Student View

Edsby | Empowering K-12 student learning environments

I need to give so much thanks to my daughter allowing me to use her Edsby account to share with you what it looks like from a student view even with her indiscretions of overdue assignments she was happy to share (even if it makes my eyes twitch…how does a teachers kid have overdue assignments?).

As a teacher and a parent we have the brain capacities to navigate more complex websites, older students can also complete with such tasks. However, you are going to notice that so much of the parent view is exactly identical to the student view but the students get a few more features then the parents. This platform is visually the exact same from kindergarten to grade 12; this is a vast difference in cognitive abilities and what can be accomplished. If there is one big recommendation or advice that I have to give Edsby it is this: You need to have different student views separating the early elementary from the upper grades.

When you get views of this:

Edsby - EdTech Digest

and then this is what you actually get:

Edsby Software - 2022 Reviews, Pricing & Demo

There is a serious disconnect and not a real great understanding of what students levels of abilities are. The munchkins in grade one still do not know their letters let alone know how to log onto computers using their names and if they do it takes them way too long to get on and then they miss out on the super fun activities.

Watch my video below and see how students can navigate through the student view and how it can be used very similar to google classroom when it comes to handing in assignments or viewing assignments teachers have given you!

A Teacher Perspective- Part 1

I wish I could have done a video to show you this side of things but due to privacy I cannot do it that way so please bear with my pictures as I try to give you a good picture. If you have not done so please check out the parent exploration first and watch the video, it will help you understand things a bit more. This post will focus on the meat and potatoes of the teacher section; well what I use it for. If I taught higher grade levels I would use other features Edsby offers which I will showcase in Part 2.

Main Screen

Similar to the parent page you are going to notice a lot of similarities in its appearance with minor additions. As a teacher I am part of the HTTA group where as a parent there was none at this time, also I have a bit more information on the right under Sacred Heart.

Messaging Area:

This feature allows parents and students to message me or vise versa in a secure environment and was a place for where our administration assistant set up our conferencing manager. Overall I have not had many parents use this function.

Attendance Feature:

Exploring A Class: The Main Page of a Subject

Gradebook Features: Assessing & Inputting Marks & Creating Your Marks

Options for Status Flags

Overall inputting marks is an easy task at this stage and Edsby offers a drag option so you can quickly input marks if all your students had the same mark; I go back and then change the select few who score higher or lower. I also really like the share feature; when I am ready to share I can. We all know that sometimes stuff comes in slowly or we only are able to mark a few during our prep so this allows us to have a bit more control. The one feature that needs improvement in this area and that is a big deal to me would be when I include other curriculum outcomes and I have to provide a mark it does not appear in the other gradebook and I feel that it should appear there as well. Example: Students do a social presentation in class; I go to the social gradebook, create the assignment, include the social outcome along with the ELA outcomes for creating a poster and also the speaking pieces, it will not appear in the ELA gradebook. I feel it should be posted there as well without me having to do anymore work.

Creating/Adding Assessment:

First you need to decide what kind of assessment you are going to be adding:

There are other options for teachers here such as including instructions and files for students or for themselves as the teacher but I do not use this feature.

The Learning Story- Students Online Portfolios

This is a big piece to Edsby and has many different ways to access and upload information; as amazing as it is, it doesn’t come without its struggles or uphill battles from a teachers perspective. One big thing to keep in mind when it comes to students learning stories is teachers in my division have a minimum of what they are required to post and some teachers do just that, while others do a lot more so there can be some struggles just with that online presence and parent expectations.

Some of my struggles:

  • There are so many different ways to get to the same place, it becomes difficult to remember how to get somewhere; streamlining my time
  • The teacher app on the iPads is not reliable, glitches, kicks you out, takes a long time to load
  • There is no option to “Select All” students when posting, you have to select each individual student
  • When creating a post for everyone I cannot create it and then go add a evidence to each one’s post, I have to either do one of two things, 1. create individual posts (which is not time efficient) or 2. Go into each child’s learning story click on the large post I made and then add a reply and upload individual pictures or documents that way and then make an additional comment because you cannot leave a picture or document without it. There is much work that needs to be done here to make this easier for teachers and much less time consuming!
  • The student QR codes can be helpful but again it comes with its issues.
  • It takes a lot of my time to upload things onto Edsby and I am one of those teachers who uploads lots but my frustration lies with the amount of work it takes when I know many parents do not even go on it, and I can tell specifically what parents have not even accepted the invitation from 2 years ago or have not checked it in months.

Benefits of the Learning Story:

  • Captures learning throughout the year, and is cumulative from previous years.
  • Teachers can share what is going on in the classroom and share student successes
  • Upload videos, audio, documents (computer or from google and onedrive) , add links, and record videos
  • Students can upload their own work once I have created the post
  • Share Option: when I am ready to share with parents and students I can
  • Add outcomes and create custom tags for easy organizing
  • Write observations of evidence
Creating Evidence
Student went in and uploaded their work and then they can add in their reflection pieces. I then also have the ability to comment on their post at any time.

There is a lot more to the basics of adding to their learning story but those were the meat and potatoes of it and it makes it more difficult to share, especially with respecting students privacy, a video would have been much much easier!

A Parent Perspective

Prior the most recent update to have the best access your child’s learning features on Edsby you needed a computer. Which was a huge problem for many clientele involved and created a significant problem for families. It became who had access to a computer and could see their child’s Edsby accounts and who had a limited version because they only had access to looking at it on a phone. It created a divide that was highly unfair and unrealistic for the creators to think people had both a computer and a phone at their immediate disposal regardless of economic status and created disinterest with parents engaging with the platform. Since the update I am much happier with the platform both online and on my iPhone. Not only can I access similar things but the ease of use on the computer and on the phone has improved sustainably. Check out my video below for a view from a parents perspective!

Significant Improvements to the Mobile App

No description available.

I did not have a lot of positive comments to say about Edsby as a parent when it first was introduced to our division. There were many, many glitches, the overall ease of use was not user friendly and the layout was not ideal. More importantly there was information that I could only access if I had a computer and it was some of the more important information that a parent should have ease of access too. Lucky for me I work at a school where I have access to a computer and I am taking my Masters so I purchased a Surface Pro for my own use; prior to taking my master I did not have a home computer; I didn’t need one, my phone did all I needed. It was a huge disadvantage for parents who did not own a computer and I think completely unfair of Edsby and our division to assume anything differently.

The new and improved app:

No description available.
It is more visually appealing and the ease of use has improved tenfold. Similar to the video posted of accessing Edsby through the computer you will see similar pictures below:

Parents can easily book an interview, plan an absence or log an absence, can easily look at their children’s learning stories, bounce between different children’s edsby accounts, view multiple pictures in one post with more ease, comment on children’s posts on the learning story, and stay up to date with children’s marks and overdue assignments! Having access to the overdue and marks at any given time has been a game changer for me as a parent and keeping on top of my daughter who has taken on her dad’s traits of procrastination!

You Get a Car and You Get a Car! Everyone Gets a Car!

oprah winfrey GIF

Teaching is hard, and it is even harder when you switch grades and have to start from creating material from scratch. If you are an elementary teacher, you do not just teach a select course or a few courses, we have (I have) 10ish different classes/subjects to prepare for every single day; this is A LOT, it is overwhelming when starting from nothing. If there is something that I have appreciated immensely is when another grade alike teacher is willing to share their already put together units. Let’s be honest we are probably all “guilty” of accepting this most generous offer more then once and we do so with open arms. Then there is teacher pay teachers; I have a serious love affair with this website because why not? If it covers curriculum, is engaging, is possibly low prep (not all the time but sometimes) AND it looks nice, this is a win!

I have always been so unbelievably grateful for those teachers who have shared their work with me in order to get me started that I feel the need to do the same if anyone ever asks me now that I have a few years under my belt and created my own materials; if you didn’t know there is secret society of teachers that help each other out but you have to know the secret handshake and door knock. Honestly I feel that it takes a village to educate the minds of children and it is a hard and demanding career so if we can help each other out, take the pressure off, lend a hand why wouldn’t we? So you will find me sharing my material or ideas all the time with full disclosure of course that it is not perfect or complete.

Copyright is a serious thing but in my years of teaching there have been moments where I have received items that go against it and I have never done it to be malicious or intentionally thinking about copyright legalities but I do need to be aware of the legal and ethical issues and take a stand to know when it is not appropriate, when to only take the 10% or go purchase the product myself even when the convenience is quicker and easier.

When I share my units, material, or ideas I do give credit to its original creators if it warrants it or I will share where I have purchased the product but I know I could do better. This week really made me think of the reasons why I should and reflect on how I can still lend others a hand while protecting all parties at hand. My division has also been encouraging us to share our units these past few years and as I had said before I am 100% game for doing so but I have been very mindful of what I share and if it is something I have purchased from TpT I will give some sample pages and leave the link to where others can purchase their own license. This is good practice to me, we need to work together and help each other out, we are not on an island by ourselves, especially when teaching the exact same curriculum.

What are your thoughts? Do you share your work or do you keep your work more to yourself? How do you manage copyrights?

turtle helping GIF

What is Edsby?

Edsby is an educational platform that is a single place for educators, parents, and stakeholders to gather, provide, and manage the many diverse needs required for schools that is student learning focused.

Edsby offers:

Learning Management

Assessment & Reporting


Student Well-Being

Click here to see the multitude of comparison charts of the platforms features

Edsby Platform Features:

Community Features of Edsby:

  • Social Classrooms
  • Groups
  • Knowledge Bases
  • File Libraries
  • News
  • Confidential Messages
  • Launchpad
  • Timetables & Calendar
  • Teacher Collaboration

Classroom Management Features:

  • Seating Plans & Rosters
  • Content Builder
  • Import Curriculum
  • Social Emotional Check ins
  • Polls
  • Attendance
  • Upload Safety
  • Visualizations
  • Realtime Videos, Whiteboarding
  • Learning Object Repositories
  • Models

Assessment & Reporting

  • Feature Rich Gradebook
  • Online Testing
  • Standards Based Grading
  • Report Cards
  • Learning Evidence
  • Weighting
  • Question Banks
  • Grade Override
  • Portfolios
  • Observations
  • Subjective Performance Indicators
  • Badges
  • Charts & Graphs
  • Dynamic Insight
  • Access Management
  • Integrated Actions

Parent Engagement

  • Parent Support by Design
  • Flexible Account Setup
  • No Email Addresses
  • Parent Teacher Conference Booking
  • Full or Partial Visability
  • Voice & Video Comments
  • Planned Absences
  • Permission Forms

Check out Edsby Platform Features for more detailed information

Check out what their customers had to say about Edsby

Guilty as Charged But I Honestly Don’t Mean To Officer!

Guilty As Charged Reaction GIF by TRT - Find & Share on GIPHY

Who gets their information from Facebook and believes it? I do sometimes… guilty

Who gets caught up in emotional targeted news? Me…. guilty

Who is too lazy to go verify and fact check? Me… guilty

Who looks at the sources? Me…guilty but this might be an okay thing, I look to see if the website or article is coming from a news outlet so that is a positive

Who trusts news media outlets? Me… guilty

Have I ever fallen for photo manipulation? Yep… guilty

I clearly have a lot of work to do

Cymone this week posted an article Defining Fake News, I found myself making connections to the types of fake news I have fallen victim too; news fabrication, photo manipulation, advertising and public relations. It really bugs me when I fall for the news article because they LOOK REAL to only realize afterwards that it wasn’t or something inside says this doesn’t seem and I go look at a “trusted” news source and let me tell you my trusted news sources are like pretty ridiculous at times. I will look to see if it is on Discover Moose Jaw or Moose Jaw Today, the LeaderPost, or any other Saskatchewan/local news outlets but then I hear about their one sided views. This makes me so frustrated!

When it comes to photo manipulation it just blows my mind how pictures can be made to look so real or how easy it is to take a picture and place it in a different context, much like that ones that Alec showed us a few weeks ago in class. This occurs so easily and often as the article states it’s to catch the eye of the audience or to reinforce the content being discussed, my husband often says “a picture or it didn’t happen” but this cannot even be trusted anymore.

I am also a sucker for click bait stuff with interesting headings but for me this doesn’t have to do with me thinking it is a news story, it is more for the mindless entertaining story it may provide or for the shopping; thanks advertising and public relations!

Chris then talked about the consequences for students in the video and I think these are exactly where I am when it comes to the Ukraine & Russia War. I am terrified about all the misinformation out there and there is no quick and easy place to find the right information; well there might be but I don’t know where to look and I feel so overwhelmed already with my busy life that I do not find the time or energy to dig into it. Does this make me a bad person? I feel that it does. I feel worried that I am not able to tell false versus real in the time frame I would like to get my information in. Then I second guess news sources and I do not know who to trust, HELLO can I just get the old fashioned Moose Jaw Times Herald newspaper back, maybe I can trust that information; the world of getting news information seemed simpler then or at least easier and more trustworthy. The other point brought forward was anxiety; I suffer from anxiety and it seems to be more heightened lately with balancing my life’s pressures and goals. So pairing identifying fake news in regards to Ukraine and not sure who or what to believe or the anxiety of believing something that is not true, I am avoiding it all together.

Holly then provided 3 easy tips to teach our students how to spot fake news that I think I am going to use and take for myself; take a look at the source, look for its accuracy; fact check on snopes or politifacts), and look for neutral language. I believe it isn’t fair of me to teach my students how to spot fake news if I cannot do it myself and be confident in it. I am grateful for those websites to offer the ability for fact checks; thank you for sharing Alec and Holly for the reminder.

Frame of References:

An infographic showing media source ratings for reliability and bias

Alec has provided these frames of references for understanding media bias but I still have some learning to do when it comes to understanding what left and right mean, or how to interpret them. So if you have any help with that I would love to hear it!

The jury is most definitely in, and I am so guilty and have a lot of work to do in order to grow in this area.

Seth Meyers Lol GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers - Find & Share on GIPHY
Tonight Show Oops GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Find & Share on GIPHY

Slo Motion Effects, Sound, & Text Duration

Training a dog takes patience and a ton of work. My husband brought home this handsome boy at 6-7 months old and I have been hard at work with him since. I was nervous as all beans when it came to him coming when called and not running away in public. Here is his success so far with that.

I am beginning to use certain features on TikTok with more ease now, I feel I have the text feature understood, searching and adding a song, and uploading videos and pictures.

Just seen this possibly new feature on TikTok using a QR code so I thought I would play with this. Let me know if it works. Thanks for tuning in to my exploration!

Major Project Update

I have been busy working on and thinking about the actual final product lately. I was able to learn how to create sub tabs or categories on my blog and then sub sub categories under my major project. I did this because I needed to have more organization but to also to process what kind of information I want to be included. Some of the sub categories do not have anything in them yet but will as I continue to grow my project. I have re-learned that I need some patience when working with technology and at times it is just not as easy as I want it to be. I struggled with wordpress this week allowing me to upload my TikTok videos, then all of a sudden one upload worked but the others did and would not so I left them in link format. Check out My Exploration for my newest videos: adding effects, text, combining videos, adding sound. I am so amature at it that I just have to laugh at myself! Something else that I have been busy doing is looking at Common Sense Media and realizing that it has ratings for both Edsby and TikTok along with a parent guide, these I also included in my project, I felt they offered a lot of great information. My next goal is going to be looking at the privacy policies and terms of use and then getting an summed up version posted under those categories.

I have done more in TikTok then I have in Edsby because I wasn’t sure how I wanted to tackle it, but I think I have a plan now which includes exploring the app from a parent perspective and as a teacher, I wanted to from the student perspective also but I do not know if I will have enough time to do that but it is in the back of my mind.

Below is video I recorded showing my new tabs I created. I was so excited that I accomplished this (even if its a beginner thing). I also was pumped that I was able to create this video…all the learning! However I am still having issues now uploading just videos (will I ever win? will it ever be just as easy as I want it to be?) So now I am hoping that you can all click on the link and be able to open it up; I was going to put it on TikTok and upload that way but then it’s public and I just didn’t want that.!AtrPyiqlAyw7hBTjf6Ethrf9D1OS?e=kELAD9

Media Literate, What’s that? You want me to add that to my day too?

The bar is so high, there is already so much to do, covering curriculum is already overwhelming and to now add in digital literacy, especially when it is something you know nothing about makes teaching in today’s world feel almost impossible. Anyone else ever feel that? I am not sure what is going on with everyone else but finding a balance to meet all demands is becoming overwhelming especially with what COVID has done to students education; reading scores are low- so get them up, math scores are low- get those up too, focus on extra Religion minutes we have to promote our Catholic faith more and faith permeate into our other curricular lessons, but we are back to regular curriculum minutes, and now for the betterment of our students please consider adding digital literacy, citizenship, and medias; the plate just keeps getting more full, something is going to topple over soon- these is common thoughts amongst teachers. As I continue my education in this area I become aware of its importance, and I am able to see how I can fit it into my curriculum time already and it is actually not a whole bunch more work, my students are benefiting greatly, and I find I do not have to moderate the chats on my google classroom as often.

So What is Media Literacy Anyways?

Bart summed up what is media literacy perfectly this week in our presentation from his article What is Media Literacy and Why Does it Matter

Media Literacy is important because the digital world is full of fake news (which we are reading about this upcoming week), media bias, and I think the most important to me is the mental health concerns that are associated with media use as outlined in the article; this one hits home to so many of our students, cyberbullying is real, and is done so silently; as parents or teachers, if we are not checking in, watching our children’s behaviours change right in front of our eyes this could have serious implications on children’s wellbeing. Being more informed and involved in a age where it’s easy to become distant due to technology is crucial to supporting the mental health.

Teaching media literacy is newer to me, I kind of did it before but with no real intent, it just flowed into class conversations; just as quickly as the conversations happen it left and never appeared again. Throughout my article What is media literacy, and why is it important? I quickly realized how effortlessly teaching the 6 essential skills to media literacy intertwined into teaching reading literacy at a grade four level; in grade four a big switch is made in literacy instruction, it is not about learning how to read anymore but reading to learn. The skills listed below are already teaching points I do in teacher time so when I go to teach these skills during a media literacy lesson I can quickly have them connect to prior knowledge that has already been instilled. It was such a relief to see the connection and to realize it was not going to be an overbearing task to take on.

The biggest section in the article was the questions to ask students when thinking critically:

  1. Who created it? Take a look at the author (company, private, anonymous)
  2. Why did they make it? Informative, opinion, to make you laugh, get you to buy something
  3. Who is the message for? Is it for adults, babies, little kids, big kids, boys, girls,
  4. What techniques are being used to make this message credible or believable? Take a look at its sources (this is a tough one for younger kids, but opening up the conversation is a good starting point)
  5. What details were left out, and why? Observe the view points, more importantly look at what is missing.
  6. How did the message make you feel? Feelings of yourself, others, would people agree or disagree?

As I did further research for additional resources I came across this TedTalk and what resonated with me the most was to pay attention to what is missing or not being included; this offers such a powerful message in itself, “Once students have learned to deconstruct media, they have gained a superpower”, this was my favourite quote in her talk.

Can Everyone be Fully literate?

I believe everyone if given the proper tools and education can become literate but just as we know in reading and math not everyone will become “Fully” literate in digital medias. This then opens up the conversation to who is included in being allowed to become media literate, and more importantly who is being left out (see how I tied Andrea Quijada’s message in here) ? Considering Mike Ribble’s 9 Elements of Digital Citizenship focusing on the first element of Digital Access being “about the equitable distribution of technology and online resources” do all students in Saskatchewan have equal digital access in our first world country? We know the answer is no, and that is a problem. Take a look at this article I tweeted about today Digital Equity for Indigenous Communities. We have quite a digital divide right here at home which prevents all students from becoming media literate.

Have you considered students who have disabilities? I typically do but that comes from a passion of inclusion, my teaching experience, and certificate of extended studies. A study done in Malaysia explored digital literacy strategies and the ability to help teachers develop their digital literacy skills to create and design effective teaching and learning strategies for students with disabilities. Everyone deserves access to fair education and media literacy should be included. Check out the study here.

Combining Multiple Videos

I was given a task by The Strong Studio to complete a week challenge with creating a video about the most impactful thing I learned from participating in a Top Droppers Challenge. I chose to use TikTok to create the video because it fit so well with my final project. Here are some of my reflections on this video: there was a lot of frustration with having to go back and redo the video because I kept making mistakes, or waiting till words came back around so I could set the text duration and I couldn’t get my timing perfect on the end to stay a bit longer so a person could read the last little bit without having to pause. My daughter offered a piece of advice afterwards to keep my text font the same so it would be easier to read; I agree with her 100% but I also wanted to use this opportunity to play with fonts specifically for this class. Overall I had a blast creating this longer video but it took A LOT of time (almost 2 hours in just putting it together not actually recording), A LOT of editing and clipping videos to make them shorter, and not to mention trying to record myself in the middle of a trainer led workout where I was trying to get a good workout in was something else all together, etc. I was surprised at the effort that needed to go into my very amature creation and I have a lot more appreciation for the people who create very flawless (to me) looking TikTok videos, and man the tools they must have to get everything perfect!

This TikTok was created with a lot of support from my daughter! Check on the link below!

Ha now this embedding thing worked and I don’t know why?!? Ah well success!