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In the past year, we have seen the use of digital tools increase as many schools transitioned from in-person to fully virtual and hybrid learning environments. Educators have sought new ideas, whether tools or methods, in particular for assessing students in these digital spaces.

A few months ago I learned about​ EdLight, a​ digital tool that enables teachers to get a closer look at student work and provide authentic, meaningful and timely feedback to students in a variety of ways.

How does EdLight Work?

EdLight is a web-based app that gives teachers the chance to see student work as it is submitted. What I love about EdLight is that students can write or draw simply using paper and pencils, and submit their work directly to teachers. All student work can be viewed in the teacher dashboard. For each student’s submission, teachers can provide feedback using some of the different tools available within the platform. Students are able to use any device to submit work. EdLight integrates with Google Classroom and Clever which makes it easier to get started with, and you can also share a link with students to upload their assignment.

As students submit their work, it appears in the teacher dashboard where teachers can view student responses and provide targeted feedback. You can draw or write onto the student work, add stickers, or provide audio feedback which is something that I really appreciate about EdLight. Being able to explain or provide additional insight to students, especially when working in hybrid or fully virtual learning environments, makes a big difference.

Having taught in hybrid learning for half of the school year, finding tools that enable students to work on the same task and for us to be able to access their work and provide immediate and personalized feedback regardless of where they are learning from is essential.

I first used EdLight with my Spanish III class and they enjoyed using it. I provided a writing prompt for them to submit in Spanish. It was easy to see their work and use the different tools available to provide more specific feedback. I could underline or draw charts, and provide audio feedback as well. EdLight works on multiple devices so students don’t have to worry about having a specific device to be able to respond.

Teachers can also ask students to revise their work and resubmit it for further evaluation, which helps to complete the learning cycle.

It is easy to get started with and navigate the EdLight website, and teacher dashboard to create assignments, find student work, and track student progress. I love being able to see student work whether they are writing a response or illustrating a concept.

Benefits of EdLight

EdLight helps to promote greater awareness of student learning and facilitates better communication between students and teachers through the tools available within the platform to provide feedback.

It provides students with a way to look back at their work and see the feedback that they received, and plan their next steps in their learning journey. For teachers, being able to see student work in real time and be able to provide that feedback, especially for those students who are not present in the classroom makes a big difference.

You can also set this up to be used as a digital portfolio for students and explore some of the other ideas available in the blog on EdLight.

Here are a few options:

  • Have students do a drawing to express learning.
  • Take a picture of something they are reading and annotate or summarize it
  • Have students show the process of learning or solving problems for example in math or science classes.
  • Create student portfolios using EdLight

EdLight is a wonderful option for formative assessments, whether that means an entrance or an exit ticket or simply to use during class, especially if working in a hybrid environment. As we think about the next school year, wondering what tools we might keep that made a difference for us this year, I think this is the perfect opportunity to try some new tools to see what a difference they make for our students in our classroom.

Teachers can sign up to try EdLight for free and there are different types of accounts available for individual teachers or school or district licenses. Click here for a walkthrough and be sure to follow them on social! Twitter, Instagram Facebook

About the Author

Rachelle Dene Poth is an edtech consultant, presenter, attorney, author, and teacher. Rachelle teaches Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology at Riverview High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle has a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is a Consultant and Speaker, owner of ThriveinEDU LLC Consulting. She is an ISTE Certified Educator and currently serves as the past-president of the ISTE Teacher Education Network and on the Leadership team of the Mobile Learning Network. At ISTE19, she received the Making IT Happen Award and has received several Presidential Gold Awards for volunteer service to education.

Rachelle is the author of five books, ‘In Other Words: Quotes That Push Our Thinking,” “Unconventional Ways to Thrive in EDU” (EduMatch) and “The Future is Now: Looking Back to Move Ahead,” “Chart A New Course: A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World” and her newest book, “True Story Lessons That One Kid Taught Us.”

She is also a Buncee Ambassador, Nearpod PioNear and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

Rachelle is a blogger for Getting Smart, Defined Learning, District Administration, NEO LMS, and the STEM Informer with Newsweek.

Follow Rachelle on Twitter @Rdene915 and on Instagram @Rdene915. Rachelle has a podcast, ThriveinEDU https://anchor.fm/rdene915.

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