Friday, August 19, 2016

Student Timelines From Bloomz Are Now Live.... They Will Make A Difference For You & Your Students This Year!

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Last week in Florida, I was very excited to show off Bloomz to a big group of teacher librarians.  I was telling them about this awesome new digital tool that was going to be one they did not to miss this year.  

As I logged into Bloomz, this message popped up on the screen...

Student Timelines are now available.  Do you want to turn it on for your class?  
Of course, I chose to turn on the Student Timelines.  

Each time I sign up for a class, I will have the choice to turn it on for that particular class.  
I was so excited to see this!  

Ever since I learned about Bloomz when they won one of the AASL Best Websites for 2016, I can't share and use it enough.  

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Bloomz couldn't wait to share this news too!  

As they announced on their site,

Today, we are excited to announce that Student Timelines are now here!  This new functionality allows teachers to share student work with parents throughout the school year.  Students and teachers can upload instructional work items to build a collection of student experiences and projects, and teachers can assess student work as items are submitted for approval, all with the familiar, secure and easy to use Bloomz experience.
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When you Create something on your class in Bloomz, you will see that Student Work is available under Post.  

This will let you share student classroom work with parents, which is something we want to do from the start of school and throughout the year.  We can share projects, classroom activities, written work, student presentations and so much more in one place.  
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I love how photos (and videos coming soon) taken by teachers and students can be shared with parents, after approval by the teacher.  This makes it very easy to share and celebrate student work with parents like never before.  

And just think how powerful it will be to keep parents informed of student improvement.  The visual features of this will be extremely helpful and provide important evidence of the improvement their children are making.

I couldn't wait to try this out for myself and get a glimpse into using the Student Timeline feature within Bloomz.
As you create a new post, Student Work will be one of the choices.  
The Post Student Work screen will pop up.
You will select a student from your list, add a title, description and any photos to showcase the work.
I tried out a few things with Hagan and his work.  First, we took a picture of his Summer Reading BINGO we have been filling out all summer long.  

We took a photo and then we were able to Edit the Submission by adding things over the top.  By using the Draw tool, I added words over the top of the photo.  I can change the colors easily too.  
After I added comments over the top of the Summer Reading BINGO log, I posted it to his parents....which of course went to Robbie and me.  

How cool is this!  

I could see Hagan's face light up as his work was being shared and celebrated.  He asked if I could share a few more of his favorite things from the last school year.
I took a photo of his favorite PBL project from last year.  He designed and drew his dream home for a math project.  He has this one hanging on the bulletin board in his room.  

After I took a photo, I added a comment next to the two things I loved most....his indoor driving range and putting green.
Hagan and I also took a photo of his self portrait from 5th grade.  It is beautiful and I love that he wanted to share it on his Student Timeline.  
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I even added a Comment to his portrait, which is very easy to do as you look at the posts on your timeline.  You can click on a heart to Like the post or add a Comment, which is what I did in the example above.
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I also wanted to try adding a photo of an event that I had saved in my Photos.  When I added the photo, this popped up on the screen when I clicked on Audio at the bottom of the screen.  

I am so excited to share that Audio Recording is here for everyone to use!
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When Editing a photo after it is uploaded onto a student’s time, click on Record at the bottom to the right of the screen.  You record your message and it will load onto the photo.  
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Once it is posted, the Voice Recording will show up on top of whatever you upload.  This shows the comment being played and the text comments I drew over the top of the photo.  

This feature will make the feedback even more special and real for our students and parents.  
Students can share their own work, by signing in using a QR code available through the app in the “Access Codes” button on the class’ cover photo.

These images from the Bloomz blog show just how easy this is for them to do.  

They can take a photo within the app or upload any picture added to the camera roll too. Once the photographs or presentations are added, students can draw on top of the photos, record a quick audio clip and submit for approval.
These must be approved by the teacher before they are posted to their timeline.

After student work is approved and published by the teacher, an email update is sent to the parent. The update is then added to the Student Timeline and seen in the parent's Bloomz feed too.

By sharing using Student Timelines, we are opening up a window to our classrooms, libraries and most of all...into the everyday lives and work of every child.  We give this gift to our parents, which is something they will respect and cherish, bringing them closer to their children's learning, goals and passions.  
If you have more questions about Student Timelines, please check out the Guide To Student Timelines here.

Parents can witness the magic of their child’s learning right before their eyes, with the evolution of their work throughout the year, and over multiple school years. Parents can have an unbelievable amount of material from kids’ work that accumulates over time, and now Bloomz allows parents to keep everything digitally so they can guiltlessly dispose of that cache!

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