To me, e-portfolio was a buzzword that I heard at summer conferences as ways for students to showcase their work. I knew the general concept behind them, but I never thought that I would use one as an adult. Now that I am a student, I think of them in a new light.
What are they?
E-portfolios are a form of a digital scrapbook that tells the learner's story. It is a way for students to have a voice in the demonstration of their learning beyond a report card. I use the e-portfolio to keep a record of my learning, training sessions I've conducted, and my accomplishments throughout my career. It's a way of showcasing all I know and can do. I look forward to continuing to develop my own e-portfolio and I will encourage my students to develop one of their own.
My struggles with the blog portion of the e-portfolio
I was never really one to journal or do much writing in my younger years; I'd start with buying a cute notebook and I would record my musing through the day for a couple weeks. Then the notebook would fall under the bed never to be seen again. That’s my concern about blogging, would I bother to keep up with it, who would want to read my blog, what would I blog about? I see other people's blogs and I think I could try that, maybe I could do it. Then I get worried since my writing is not the best.
To help myself with my blog I am participating in #IMMOOC. They have weekly YouTube videos of interviews, Facebook Live interviews, Twitter chats, and blog prompts! So even if I’m not sure what I’m going to write on, I will at least have a prompt to jump-start my brain and get the juices flowing.
I may even consider doing a V-blog, I can prop up my phone in the car and record a session on my way to or from work. I think I’m a pretty funny person who has some great ideas, who knows I might get a following! If I do go with a V-blog I guess I would post the playlist from my YouTube channel or embed the videos into my blog/e-portfolio.
Many videos posted on Dr. Harapnuik's website discussing COVA and CSLE have a recurring theme of "What if”, what if we question everything about the traditional education setting and how they measure learning? This is the title of the first section of the book that I’m reading, Learner-Centered Innovation (Martin, 2018), for a book study that is independent of my classes. Another book that I read as part of this book study is Empower (Spencer & Juliani, 2017). It’s about student-centered work and allowing the students to have a choice in what they learn, not just in the product of their assignments but in which direction they take their learning. This reminds me of COVA and ways that we can apply it in our classrooms to create the significant learning environments.
Giving the students Choice, Ownership, and Voice to create Authentic learning in the classroom is the main reason why we should have our students create an e-portfolio. Give the students a prompt like "demonstrate your learning on the topic of fractions..." and see the different things they create for you. One kid may write an illustrated book about them, one may create a how-to video, another may create some problems and make a game out of it. Your students may surprise you with their creativity.
Students deserve to have the opportunity to share their voice on a global scale, this is why we should encourage them to create their e-portfolio and blog about their learning, both in school and out.
Will you join us and tell your story to the world?
Martin, Katie. (2018). Learner-centered innovation. Unknown: IMPress.
Spencer, John. & Juliani, A. J. (2017). Empower. Unknown: IMPress.
It's About Learning. (2018). Digital Learning and Leading. [online] Available at: http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=7012 [Accessed 2 Mar. 2018].