with families, ensuring the stories meet your high learning standards. This is called Story Approval.
Real time discussions between the educator and reviewer prior to publishing facilitate regular training and mentoring moments. This is done through a private comments box.
Story Approval is turned off by default, although most Site Administrators will turn it on. Once turned on you can determine what role an educator takes in this process:
- Select reviewers to approve stories being being published.
- Assign educator's stories to be approved by specific reviewers.
- Grant senior educators "auto-approval status" so their stories will be instantly published and bypass the approval process.
Story Reviewers are notified each time a story is submitted for approval, which they can easily managed through the Pending Story page.
Check out this article for more information on how to set up Story Approval.
Collaboration - Who Can Edit Stories
In Educa, if teachers can see a child's profile, they have the right to create learning stories for that child. Access to a child's profile is granted in three main ways.
The broadest option is to allow all educators access to all children. This is the default setting on Educa which helps to foster an environment of collaborating and sharing.
Larger centres often need a more controlled approach to maintain child privacy or for management reasons. Site Administrators can turn on Class Privacy, allowing educators only to create and view stories for children in their class.
Site Administrators can easily create classes and assign educators to a class though the Class Management module.
If there are children you'd like a teacher to write stories for that are not in that teacher's class, Educa allows you to assign Profile Children to a teacher. This provides the teacher with access to individual children's profile, regardless of their class.
With the above settings in place educators can only view learning stories written by other educators, regardless of whether they are linked to the child. To allow educators to edit stories written by another educator, a Site Administrator must enable story collaboration in your Site Settings.
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.
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. If a framework you'd like to use is not there, just ask us and we will add it.
Site Administrators can manage the curriculum available on your site through the Curriculum Library, found under Tools.
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
- Webinars on Learning Stories