Smata as a professional learning tool

I was with a school, listening to a teacher talk about how she had been using Smata and how she planned on using it during the next term. This school uses learning through play in the junior school, and what using Smata during Term 2 had shown her was, among other things, her class showed a strong interest in science so she wanted to make this a focus. And this is where things got interesting for me.

 

You see, I’d always seen Smata as a tool for teachers. It’s designed to support them as they notice learning and respond to it by enabling the capture, storage and presentation of learning data in one place. For this teacher, as she thought about the upcoming term, the real value for her as a professional was the way Smata made her think deeply about what she should notice. And this thinking made her realise her knowledge about science needed to be deeper, which she had spent the holidays doing.

 

This deepening of professional knowledge, in this instance focusing on the science learning area, is crucial when thinking about how teachers might go about enriching the learning experience of their students. This is especially so in contexts where learner agency is the driver of learning. It was great for me to hear how Smata was naturally supporting this aspect of professional development.

Bevan Holloway About the author

Bevan is the founder of Smata. He is a former secondary school English teacher and Core Education e-Fellow, where he researched the adoption of play pedagogy in a secondary context. Bevan works with schools across New Zealand who look to foster learner agency, both in the primary and secondary sectors. It is that work that led to the development of the Smata app.

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