Major Digital Project Summary

Who had the wise idea to end my master’s program with two courses? While I had moments of feeling overwhelmed and sometimes doubted my ability to balance the demands of my two courses, I can finally say that I am almost finished my master’s program.

With the busyness of having two classes, a young family, and the various demands of being an administrator during the pandemic, I really appreciated the ability to self-direct my own learning for this major digital project. When I had a meeting with Alec at the start of the course, I emphasized that my goal was to learn more about something that would be practical and useful in my current role. Looking back over the last three months and my journey to learn more about e-portfolios, I am pleased with my learnings and am excited about future possibilities.

Having recently moved into an administration role at the Estevan Comprehensive School, I knew that I would be encouraged by our superintendent and division staff to improve our attendance at Student-Led Conferences and to truly align our conference practices with the practices expected by our division. Thus, I knew that our practices would have to change if we wanted to move away from traditional parent teacher interview model and fully embrace a Student-Led Conference.

While my initial intentions were to have a series of teachers pilot different e-portfolio tools, I quickly realized that if I was going to make changes to our interview approach for the fall of 2021, we needed to adopt a portfolio tool that was familiar to students, teachers, and families. Consequently, I had to narrow my focus and decided to explore two platforms, Edsby and myBlueprint. While I am somewhat discouraged for not exploring Seesaw, a popular digital portfolio tool, I did learn my school division would be moving away from supporting this popular platform because of budget restrictions and the increasing costs associated with purchasing licenses.

During the start of October, I decided to jump in and explore Edsby portfolios and was really encouraged by its user-friendly layout and functionality. I noted the many positives to using Edsby portfolios and how Edsby would support our SLCs. Some of the positives include the portfolio stays with a student from year-to-year and will grow and develop as more information is added.  I was proud of my Edsby Portfolio Tour video and feel that this will be something that I can use in the years to come.

Next, I dug into myBlueprint and the Class Pass app. While myBlueprint has been around for a few years and something that we have used to support education and career planning, I was unaware of its portfolio features and the class pass app. I thought the overview video of the Class Pass App was informative. I was also really impressed with how myBlueprint has created an Open Education Resource (OER) bank of lesson plans. If you have not checked out these resources, I would encourage you to do so! These lessons align with different provincial curriculums, and I was impressed with the range of lessons and resources available to SK teachers.

After exploring these two portfolio tools in detail, I decided to move forward with implementing Edsby portfolios in our school. We made this decision because all students and families are expected to have Edsby accounts, and we felt that changing or introducing a new program like myBlueprint would cause more confusion.  Check out the link to my blog post which outlines my implementation plan.

With the decision to move forward with Edsby, I developed an implementation plan to help prepare our students and staff for the upcoming Student Led conferences. I even took a step out of comfort zone and ran a drop-in session for teachers to join with their students. With over 30 teachers and their students joining the call, it was safe to say that it was the largest class I have every taught.

Once students and teachers were more familiar with Edsby portfolios and the expectations for gathering evidence of learning for their e-portfolios, it was exciting to witness the portfolio development.

Here is an example that showcases the portfolio development of one of our students.

Students were selecting a range of meaningful artifacts and we received lots of positive feedback about how the portfolios led to more meaningful conversations about student learning.

I was also proud of the collaborative efforts of a small group of teachers that created a simple handout to support teachers with running a conference that was led by their students.

The use of digital portfolios has sparked important conversations about assessment practices in my school and I am excited about the possibility of more teachers using portfolios to capture and communicate student learning. We have had several teachers, especially our Practical and Applied Arts teachers explain that they see portfolios as a valuable tool to improve communication with families about student learning. I sense that teachers were able to enter into meaningful conversations with students about the type of artifacts that were being selected and how students can showcase or communicate their learning. Hopefully with the continued use of portfolios, teachers, students, and families will see the portfolio as a powerful communication tool that will support their learning and generate authentic conversations about student learning.   

I would like to end my digital project by encouraging my colleagues to watch Karen Fadum’s Ted Talk- “An Invitation for Change.” This project has brought about positive change in our building and I look forward to the exciting possibilities and where digital portfolios will take our students and staff in the future.


Summary of Learning

EC&I 831 will stand as one of my more memorable and relevant courses out of my EDL Masters’ program. I always appreciate when I can take the learnings from a course and directly apply them in my daily work. There were numerous times throughout the course where I found myself eager to share my learnings with friends and colleagues. A colleague of mine, Curtis Bourassa had high reviews for Alec and this course and suggested taking the course. Looks like I owe Curtis an adult beverage or pizza for making this recommendation! Curious if he had his pizza after this course?  

For the summary of learning assignment, I was fortunate to work with Colton Lund. We decided to create a podcast-esque discussion to summarize our learning in this course. Alec shared lots of great video and audio editing programs or websites and we decided to use WeVideo for our final video. We spent some of our initial conversations trying to narrow our focus to three or four big ideas to discuss. And while this proved to be a bit more difficult that we initially thought, we decided to explore the following big ideas or topics in our discussion:

  1. Ed Tech Tools
  2. Social Media and Social Justice
  3. Digital Identity and Digital citizenship
  4. Open Education Resources

Thanks to Colton for partnering up for this final assignment and it is safe to say that our course experiences contributed to a greater understanding of social media and open education.

Here is the link to our summary of learning video-


In closing, I have really enjoyed the high level of engagement from this course and following my colleagues’ blogs and learning journey. I look forward to staying in touch with my personal learning network that I have developed from this course. I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming holidays with family and friends.

Week 11: Exploring Curriki

I’m a bit late getting to my week 11 blog post, but I wanted to review something that hadn’t been widely explored or discussed by my colleagues in EC&I 831. I have decided to dive into Curriki, which provides user with access to Open Education Resources (OER).


Curriki is a non-profit organization that has been revolutionizing the way digital learning content is distributed and openly shared for over a decade.” It was founded by Scott McNealy who wanted to make online learning easier and more engaging for students during the pandemic. Curriki is free for users to use and looks like it would be a fantastic resource for teachers to build content, share learning resources, and find quality learning resources. Have a look the overview video below.

I was really impressed with the array of fantastic tools that are found in the Curriki Studio that can help educators create learning resources that are visually appealing and engaging for students. There are over 50 learning activity types to select from and each activity has a demo video and a video that explains how to build or develop the activity. These videos are short, but informative and provide practical ideas for teachers. I really see that Curriki Studio being beneficial for teachers developing content for online classes or for blended learning experiences.

This video shows how to create an interactive video.

Is it user-friendly? Is it well-organized?

Once I had setup my free account, I found the that website was very user friendly and easy to navigate. It would be ideal for supporting teachers to find resources and develop resources. I appreicated how the website offers lots of support for users as they navigate the platform.

There appears to be an extensive library that is filled with designs to help support the creation of resources. From building collages to documentation tools, there seems to be many designs to select from.

Are the resources typically of high-quality?

While the website is easy to navigate, I was rather disappointed the the number of teacher resources and their quality. For example, when searching for some Mathematics resources for rational numbers, I was disappointed to only find a few learning resources.

The search features should allow users to search by subject, educational level, and by activity type. The website is simple, clean and easy to scan and find information. While the library is well organized, it does not seem to be really extensive and filled with practical resources that educators that I work with would use. Thus, it could have the potential to be a great database of Open Education Resources, but for now, it seems to be lacking the necessary content to make it highly effective or useful for my classroom teachers.

Would it be valuable to educators?

Curriki has the potential to be a valuable resource, but right now it seems to be lacking resources that would be helpful to educators. I do believe that the CurrikiStudio features would be ideal for making engaging learning activities and the numerous templates and demonstration videos could help speed up resource development. I know that many educators spend countless hours making things look professional and a website such as this would make things easier. I would give this OER 6.5/10. I feel that if this OER was widely shared and used by more teachers, it would have a greater depth of resources and learning activities to pull from.

Week 10: Open Education and the Need for a Culture of Sharing

To be very honest, I was not entirely sure what Open Education was all about before this class. Alec’s discussion in our last meeting and the numerous resources and videos he shared have really sparked my interest in learning more about Open Education Resources. I also feel compelled to share the various links and videos will my teaching colleagues. The first video “Why Open Education Matters” was a fantastic and quick hitting video.  The video explained open education as a “Global movement that aims to bring quality education to teachers and students everywhere.”  The video goes further discussing the idea of sharing and making “top-notch” learning resources free and accessible for anyone.

Dean Shareski‘s Sharing: The Moral Imperative is a powerful video about the importance of sharing is a video that needs to be shared with all teachers. Dean’s message explains that as most teachers believe that learning shouldn’t be confined to our classrooms, good teaching shouldn’t be either. Good ideas and great work should be shared with as many people as possible. I really feel that this key principle has been reinforced through this course and I have appreciated how Alec has shared great examples of student work. I think this would be a great practice for all teachers to do. Having rich exemplars of student work helps to clarify learning intentions and clearly sets a target.

The struggle to find the right resources

This seemed to always be my biggest problem… I felt that there were high quality resources out there, but I was not finding them or was being required to pay high prices.  I have always turned to the internet for inspiration, ideas, and teaching resources and have probably spent too much time searching pages and pages for simple little things. Safe to say that I was looking in the wrong places… I am now committed to sharing the following websites with others:

I have been very fortunate to work with some incredible colleagues who openly shared resources and ideas. These resources and ideas have been instrumental in having those successful teaching moments. I remember in my first year of teaching having to discuss the theoretical perspectives in my Psychology 20 course and many students who were disengaged with my approach to the topic. A colleague then provided me with a fantastic jigsaw activity that really helped to ignite some excitement with my students. The openness to try new resources will help to provide a higher quality of education and will make learning more relevant for our students.

Why do we reinvent the wheel?

We’ve probably heard it many times before as educators, “don’t reinvent the wheel.” However, many are constantly tweaking or making subtle changes to meet our teaching style and the needs of our students. Therefore, teachers are the masters at remixing “Everything is a Remix” explains that remixing is “when you take something old and use it in something new, that’s remixing.” In education, we often like to make things more complex and we will take something simple and  make it into a bigger idea. This is especially true in elementary schools, where teachers will spend many hours taking a children’s song and turn it into a Christmas concert or full blown production.

Some of my thoughts on Open Education Resources

To purchase textbooks or not to purchase textbooks?

In a world where school divisions are seeing a tightening of financial budgets, OERs could be a huge cost saving approach to purchasing textbooks and learning resources. With the rapid advancements in science and technology, does it make sense to buy class sets of textbooks when we know the material will soon be outdated and the textbooks will no longer be used? To me, the answer is pretty simple. Shifting away from purchasing class sets of textbooks, and promoting the use of open education resources will help ensure the materials we are presenting to students are not outdated.

The need to create a culture of sharing

Brenda put it so well when she said “free public access to resources and supporting a culture of sharing seems to be fundamental to expanding knowledge and connecting humans. Indeed, Open Educational Resources are vast, powerful tools for educators to enhance student and professional learning.” I really feel that more needs to be done to embrace this culture of sharing in our schools. While we speak of the importance of collaboration, we need to ensure that we are providing teachers with adequate time and technology to collaborate and to access and share education resources.

Lawrence Lessig the creator of Creative Commons makes two powerful points towards the end of his TED talk titled “Laws that choke creativity.” These two ideas can easily be applied to the field of education. Lessig argues that:

We need teachers to choose that their work be made available more freely.

Businesses need to embrace this model and allow this model to grow on a neutral platform.  The goal here being that “more-free can compete with less-free and the opportunity to develop the creativity in that competition.”

Questions to consider

How can we help more teachers to appreciate the wide variety of open education resources that are available?

How do shift the narrative away from websites like Teachers pay Teachers to one where we embrace a culture of open sharing? How do we make this a safe and comfortable process?

Major Digital Project- myBlueprint & Class Pass App.

The next portfolio tool that I wanted to become more family with was the myBlueprint portfolio.

The myBlureprint is an online education and career planning tool that I believe is accessible to all students in Saskatchewan schools. Our school division has been using the tool for several years now. However, more recently I have started to explore the use of the digital portfolios within myBlueprint.

For students in grade 6 and younger in our school division they have have access to All About Me (AAM) which allows students to explore their interests, abilities, passions, and goals.

Grades 7-12 students have access to the Education Planner, which is a powerful tool to help support education and career/life planning.

The Class Pass for myBlueprint app provides an easy way for students and teachers to capture evidence of student learning and can be easily added to portfolios. 

myBlueprint Portfolios

From the home dashboard, students can access their portfolios by selecting “Portfolios” you can see all of a student’s portfolios. Thus, a student can have multiple portfolios. Some students might wish to have a portfolio for each class or others might want to organize by grade.

Students can add or create a new portfolio by selecting “Add Portfolio”

Similar to Edsby portfolio posts, myBlueprint portfolios are organized with boxes. Within each box, students can add a variety of things.

Students can easily keep a record of experiential learning activities, capturing photos, videos, audio clips, and journals. Using the Class Pass student cans upload directly to their portfolios. Teachers can also share artifacts individually, with a group of students, or with their entire class. 

One down side that I have noticed is that, any time a student adds an artifact to their portfolio using a class QR code, the teacher will have to approve the artifact before it appears in the portfolio.  This approval needs to be made in the teacher’s account. However, when a student uses their own personal QR code the artifact can be immediately posted into the student’s portfolio without teacher approval. 

Check out this video for an overview of the Class Pass App.

Join the myBlueprint conversation

How many of you are using myBlueprint? If so, how have your students responded to using this online program?

Do any of your senior students use the education planner to help build graduation plans or post grad plans?

Finally, Check out there helpful resources and lesson plans.

Major Digital Project: More on Edsby Portfolios

While I am going to share more about different portfolio tools, I wanted to circle back to Edsby Portfolios. Given that our Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) are quickly approaching (Nov. 4th and Nov. 9th), Our school decided to jump into using Edsby portfolios with all our students.

 This has been a bit of a journey, but here’s a timeline of how I rolled out Edsby Portfolios and the Edsby booking system for SLCs. Please note, Edsby still calls conferences “Parent Teacher Interviews.”

Timeline for Developing Edsby Portfolios

Oct. 12Staff meeting
Introduction to student-led conferences using Edsby
Create Teams Meeting Links for Nov. 4th & Nov.9th Teachers will add a room (Teams link) to Nov. 4th and Nov. 9th SLC.
Introduction to Edsby Portfolios Edsby Portfolio Tour (Video link)Flex time and adding new posts (artifacts of learning) to portfolios  
Oct. 12-14Admin will open Edsby’s “Parent-Teacher Interviews” to ECS teachers to begin booking process
Upon entering, teachers will see a list of possible meeting times that have been set by the office. If a teacher is unable to attend some potential times, clicking block will make that session unavailable to families. Adding a note will create a short text, visible to only the teacher and office staff, explaining the unavailability.
Teachers will need to add a room (Teams link) to each of their SLC days. In face-to-face conferences, this would be the physical room the meeting is held in. For Teams meetings, this will be the URL of the meeting space. This MUST be done before booking options are opened to families.
Teachers can also book parents into a meeting slot themselves, for example if a family emailed or phoned the teacher and requested at time. Simply click Book Parent and add the student and parent name.  
Oct. 15Flex time:
Teachers will introduce students to Edsby Portfolios
Please use video provided in Tuesday’s staff meeting to help guide and support this activity.
I also ran an optional drop-in Teams meeting at 10:00 a.m. to go through Edsby Portfolios live with students and staff. Students should create a new post on their portfolio. Students should select and add at least one artifact (evidence of learning) for their period 5 class. Students should be reminded to select the appropriate subject and grade. Students may wish to use additional tags to organize their digital portfolio.  
Oct. 18  Edsby opens for student & parent bookings. After teachers have blocked off times they are not available, the office staff will open the Parent-Teacher Interview module to families, and they will receive an Edsby notification with a link to the booking page.Teachers should send their homeroom students and parents a message using Edsby about in person meetings.   Flex time: Teachers will provide students time to create at least one new post in their portfolio for their period 3 class.Students should be reminded to select the appropriate subject and grade. Students may wish to use additional tags to organize their digital portfolio  
Oct. 20Flex time: Teachers will provide students time to create at least one new post in their portfolio for their period 2 class.Students should be reminded to select the appropriate subject and grade. Students may wish to use additional tags to organize their digital portfolio.
Oct. 22Flex time: Teachers will provide students time to create at least one new post in their portfolio for their period 1 class.Students should be reminded to select the appropriate subject and grade. Students may wish to use additional tags to organize their digital portfolio  
Oct. 27Flex time: Teachers will provide students time to create at least one new post in their portfolio for their period 6 class.Students should be reminded to select the appropriate subject and grade. Students may wish to use additional tags to organize their digital portfolio  
Oct. 29Final day for parent bookings. Please check your Edsby schedule and ensure all your homeroom students have booked a conference. Please contact families who have not yet booked a conference.   Flex time: Teachers will provide students time to continue adding new posts to their portfolio for their upcoming student-led conferences.Students should be reminded to select the appropriate subject and grade. Students may wish to use additional tags to organize their digital portfolio.  
Nov. 2Possible preparation time with homeroom students to review student portfolios and expectations for student-led conferences.  
Nov. 3Prior to conferences, teachers can click the printer icon and print their schedule.   Flex time: Provide students with time to continue adding new posts to their portfolio.Students should be reminded to finalize portfolio contributions before their SLC.  
Nov. 4Student-led conferences 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Nov. 9Student-led conferences 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Reasons for moving ahead with Edsby

  • SLCs were moved to virtual conferences, and we felt that it would be easiest for students and families to navigate Edsby portfolios.
  • All students have an Edsby account and are already familiar with the app and platform.
  • Teachers make use of Edsby for attendance, gradebooks, and communicating with students and families.
  • We wanted to connect our parents and families with this important communication tool and booking SLCs with Edsby is helping to force parents to use the platform and create accounts.

Initial Downfalls of Edsby Portfolios

Some teachers expressed how it would be nice if teachers could directly post into a student’s portfolio. They are familiar with posting evidence of learning in students’ portfolios in myBlueprint and SeeSaw and did not initially recognize how this was done in Edsby. This is when I ran into Edsby’s Learning Story.

Learning Story for Students

  • Edsby does have a Learning Story feature for students which provides teachers with tools to capture evidence of student learning. Teachers can then create learning stories to share with students and parents.
  • Students and families can then see what teachers have shared through their Learning Story.
  • Students can then add items shared in their learning story to their Edsby portfolio.

While Edsby Learning Stories look like an easy tool for teachers to post evidence of student learning and a great tool to communicate home to families, it seems seems to be more geared toward younger grades.Teachers can include observational notes, multiple images, and can connect the artifact to curricular outcomes. The student, parents/family, and teacher then have the ability to comment on story which helps to promote a conversation about learning.

Upon initial review, it looks like teachers can only post artifacts of learning to a single student a time. Thus, this might be an area of the Edsby platform that needs improvement. If teachers had the ability to directly post in Edsby portfolios and tag multiple students, it would make this process much for efficient and user-friendly for teachers.

Questions to consider

Would you want the ability to post directly to student portfolios? If so why or why not?

Why would the learning story be a beneficial feature of Edsby?

If teachers could more easily post in students’ Edsby portfolios and learning stories, how could these practices help to move the dial ahead with assessment and evaluation practices?

Week 8: Can online social media activism be meaningful and worthwhile?

Social media activism is rather complicated to me. While individuals can show support for various causes by changing filters on display pictures, posting, or using hashtags to promote worthwhile causes, it is hard to determine the influence that these actions will have on the cause.

I personally view these as token gestures and have tried to limit my use of such filters or practices unless I know that my actions and behaviours are truly supporting the cause. To me, it is not enough to just change a filter on a display picture to show that you are an ally or a supporter of a cause. While these simple actions may bring about awareness to an issue or cause, more is needed to truly bring about positive change. Peter Suciu’s Is Posting on Social Media a Valid Form of Activism? Article notes- “Of course in the end, getting the message out there is just one part of it. Social media can call the world to action, but the issue is whether anyone listens.” I often think that it is important to post or retweet something on social media that shows tangible actions of supporting a cause. For example, my wife and I always support #BurgersToBeatMS

I would argue that while many are able to use social media to help spread a message to their followers, the idea of tangible actions coming because of such posts would be fewer. Suciu’ also argues that “Social media is just the latest platform to spread a message and call for social action. In some ways it has become the new soap box for those to stand on – but without the effort of actually climbing on a box!” Thus, I feel that while social medi provides the platform to stand on we still need to show more actions of effort to show that we are truly doing something beyond just simply retweeting or sharing an image.

In Katia Hildebrandt’s In online spaces, silence speaks as loudly as words she argues, “We have a responsibility to risk our privilege to give voice to social inequities and injustices. We have a responsibility to risk our privilege to give voice to those who have no privilege to risk.” I agree with taking a stance against social inequities and injustices, and I am slowly pushing myself to use our school’s social media platform and my own accounts to take a stance and give voice to important issues. On my personal accounts, I often find myself celebrating folks who have taken a stance or a leadership role in a cause. For example, my school has made a commitment beyond days like Sept. 30th to truly engage with Indigenous Elders and knowledge keepers to learn about land-based learning and Indigenous teachings. Last week, I made the following post on my personal account and was responsible for our school’s post.

Is it possible to have productive conversations about social justice online?

Yes, it is possible to have productive conversations about social justice online, but one has to be ready for the stream of comments that could be rude or disrespectful. I often find that on most social media platforms, one can clearly see who the educated and articulate folks are. It really comes down to being a good and civil person with our conversations.

To have productive conversations about social justice online, we need to teach social emotional skills and how to regulate these emotions through our writing and online interactions. Moreover, we need to model conflict resolution skills. I would say that while we want to focus on understanding diverse perspectives, we must show ways to approach differences with being civil and politie, rather than with crude or hurtful comments.

What is our responsibility as educators to model active citizenship online?

I agree with Katia Hildebrandt’s What Kind of (Digital) Citizen? that we need to be “moving from a fear- and avoidance-based model to one that emphasizes the actions that a responsible digital citizen should take.” However, online citizenship cannot be done in isolation and must be a topic of concern across multiple curriculums. This must be a major focus of all teachers’ work, or we risk teaching using the fear and avoidance-based model as our fall back. I believe this especially true as we progress in a post pandemic education world. This work cannot be left to a few teachers, it must be the collective work of many if we truly want to support the development of online citizenship.

How could schools work collaboratively to develop online citizenship?

What does active citizenship in an online world truly look like? What is the target that we are trying to achieve?

Major Digital Project: Update- Edsby Portfolios

Moving to Edsby…

Many school divisions in Saskatchewan have recently moved to Edsby as their new student and family communication platform. Having replaced popular programs like HomeLogic and Students Achieve, Edsby provides users with an improved digital learning and data platform. Edsby pulls together important information like attendance, student achievement, and school communication into a user friendly platform for educators, students, and families. Edsby can be viewed on a computer, cell phone, or tablet, and the downloadable app makes the experience easier for users.

While my school division began with using Edsby’s attendance and student progress (gradebook) features, we are now ready to explore and implement Edsby portfolios. Edsby portfolios will allow families to view the triangulation of evidence of their students in addition to gradebook information.

The Positives of Edsby Portfolios

After reviewing the Edsby portfolio features here are some positive takeaways:

  • Portfolio features are easy to navigate and board posts allow for a quick overview.
  • Portfolio stays with a student from year-to-year and will grow and develop as more information is added. (I would recommend that students add their grade, subjects, and additional tags to help organize their portfolio posts).
  • Portfolios can include audio, video, pictures, screenshots, documents, and other examples of student learning.
  • Portfolios can be developed by both the student and teacher. Teachers have the ability to add artifacts of learning into a student’s portfolio.
  • Entries can be tagged to help organize the portfolio.
  • Can easily change the audience or visibility of each post.

How Edsby Portfolios work?

Check out a quick video tour that I made to showcase the Edsby student portfolios


Edsby and Supporting Student-led conferences

  • Student-led conferences involve students leading a discussion about their learning with their family and teacher. Students can then share portfolio posts about their academic and extracurricular successes.
  • Edsby portfolios should provide a rich display of learning and be used to generate authentic conversations about student learning.
  • The use of Edsby portfolios will help to individualize the learning experience so that parents can see the learning experience through the lens of the student rather than the teacher.
  • Student has the ability and to tell their learning story through the portfolio.
  • Students should have choice about the contents of their portfolio and are the ones that maintain it. The ownership and active involvement with the portfolio promotes student responsibility and accountability.

Final thoughts…

Edsby portfolios appear to be very user friendly and it should not take long or much effort to get portfolios up running with our students. Teachers will need some time to introduce Edsby portfolios to their students and provide students with time to select and add artifacts of learning to their portfolio. Edsby portfolios semi-open in the sense that students can select who can view their posts. Students can easily export and save the content of their portfolios that could be used to create a professional portfolio that could be used for future education or employment opportunities.

Week 4: Time for a TikTok account…

After having multiple bathrooms vandalized in our school and addressing with the growing number of students and staff referencing the devious lick challenge, it is time to take the plunge into the TikTok world. I was like Chris, Leigh, and many others who have expressed some hesitancy in the platform and really wasn’t too sure if I wanted another addictive social media platform. I already do enough scrolling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram….

The following articles helped me learn about setting up an account and some of the features that make this such a popular social media platform.

How to Grow Your TikTok Account

Why TitTok Will Take Over in 2020

TikTok’s mission “is to inspire creativity and bring joy”- I wasn’t really seeing the creativity and joy with the recent vandalism in schools, but am committed to remaining open to learn more about this platform. I will enjoy watching videos for a while and am unsure if I will start posting videos. Maybe something in time!

Personal Observations & Positives

  • A bit overwhelming and some very random videos
  • Easily filters topics and interests for you
  • Easy to use- incredible how many videos you can find and looks like easy tools to make videos
  • Use of filters, music, and backgrounds improve quality of videos
  • Highly addictive! I now understand why so many people are binge watching videos
  • Enjoying the DIY videos and cooking/ food videos.


  • One of my initial reactions is the often crude and rude commenting that people post on videos.
  • Risk of being exposed to things you only want to see.
  • Access to inappropriate content and issues with privacy. Do people know they are in a TikTok video?

Educational Opportunities

  • Endless educational videos
  • Teachers can record short and concise lessons. Focus can be on teacher clarity, and removing things that aren’t needed or required. check out- or @mrssloanbiology for examples
  • Students could show their thinking and learning. Could be used to make learning more visible. Tool to track and document learning over a period of time.
  • Networking platform for teachers.

How are teachers currently using TikTok to engage students?

How do you think students would want to use TikTok to support their learning?

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

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.

Help me learn about your experience with student portfolios

How many of you have made use of digital portfolios?

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.

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.