So much more than an assessment platform

by Louise Young
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Kinteract is a great assessment platform. With options to add formal, summative assessment whenever you need to as well as the learning journey observations which can build up a story of any child's journey from birth through to the workplace, there really is nothing lacking in the assessment arena. The beauty of Kinteract for assessment is you can use it in whichever way works for your school, your schools, your individual teachers, and tailor it to individual pupils however you want to as well. There is no one-size-fits-all here.

Yet Kinteract also goes so much further than an assessment platform. The social media style layout lends itself to be used for home school communications - whether to share successes with individual parents, or to write messages to the whole school, or simply to remind the students to bring their PE kit on a certain day. As parents and students can download the native app for free, you no longer need to pay for expensive text message services as an extra. Parents can even use the translation tool to translate the message to their preferred language.

Kinteract can also be your homework platform. Formally you can use the Next Steps functionality to track hand-ins and give grades out on the platform. Or you can use class discussions for less formal homework - taking part in RE conversations or character analysis in drama, for example. Teachers can also use this functionality to track skills and observation which is especially useful in Early Years settings or for project-based learning where rubrics may feature heavily in assessment.

Not everything you add to Kinteract needs to be linked to a curriculum subject either. This avoids teachers feeling that they only get to add successes and achievements if they are linked to core exams etc. You could add anything to Kinteract. Maybe you want to share a funny story with home, or to keep on record, from school journey? Maybe you want to share a moment that a pupil gained confidence to try something they hadn't done before Maybe a child shares their lunch with another and you want to record that act of kindness? These moments alone are also showing our parents and students the kind of values we have and what we see as important. Often learning journeys and assessment data skews our students' ideas so that they think only their maths results or reading comprehension skills matter to everyone...when in fact they are so much more than a test score. It is all important and in Kinteract it can all share equal value in their portfolio through life and learning.

What makes Kinteract so special is not what it can do, either, but how easily it can do it. So many assessment platforms, and other learning platforms or messaging services, are so complicated for schools to use that they are easily put off. Kinteract has been built in a way which makes it intuitive to use, especially if you have ever used any social media platform. With so many teachers, parents, students, and support staff, all using sites such as Facebook at home, Kinteract requires very little extra training to get going which makes it more sustainable across your school. No matter when staff turnover means lots of new staff to train - a few quick clicks and they are ready to go.

This ease of use, and flexibility of use, means that wherever we go and show Kinteract to teachers they all come up with ideas of how they would use it. Maybe a languages teacher would get particularly excited about the recorded speech functionality, allowing them to set homework and share sound files back and forth with students which really helps with MFL teaching.

Perhaps the maths teacher sees the worth in recording regular maths revision test results to track progress towards exams? Maybe your English and drama teachers want to use the class discussions for debating and character hot-seating? Maybe the Deputy Head Teacher wants to compare one class's attainment to another? Maybe the eco-schools leader wants to track evidence across the school of the impact of changes made by school council?

If you are fed up of feeding information into a jumped-up, complicated, Excel spreadsheet and getting very little back for your efforts, give Kinteract a try. Tell us what you want to share about your school and students, tell us what is important to you. We know that will involve having to track maths and English and other core subjects at some point, and that is fine we are here for that. But we want to help you share and celebrate everything else too. Every child is an individual, every teacher is an individual, and every Kinteract feed reflects the uniqueness of them all.