Assembling e-Portfolios

100619_142340_0.pngAssembling Portfolios -

This spring's pilot test of the software for EdVillage was designed to see how students could work in the digital world to assemble and build e-portfolios.  An e-portfolio can only be build after a period of time working in the digital world - one doesn't build a portfolio from scratch, but from the assembled collections of learning.  In some ways the building of an e-portfolio is like "digital bricolage," as the portfolio is the collected pieces of work.

It was important then that students have a collection of work to draw from when building the portfolio.  In fact, the notion of a digital portfolio was only introduced to them in the last two weeks of the term. They had spent the beginning of the pilot program learning how to use the software, how to post and respond to blogs, how to create and edit essays, and how to use multimedia in these various options.  

For the work in portfolios, the students were given a "table of specifications" for the contents of the portfolio. This included the directions based on 3-2-1 - three of their favorite blog postings, two "items" from any other source including other classes, outside interests, or previous work, and one reflection based on the question, "What was the most important or significant learning of this academic year?"

The students very quickly learned that they could use materials from any of their other classes, a science lab or a history term paper, or a project for example.   They pasted the content into the appropriate places of the e-portfolio container in what was by then a known and easy process.

Most importantly, the reflective piece had to be the last piece and the students created some interesting reflections and commentary.  Some of the posts were honest and candid - there were about 65 different reflections - it is impossible to list them all here.  These reflections are interesting for a host of reasons and have not been edited.

Over the school year, I was a very lazy student. I barely did homework, didn't study for anything, fell asleep in classes (mostly math). But thanks to how the grading system is I was able to pass everything because there's only about 5 to 10 grades that go into the grade book. Being the old system, I would of been failing everything. While it has it flaws, I could of took time to do work, and pay attention when I was suppose to. When I did essay's, they where bare minimum, little to no effort put into them.

The most important thing I learned in junior year was not to procrastinate, do not wait till the last minute. That you must do everything on time. Doing things when they are do makes things so much easier than waiting. When you wait till the last minute, there is a certain stress that surrounds you. A stress that along with a fear and motivation there is a comulsion to give up and accept defeat. This want to give up just allows to procrastinate even farther even when you know that you can’t. In this situation your brain is in a tug-of-war with itself whether to get things done of ultimately give up. This stress will effect your body, it will make you tired all the time, it will sadden you, and it will show you your shortcomings and allow you to better yourself. I will take this knowledge with me for the rest of my life.

Hm, what have I learned this year that is most important to me. Well the first thing would be that you should never put your work off. Life is way too damn short for you to lollygag in school. Next would be to trust in you friends and teachers, Just because you think that you know everything doesn't mean you do. Trust me teachers know something they went to college, and their older and wiser than you. A skill that I have learned is how to invoke peoples emotions with the piano. Some people start to sing songs.

There are a lot of things I learned during this school year that are quite notable. I learned to paraphrase, how American government works, and the world through the eyes of economics. I also learned a lot about how to work out and make gains. But the most important thing I learned is not necessarily related to any one subject. The most important thing I learned is about society. There are a lot of people with different opinions on different subjects. Whenever someone is Liberal of Conservative, animal rights activist, or an atheist, they will have things they believe strongly that are right. Those are the subjects of politics, and religion cannot always have the right answer, it all depends what's the situation is. The thing I learned with so many people with different views s is to not get involved in the issues and just keep your views to yourself. It helps to avoid unnecessary arguments that might get in a way of good conversations and friendships. Just keep your opinions to yourself and you will do fine.

The power of portfolios in the New Classroom lies in the ability for students to engage in reflection within the community of learners  What I saw most powerfully in this test was that students could create such a reflective learning community.  

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