Kinteract is great for assessment and home-school communications through the parent logins. But it doesn't stop there. As well as being able to set assignments for hand-in online, Kinteract also has a Class Discussion option for the Observations.
Often Observations are associated with Early Years education. However, they are really useful and flexible for many reasons all the way through schooling.
In the example below they are being used by an A level drama class to discuss how they might advertise their upcoming production of Les Miserables to the local community.
A class discussion can be set by a teacher as part of the academic discussions in class also such as the one below:
Usually an observation added to Kinteract is only visible to the teachers in school, and then the parent/carer of any students tagged, and the students themselves. And they cannot see who else is tagged if this was a comment for a group of children. With a Class Discussion, however, the whole class can see each other's comments on the discussion and can add their own. This allows for discussions which are really popular with teachers in all subjects and key stages. They lend themselves well to creative subjects where you might want to discuss art pieces where a subjective opinion is useful in a wider discussion where there might be no "right" answer. Also more philosophical discussions such as those in PHSE or RE.
As you can see from the screenshot below, the teacher has an edit pencil which means they can moderate and edit comments, as we know that open forums can be a concern, but also where better to deal with those elements of e-safety than a forum which school has full control over? In our experience focused educational forums are a great place to teach students about how to manage their behaviour online, as well as showing how social media can be used for good. If you do prefer to not have students all seeing each other's comments then you can just have this as an observation type card instead of Class Discussion and they will only see their own comments but you can still gather responses to any question.
So Observations are not just about sending home photos of the children working, but are great places to start discussion and continue learning from the classroom as homework or as part of flipped learning to prepare for the next lesson. Give it a go and let us know how you might use the Class Discussion tool!