EDIO is a new software platform designed to help students and teachers manage student projects. Scott Swanson, Jon Voss, and I had a demo this March with the lead designer, and we liked what we saw. The product will release this fall.
At this point there are as many questions as answers, but I wanted to start a thread for discussion. If anyone would like to learn more, we have a video copy of the demo session (for internal District 287 use only, about an hour).
It’s also worth mentioning that the current big player on the market is Project Foundry. We’ve heard rumblings of dissatisfaction regarding their offering, and when we piloted it a few years ago it was quite a bit more than we felt like we needed.
I’m interested. I was just looking at what Summit Learning designed and offers free of charge for PBL. It appears that they have done a lot of work with elementary and middle school and have recently expanded into the H.S. realm. They claim to have already built PBL lessons into the backbone of their program through work with BIE. The only caveat with Summit is that you need to plan well in advance and meet their deadlines and application criteria in order to use their system.
When we took students to Northwest Passage before Spring Break, Project Foundry was the thing that they really got excited about. They saw a student login to her page and the first thing she saw was a pie chart representing her credit completion towards graduation. Then they could see her portfolio of projects and stuff. They thought that was awesome. It makes the way we do grade reporting, credit updates, and academic advising with students feel just embarassingly outdated. As far as the Project Foundry, we did hear that there are some issues with that and so Northwest Passage is switching to EDIO next year. I really like the way EDIO looks and the potential for what we could do with it.
Scott Swanson and I discussed that the initial hurdle I would seem to be this:
A bank of the all key learning targets is needed. Obviously we teach the MN Standards, but putting each standard and benchmark in would be way too many targets in the system. The targets should be distilled down to the power standards, or clusters of standards put together, and the essential “soft skills” or “success skills” or whatever we’re calling them. You could also have targets in the bank around basic or prerequisite skills for reading, writing, math, etc. Anyhow, instructional staff would need to agree on those items and some work would need to be done to input them into the system…
Being at the end of the quarter here, once again we in NECA hit this necessary (but evil and soul-crushing) period of hyper focus on “passing” grades. Some feel like traditional grading does more harm than good, and I am in that camp, personally. I’m going to have a hard time waiting another 2 or 3 years for us to break out of this mold. IMHO we really, really need to be moving forward with a portfolio model for the sake of teaching and learning, ASAP.
I couldn’t agree more with your comments surrounding grades. I’m in that progressive group that thinks that grades are outdated at least in the ways in which they are applied right now. I know I’ve said it before but every college recruiter or office that responded to my calls and emails stated that they would be more interested in a students essential skills or character skills as well as a description of course content than they would a students grades. You can have high grades and be the smartest kid in the room but lack the drive or motivation to finish what you start or work in a cohesive team. So what good are those grades and what do they really show? I’m also all for a digital portfolio and proof of learning over grades.
Avalon said the same thing. Colleges have been extremely receptive to student portfolios and project work. They say they’ve had excellent results getting kids into college. (Not sure on the data, but I get a sense they are telling the truth and not just making stuff up.)
We can do this now in Moodle if teachers align their assignments to standards. There are graphic displays (Students would view their Dashboard), standards/competency tracking and other options like progress bars, grade displays that show what percentage of the overall course each activity is, etc.
I’m not sure where we’re at with a district SIS or assessment tool, but the ones we looked at last year also had similar capabilities.
I have no doubt Moodle can do some of the things that a Student Portfolio system could do… but what I’ve seen from EDIO is a visual appeal that really outclasses anything I’ve seen in Moodle (and don’t get me wrong, I’m a big supporter of our Curriculum Hub). I also think a distinction can and should be drawn between what our LMS “can do” and how staff and students are likely to actually use it. I feel like a specific PBL/portfolio system, separate from the current curriculum hub would be an important step for adoption.
I really like this thread as I feel I belong on here. As an administrator, that is a lifelong goal of mine to transform the programs I oversee into programs that build skills, rather than specific content knowledge. I will feel like I have accomplished that once I see students graduating with competencies checked off, a portfolio in hand to take to an interview, and students seeing the applicability of the competencies/skills they are learning.
We had thought the same thing when first meeting with Mike from EDIO. However we learned that this wouldn’t be possible because EDIO actually hasn’t launched the service yet. Schools have been signing up and will be implementing at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.