Tauranga Intermediate e-Portfolio journey
In 2010 conversations began about the purpose of the students windows folders and how effective these were in the formative assessment process.. These were a traditional paper portfolio showcasing student work with a small amount of student reflection. They were wanting the students to demonstrate in their learning, interactions and reflections, a greater capability as communicators, thinkers and learners.
During Term 4 of 2010 a small group of teachers (Learning Journal Focus Group) trialled the use of a Learning Journal with their students. The thinking behind it was that students would be setting learning targets, completing their work and then reflecting on it as part of their everyday classroom prorammes. These were also seen as a pre-emptive move towards the implementation of e-portfolios. We knew that work needed to be done around Formative assessment and reflective practice for both students and teachers. A set of Learning Journal self-assessment starters was developed by the Learning Journal Focus Group. See attacment below.
On Teacher Only Day in 2011 the whole staff was introduced to the new Learning Journal and its links to Formative assessment. See attachment below.
Learning Journal Supporting Files
e-Portfolios PL Workshops
In Term 1 2011, teachers were offered the choice of four different topics as the focus for the Professional Learning for the term. Seven teachers opted into the e-Portfolio Professional Learning workshops. There were four workshops throughout the term and they were facilitated by the two Deputy Principals.
Here is the wiki they created http://tis-eportfolios.wikispaces.com/
We used Susie Vespers 'Confident and Connected' Keynote to guide the writing of the school Blog Policy and to make decisions about expectations in relation to blog settings. We would recommend you share this with staff and discuss how it will work best for your school. It alerted us to a few issues we hadn't even considered.
Gareth Scholes, Deputy Principal and facilitatior of the e-Portfolio workshops talks about why he chose to encourage the use of class blogs before implementing e-Portfolios.
Katie is a Year 3 teacher who was part of the e-Portfolio Professional Learning Group. She talks about how the group worked for her, how she implemented the Class Blog and how she has gone on to create another blog for one of her reading groups.
Two Year 7 students discuss their class blog. They had been chosen by their teacher to contribute the first student created post.
Here is the link to the class blog they are discussing http://room4kahikatea.blogspot.com/
Here is the link to specific post they are talking about. http://room4kahikatea.blogspot.com/2011/05/hjfhgdhjd.html
Facilitator Reflection and next steps
When the Class Blogs started appearing on the School Intranet page they sparked immediate interest from both staff and students. Several Help Desk sessions were dedicated to the creation and implementation of the Class Blogs. Unfortunately, even though it was optional some teachers came to these sessions, created a blog and have not revisited it. Lack of time was their main reason but they have assured me they defnitely want to keep going with it. With 40 classrooms and 10 Specialists, teachers are still booking in times to create a class Blog.
A few teachers asked me if I would run a session with their students about Blogs and these have been working well. Everything I do at that session is created as a Blog post and uploaded to that class blog. See example here.
We had always hoped that the Class Blog would be a space for students to share and reflect on their learning because ultimately we want our students to be able to demonstrate in their learning, interactions and reflections, a greater capability as communicators, thinkers and learners. It is only now that teachers are handing over their blogs to their students that we can see that starting to happen.
Throughout this process a few questions have arisen. For example,
Should we make sure all content published is perfect?
What do we do if students are using the wrong language? A student had created a movie about multiplying fractions and used the word 'sum' in the wrong context.
I am of the opinion that we shouldn't worry about this and hope that comments left by the audience may pick up on these misunderstandings. After all, isn't that how kids learn? They make a mistake, reflect on their learning, ask questions or have questions asked of them and then alter their understanding.
I recently heard the phrase, 'academic commenting' in relation to Blogging and am interested to investigate this more to see if could improve the quality of students blog comments and posts.
This Professional Learning group will now begin implementing MyPortfolio into their class programmes as part of the fomative assessment process. We expect there to be many frustrations, questions, wishlists and hopefully many successes. We look forward to sharing the rest of our journey in our subsequent Milestone reflections.