FreshGrade Notes

I took notes on the FreshGrade presentation both while the group was speaking as well as when the guest presenter spoke about the program. I would love to use FreshGrade during my teaching practice after having heard so much about it throughout this program, and it was very interesting getting to hear about it from an actual FreshGrade representative


  • What is a digital portfolio?
    • Showcase portfolio
      • What did you DO at school today?
    • Learning/Progression portfolio 
      • What you LEARN at school today?
    • Digital storage locker
      • Did you hand in your assignment?
      • Learning management system
        • Students hand in work
        • Students show their work
  • Why should I use a digital portfolio?
    • Assessment
    • Engagement
  • What are the Provincial/District Assessment Policies?
    • BC
    • AB
    • ON
  • FreshGrade brings a report card to life
  • FreshGrade communicates learning 
  • Top Influencers of Student Achievement
    • Feedback
    • Formative Assessment
    • Self-reflection
    • Collaboration
    • Parent engagement 
  • Allows students to show evidence of learning
  • Showcase portfolio has the student and their parent notified of any commented entry
    • This is celebrating the moment in time that they did well. It is not assessment or a real portfolio but rather a “showcase portfolio” where the work would traditionally be put up on the fridge
  • Connection between parent, teacher and student
  • Lesson planning and assessment on FreshGrade
  • Built in grade book that allows students to go in and do lesson planning
    • Create activity, give it a name, say how going to assess it, talk about universal learning and enter it.
    • Creates entry into the gradebook
  • Can leave comments to parents
  • Students upload under topics in order to demonstrate that they can do what it is asking (i.e. topic is “reading out loud,” student uploads video to show that they can do that. Teacher can then give a comment and, if students need to make changes, they can upload a new video to see that they are taking the comments and are improving)
  • Teacher can show what their reading (if that is the topic) looked like every month of the year so that student and parent can see the improvement since the beginning of the year. Focus on improvement and progression rather than a letter grade
  • Brings parents into the classroom so they can participate and help their child at home
  • 3 Advertised Benefits
    • Students ownership of learning
      • Students can participate in their own assessment
    • Increased Efficiency for Educators
      • Less time marking
      • Continual reporting
    • Stronger Parental Engagement
      • Parents get daily updates about their child’s learning
      • Parents and teachers can be in constant communication
  • Privacy Basic Summary
    • Doesn’t own or sell user content
    • Stored in Canada
    • Children under 13 not allowed to use FreshGrade without parental consent
    • Uses cookies – you can opt out but experience using the service will not be the same
    • You can use third party websites through FreshGrade, such as Google Drive or YouTube, so be sure to know those privacy policies as well
  • Possible Privacy Concerns
    • They could share information with a company who buys or acquires the company 
    • Students who use FreshGrade and then create a third-party account to use in conjunction with the service without understanding how their information will be used
    • Humans and technology are both at the center of this service – always a risk of error
  • FreshGrade as self-assessment
    • Not only addition or alternative to report cards
    • Great tool for self-assessment, especially in intermediate and middle school grades
    • Not all responsibility on teacher
    • Students can choose what to post and comment on their thoughts, reasons for choosing that work, areas for improvement, and what they have learned
    • Self-assessment very valuable tool for student learning 
  • A Teacher’s Perspective: The Pros
    • Make classroom life more fun
    • Constantly capture learning and share it with families in real time
    • Avoids having to send out emails
    • Sparks conversation between children and parents
    • Parents can engage as much or as little as they like
    • Keep parents in the loop
  • A Teacher’s Perspective: The Cons
    • Can actually add work/be less efficient
    • Some parents don’t like it or take issue with it: if they opt out, then they’re left out of the loop
    • Privacy concerns
    • Very difficult and frustrating to use for formal reporting
    • Interface differs between devices 
  • A Parent’s Perspective: The Pros
    • Opens communication between the teacher, parent, and child
    • Helps to log your child’s learning and start conversations about it
    • Allows parents to support the child’s learning at home
    • Gives a fuller-spectrum report card
  • A Parent’s Perspective: The Cons
    • Privacy: lack of information about where the data is being stored
    • Safety concerns, such as where custody s an issue

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