Saturday, August 24, 2013

e-Portfolios at AdVENTURE

I have been looking for a way for my students to understand what exactly it is to become a life-long learner.
How do I get students to "get" that the work we do can be so much more than just another assignment? That their effort goes beyond the classroom and can have an impact on their future lives.

As all students do, the learners that come into my classroom complete assignments, discuss their work and show what they have accomplished to myself and the class. Whenever possible we post things on the walls, on our website, and even create collections using QR codes. However, as we move towards a more paperless classroom, and with the availability of most of our work in digital formats, and often in the cloud, I am moving towards having our students create digital portfolios that they can continue to use beyond our four walls, to showcase what they have accomplished, not only to me and to the class, but to their parents, future teachers, and if they choose to the world.

How exciting it would be to have a collection of artifacts that they can use to demonstrate their growth. How incredible to have available work that they did in middle-school as a basis for their Master's thesis!

What is the purpose of the digital portfolio?

To demonstrate the student's achievement of the knowledge and skills they acquire throughout AdVENTURE. The e-Portfolio will show the growth and improvement of the student in all curricular areas, as they read, discuss and respond to the learning opportunities presented to them, becoming a thoughtfully arranged collection of multi-media-rich documents that the students compose, own, maintain and archive on the internet.

What are the components of the digital portfolio?
Tier 1: Portfolio as storage: 
As students respond to an assignment, they create digital artifacts using several tools such as Google docs, Glogster, Pixton, etc. These artifacts are organized and stored in the cloud. 

Tier 2: Portfolio as workspace:
Students use Blogger to capture background information on an assignment, and respond to prompts. Students use close reading strategies and collaborate in Diigo to annotate web-based articles and hyperlink their work to their blog in preparation for Tier 3.

Tier 3: Portfolio as reflective journal:
Students use Blogger to reflect on their learning as represented in the samples of their work. Students answer to prompts that require meta-cognitive abilities.

Tier 4: Portfolios as showcase:
Students organize a presentation portfolio around a set of learning outcomes, goals or standards, hyper-linking to the supporting documents. Students think back over the learning represented in the specific artifacts selected as evidence of learning, and present their rationale for why they believe these artifacts are clear evidence or their achievement of learning.

In addition to answering the "What?" and "So What?" questions, students address the "Now What?" question to include future learning goals in their presentation portfolios.

How will the portfolios be assessed?

Through all the different tiers of portfolio development, students will be given the option to update the work, based on the feedback and the rubric. The power of peer review comes into play, as students comment on and provide feedback. Parents and mentors can also become participants in the development of the student portfolio, providing opportunities to connect with student's opinions and ideas, and share intellectual curiosity.

Examples please!


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