How Kelburn Normal School uses the edit button to promote learner reflection

It was great to get along to Kelburn Normal School and hear about how they are SMATA to power up the reflective dimension of learning.

SMATA’s edit button is the feature that’s helping them do this. You find this when you go to review an observation.

What Kelburn are doing is really interesting. They see the edit button as an opportunity to make reflection a process based on dialogue and partnership. Each observation allows you to capture three pieces of media as evidence, so they are leaving the 3rd for a recording of the reflective discussion, where the emphasis is on making what has been learned known, named and explicit, and the potential for what next is explored. It’s a fantastic, and innovative use of the edit button.


If you’re interested in this, try these steps.

  • Capture an observation, but keep the media count to two.
  • Sit with the student, or students, involved. Show them the observation.
  • Review the evidence with them.
  • Ask them whether they agree with where you interpreted the learning on the emerging to rich scale.
  • Press the edit button, then select the audio record option. Record the reflective discussion.
  • Add the recording to the observation.
  • Make any adjustments to the scale that are required.
  • Write in notes in the description box, if required (eg, a ‘what next’).
  • Post the observation.
  • Use the information from the reflection to plan opportunities for the student(s) to act on potential.

The beauty of SMATA, is that the information you need to respond to learner potential is right there at your fingertips. Bringing students into the process helps make your planning, and the learning, more personalised.

Bevan Holloway About the author

I'm the founder of Smata. I used to be a secondary school English teacher. When I was, I became disillusioned with what school did to kids. That led to me adopting play as a core part of my practice. Now I help teachers across all ages harness the power of play. The Smata app was born from that work.