So Fresh So Clean

FreshGrade has been an application name that has been tossed around pretty often in the Elementary PDP program. It seems that FreshGrade is a household app that everyone uses, yet, the next generation of teachers at UVic have yet to use the app. Speaking with David Haight, a FreshGrade rep has eased my mind about the workings of the application (this includes privacy, the simple interface, and how the collection of 3 apps work together).

A primary concern for many is the privacy component of FreshGrade, which David addresses near the end of the video (21min). He says that FreshGrade has passed all the guidelines that BC has in terms of where they keep the data, who has access, etc.

David also talks about the simplicity of FreshGrade. Instead of having many modules, FreshGrade aims to mimic social media type applications in an attempt to keep things simple. He notes that this can also mean that FreshGrade won’t be able to do everything its competitors can do.

The most valuable component of FreshGrade in David’s opinion is how the 3 apps (parent, student, teacher) work together. In class, our prof asked whether phones should be allowed in school or not. FreshGrade hopes to answer that question with having students use the application to demonstrate their own learning. By using the student app, the students can post pictures onto their feed that their parents and teacher can see. Having the ability to show their own learning can be extremely powerful and is an excellent way to communicate core/curricular competencies.

All-in-all, FreshGrade as shown in the video can be an amazing way to demonstrate learning through e-portfolios, and it can be extremely useful as a conversation starter in homes.

Ultimately, FreshGrade lacks all the modules that other apps may have, which could mean that depending on what you’re searching for in an application Seesaw or Google Classroom might be the one you’re looking for. That being said, Freshgrade has an enormous amount of potential for communicating student learning through e-portfolios and gives students the opportunity to share their own learning with the student app. It is simple to use and mimics social media. Finally,  FreshGrade also passes all the guidelines that the BC government has for privacy within the school district.

PS. the title of this post isn’t supposed to be biased, it is a song by the rap group Outkast and I thought it would be a fun title.

“It’s chill to copy…right?”

Copyrights, creative commons, and public domain are very important to consider when sourcing information (including pictures, videos, articles, etc).

Advance Google Searching also allows for filtering with usage rights. This ensures that we are properly using our sources.

The biggest takeaway I had from the presentation was that we must learn/teach the proper way of using the resources we find. It is way too easy for a person to copy the things they find without knowing what they can or can’t do with that information.

Digital Safety

I must admit this class must have been one of the most engaging. This could be because each word our speaker was saying made you think back to anytime liquor or bad decisions were present in any of my private social media accounts.

Through the talk, Jesse suggested technology be used in the classroom, but he warns that you should check with your admins. Jesse shows the class that children are using the internet and must learn how to navigate it, they must be able to distinguish between accurate sources from “fake news”. Safety is always a centerpiece of Jesse’s talk, he tells us not to be reactionary when we get news that a student confides in us, he asks how much our job/social media is worth as they will sometimes intermingle.

The talk ended on the question, is gaming a sport? Perhaps I shouldn’t gatekeep (make sport exclusive to physical) as they require a great level of competence that sport should be composed of. Maybe gaming can be something I allow in the classroom, at least I would be able to monitor the students, thus giving them a safer place.

PSIIched – Get it? Psyched…

Honestly, PSII seemed like an awesome inquiry-based school allowing for students in secondary grades to complete their high school careers following their various interests. There are few mentors that help guide pods of students, ensuring that all the core subjects are covered and that all the students are accounted for, as they are permitted to use facilities outside of the school for their inquiries. The school is simply amazing, though would be harder to follow in an elementary type setting as many basics much be learned and social behaviour must be heavily promoted. I would be very interested to incorporate certain aspects of the school to my classroom, such as, having children follow projects that they are interested in, and allowing students to make decisions as I feel like kids aren’t normally given that opportunity.


Ed camp: quite the experience, Ed camp is a way to engage teachers and people alike in discussions that they are interested. This seemed like a great way to break up groups and have in-depth conversations! The way it works is by allowing each person at the EdCamp some time to develop questions, that they will write on a board. After all topics are filled, people decide what they are interested in and finally they go have a conversation with other people that are interested in that specific topic.

– Matty

Project-Bas.ed Learning

Most likely to succeed, a film we viewed in class, is a documentary focusing on a different type of learning. This is project-based learning, the film brings us to a facility that focuses on melding all the subjects togeth-er in a creative way, making the students learn by crea-tion. The documentary follows two groups of students through their learning, both groups are covering a hu-manities topic, but in a different way. The first group represents their learning through drama and the other through mechanics. The film shows us the benefits of this type of teaching and solidifies why our teacher education is moving towards it.