I was talking with the IT department head at a charter school in Lake Havasu City, AZ this past weekend. We started taking about having the students create ePortfolio's that would follow them all the way through high school. The more we talked, the more determined we were to really start thinking about this and how it would be set up. Several items came up, but parent buy-in, teacher training, and assessment were at the top of the list. He would really like to pilot this in his area. I would appreciate any information you can offer on the following:
1) Are there currently any rubrics that have been created and used specifically for the ePortfolio?
2) How have you tackled the parent buy-in issue?
3) In terms of training for the teacher to use and assess the ePortfolio--have any of your districts ever piloted a program with a cross section of technology experience for their teachers to determine the length of time needed to truly train their staff?
I welcome any and all responses.
As Glen (hopefully) and I start to think about the ePortfolio and how it fits into the K-12 curriculum, I have several questions that I hope this great group will answer by contributing some information. We are hoping to have the draft ready by iste2010. Glen would love to roll it out in the Blogger's Cafe!
In grades K-12:
1) What technologies are REALLY appropriate for each grade level. Please list those that your students could or have mastered.
2) If you HAD to create a project for your class that would be included in an ePortfolio, what would that look like?
3) What descriptors do you believe MUST be included in the rubric? I will take the responses from this question and see where the similarities exist in grades K-12. We would like to create a K-12 rubric for the ePortfolio.
4) Are there any other questions that you think I should be asking?
Thanks in advance for your help.
One question I would have with any assessment is what am I really assessing and what will I do with the information I receive? With the e-portfolio, what will teachers and students do with that information and how will it help instruction? The complaints for so much of the assessment is that it isn't used on a regular basis to inform instruction and if it becomes something that just sits on a shelf or in computer and then why put the energy into it.
JoAnn, I don't disagree with you at all. I guess I'm still trying to wrap my head around exactly what we are looking for. Maybe a better question would be "Are there any items that absolutely, positively have to be included". As to the assessments, the Assessing Projects has tons, but none specific to the ePortfolio.
Hi, Neil! I believe a good starting point for developing a rubric would be the ISTE/NETS-S profiles for students at each grade level.
I believe this is a wonderful idea and I'll follow this posting to keep track of the suggestions/resources that are provided!
I don't know if you are needing an e-portfolio solution, but I just found this on in an iste discussion. It's open source and free: http://mahara.org/ The description to go with it was a "good php/mysql based e-portfolio <and the creator> has a strong community". Also mentioned was www.rcampus.org
Just found a couple of assessment resources for you
Laura, thank you so very much for you help. The links will give me a lot to look at. The more I review the materials others have sent, I'm beginning to believe that there should be some sort of uniform set of rubrics, criteria, etc that can be used. If students know specifically what future employers are looking for it will be easier to create that true picture of the skills of the student.
Hi Neil- here are some more resources related to e-portfolios for you and your team.
Education World: http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech111.shtml
eortfolios k-12 with Google Apps
Atomic Learning ePortfolios
Google Models for ePortfolios
Dr. Helen Barret ePortfilio Examples
Resources for ePortfolios from Iowa
ePortfolios Come to LIfe
As I have spent the last several weeks researching ePortfolios, it is becoming more and more clear that the term is very hard to pin down. I was reading a blog by Dr. Helen Barrett and she stated the following in a discussion with a fellow teacher. "Again, I disagree with the assumption that the only purpose for an electronic portfolio is assessment. There are multiple purposes for developing electronic portfolios, not only formative assessment or summative assessment/ accountability, but also for personal development planning or, reflection on learning, or showcasing skills for potential employment, or... This is part of the challenge that I am trying to address: understanding the diversity of these multiple purposes more broadly. As I have said many times, the term "electronic portfolio" needs to include a modifier that describes its purpose: electronic learning portfolio, electronic employment portfolio, electronic assessment portfolio, etc. Each purpose has a distinct audience and ethos, or underlying assumptions that inform the beliefs, customs, or practices of portfolio implementation."
I guess my question is what exactly should the education community be looking at presently? Should we only be looking at the "assessment" modifier, or, as Dr. Barrett suggests, should we also be looking at the other modifiers as well? Is it possible to come up with a uniform set of standards that address all areas? Am I wasting my time even looking at this? (I don't think so, but would welcome your response )
A side note to Glen. I hope we can do some blogging on this topic in Denver. I'm really beginning to sense that this is something that is just off the radar, but is coming closer.
I have been watching a webinar by Dr. Helen Barrett on ePortfolios and as she is talking about the purpose of the ePortfolio, she bring up three uses for them: formative assessment, summative assessment and showcase. My question is, as our students start to create their ePortfolios, which of these three do you consider to be the most important and why? As I have struggled with the direction I want to take this discussion, it finally dawned on me that we need to first determine what is the most important use for the portfolio in the K-12 environment.
Thanks for you help,
Well, in the three options that you suggested, one is the most authentic--showcase. An eportfolio is a digital broadcast of collected works, progress or thoughts. In real life, people use the web to showcase these types of things in social and professional forums with varying audiences.
I would therefore, place showcase as the priority as this is what many members of society are doing already in their work and non-work interactions.
As students prepare eportfolios, they will experience and perhaps learn the basics of presenting your "best" work with a www audience. This is something that they will certainly be doing when they grow up anyway!!
Doug, thanks for your ideas. Personally, I agree with you. My hope is that districts will start to see the benefit of this and allow the students access to many of the sites that are blocked now. We need to be able to see the growth from year to year as the students progress from Kindergarten through grade 12. That, in my opinion, will really show others what the students have learned.
I agree that making it authentic is important and trying as best to connect it to something they will need to do outside of school is important but that assessment piece is critical whether it is for showcase purposes or not. As teachers, if we are going to have our students invest time and energy into it then we need to be clear with the task and decide what is it that we wanted them to learn and how do we know they learned it through this eportfolio entry. Sometimes we can get distracted by a great project but do not look back at the goals or standards we were addressing to see if they have the knowledge we were looking for them to gain through this process.