Week 3: EC&I 831- Major Digital Project- Student Portfolios

https://www.picmonkey.com/graphics/clip-art/sorry-im-late-clock

Well this is late, but I’m finally excited to undertake this major digital project with a topic that I am excited about! After looking over the great examples of student work and having a Zoom meeting with Alec, I have finally decided on a direction for my major digital project. I’m excited to learn about student ePortfolios. I really wanted to find a topic that would align with my current position and be something that I could use in the coming years. While option B and learning to play the guitar or become a better photographer made my short list, I really wanted to narrow my topic to something that would be relevant with my job.

 With Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) moving away from the traditional parent teacher interview model with teachers in charge, SLCs are now student-led and are powerful “opportunities for students to prepare, reflect on, and discuss evidence of their learning and growth by way of student portfolios.”

After watching my wife, Kendra, make physical (paper copies) of student portfolios for roughly 5 years for her Kindergarten students, I remember the constant debate and questioning why not make use of digital portfolios. While initial expectations were for the physical portfolios, our division slowly evolved to allow for digital portfolios. As Kendra began using Seesaw to document learning in her classroom, it was obvious how this became a powerful tool to showcase learning to families.

https://www.teachkidsart.net/time-to-make-portfolios/

Help me learn about your experience with student portfolios

How many of you have made use of digital portfolios? https://forms.office.com/r/yskUyiek00

With SLCs quickly approaching, I would like to work with a few of my high school teachers to begin piloting a few different e-portfolio tools. The goal of piloting a few different e-portfolio tools would be to eventually identify our school’s preferred platform for developing digital portfolios. Over the next few weeks, I would like to become more familiar with the following portfolio tools:

  1. Edsby Portfolios
  2. MyBluePrint Portfolios
  3. Seesaw
  4. Book Creator

I would then like to collaborate with others in my school to design the official process of what authentic student-led conferences could look like/ sound like in the high school setting. We are currently using a homeroom model for interviews and many teachers note that they do not teach their homeroom students. Consequently, the interview becomes more challenging because teachers cannot comment directly on the student’s learning. Therefore, to really make these homeroom interviews work, we need students to lead their interview and showcase and discuss evidence of their learning.

http://stemteachingtools.org/brief/6

I will need to develop an implementation guide to help support teachers, students, and parents make use of digital portfolios.

While teachers are constantly bombarded with new ideas and waves, I want the use of digital portfolios to be beneficial to their practice. I hope that digital portfolios will allow teachers to move away from traditional product-based assessments and incorporate more authentic assessment opportunities, that might reduce workload and time spent marking. The use of digital portfolios will also support the growth and development of assessment practices in my school and will help teachers to integrate more observation and conversation assessments. Providing students with choice is key to their success, and hopefully the use of portfolios will allow students to communicate their learning in new ways.   Digital platforms to capture evidence of learning will also be used to provide authentic and timely feedback.

I will seek to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using student portfolios. Finally, I will seek to understand how senior students might be able to transfer artifacts of learning into a professional portfolio that could be used for employment. Drop me a comment or feedback below and let me know your thoughts on using digital portfolios with your students.

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5 thoughts on “Week 3: EC&I 831- Major Digital Project- Student Portfolios

  1. Sounds like a great plan, James. Student led conferences take so much of the onus away from teachers and parents and allow the student to show their work. It will be interesting to see your experiences with SLC, because in my experience, many parents let the student to a little bit of talking and then turn it back into a PTI and talk as though the student is not even there. I always enjoy redirecting the question back to the student, and then giving my own commentary once the student is allowed to speak.
    I completed your Form above. MyBlueprint is a great portfolio creator. We are using SeeSaw in grade 7/8 this year and it is a learning curve for me as I have never used it before!
    Thanks for the post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Practical and perfect. Practically perfect, James! I love your idea of engaging with teachers to develop a school wide portfolio creator. This seems like an excellent application of digital media to develop student creativity, media literacy and communication. The parents will appreciate this as well. I am looking forward to reading about your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, this sounds like a neat project. Earlier in my career, I had students make digital portfolios using blogs. Although I was not great at making a blog back in the day (and still don’t feel confident at it yet either), the kids were great! They were able to figure things out and help one another out. I do see the potential of student portfolios, especially digital ones. Our division is no longer using SeeSaw this year, as we are switching to EDSBY. Although there is still a lot that needs to be worked out and organized, it’s a start and I think it has the potential to do great things (although we aren’t quite there yet). Anyways, looking forward to seeing your project in action and what the kiddos come up with! Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Major Digital Project Summary | EC&I Learnings

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