Silvia is the co-author of the book A Guide to Documenting Learning- Making Thinking Visible, Meaningful, Shareable, and Amplified.

Upgrade Documentation beyond Observations: Documentation as Pedagogy.

Teachers have always documented their lessons, through informal note taking and lesson planning. Traditional documentation of jotting down observations and analog documentation have their limitations though. It is time to change the notion and the way we document. Participants will look at tools and techniques, ranging from video and audio recordings to image capturing, screencasting and reflective, hyperlinked documentation that support modern skills and literacies. We will also go beyond text based, disconnected and random documentation to formalize a documentation process that serves several layers deep.

On a student level, students create dynamic learning portfolios, as part of the documentation process, monitoring their own learning, making thinking and learning visible to others. Connected to the visible learning of their peers and open to the world, these documented artifacts in a variety of media are an integral piece of a larger learning community. Teachers use students’ documentation as ongoing assessment for learning embedded into their teaching strategies.

On a teacher- student level, teachers document student learning to reflect on learning versus curriculum coverage, student engagement and interests and curriculum objectives and goals. Teachers use their documentation to inform further personalized, differentiated instruction.

On a teacher-teacher level, teachers document their own professional development learning, classroom happenings and reflections. No longer are supervisors relying on a snapshot observation of their teaching skills, but teachers share and highlight classroom learning and personal learning growth over time. When documentations made public, they serve as a hub to make the teacher a connected educator, contributing to a global community of learning.

On an administrator and school level, documentation as pedagogy could become replacement of old style teacher evaluation and a contemporary model for professional development methods and strategies. A learning communities’ value is highly reliant on the belief that learning is social and collaborative and that sharing of knowledge is at the heart of teaching and learning. Documenting as pedagogy, provides a layout for model of practice the entire school