How To Get Started

To foster and nurture the documentation phases and learningflow routine steps, four mindsets need to be cut:

  • Documenting learning is too time consuming.
  • I do not have any learning worth sharing or amplifying.
  • We cannot document learning using the share and amplify learningflow routine steps because of policy.
  • Documenting is about taking pictures or using technology.

Finding the time to engage in meaningful learning opportunities must be a priority. If you ask or survey students, they will often reveal that they are disengaged and not finding purpose or connections in their learning. Providing authentic experiences where students and teachers mingle with and learn from people in the local and global community of learners and experts needs to slowly and steadily become just the way we do things. Participating in documenting learning opportunities strategically aids in cutting dated content and pedagogy.

So, how can you and your colleagues begin documenting purposefully?

Traditional understanding of visual documentation is ingrained in many educators’ minds as taking photographs of what is happening and posting them as what happened. No annotexting. No reflecting. No analyzing. This changes when Documenting FOR and AS learning begins, as reflecting becomes routine.

Here is a getting-started strategy to elevate a documenting OF learning artifact to a documenting FOR learning artifact by using an annotating tool to record reflections that adds a depth to create visible thinking and sharing evidence of the learning taking place—for students, as well as educators as professional learners.

Here are a few annotexted-image examples:

Pre-schoolers in a private school

Documenting OF Learning

Documenting FOR Learning

Annotating Tool: Skitch

Teachers involved in curriculum revision analysis

Documenting OF Learning

Documenting FOR Learning

Annotating Tool: PowerPoint

Here is an annotexted video example that includes reflections from Grade 6 students who annotexted (in white font) their captured video segments they recorded during their literature circle discussions.

Literature Circle Video Analysis - Annotexting

Literature Circle Video Analysis- Annotexting from langwitches on Vimeo.

Another strategy to get started is to begin blogging with a reflective tone to your documenting learning posts. If you have never blogged before, you can find out how to set one up by reading this helpful how-to guide. Then be brave and share your thoughts as you are learning, just like Melanie Mulcaster is starting to do, as she shares is her post “Letting off some #STEAM.” Notice that she included three reflective sections: what I noticed, what I wonder, and where we are going next. By using these types of metacognitive prompts (similar to Visible Thinking’s I See, I Think, I Wonder routine), it creates documentation artifacts that can be revisited over time AS learning, as well as FOR current learning purposes. 

Do you have specific questions about getting started?
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