S'More From The AP

Week Ending may 8, 2015

E-Portfolios -- With Ms. Blair!

“I can put work from anything that I’ve done? Like… even boy scouts, or robotics?” asked a student as we worked on adding to their ePortfolios. This sparked a roar of conversation, as students brainstormed, and communicated ideas with each other on what they could do. I loved the sounds of cameras snapping, busy fingers typing, and videos playing that filled the room as they began adding items to their site. They were so excited to be able to show off all that they were doing at home, school, and in extracurricular activities. They worked hard to get to the point of sharing their work, and almost fell out of their seats when they were given the green light to add!

When we began working on ePortfolios at the beginning of the year, the first thing that I noticed was that the students needed to become more familiar with the vocabulary. The 21st Century Skills Vocabulary was very overwhelming for them at first. Once we began to break-down the terms, and discussing the meanings, the students started to understand what they would be doing with their ePortfolio. To start the journey of understanding these 21st Century words, the students brainstormed each with their groups using previous knowledge on what they thought that skill might be. From here, we did one skill at a time for several weeks. They defined the words, and we looked together at what we thought examples that they had completed in class this year were. As they shared ideas, the fire really caught, and they showed enthusiasm for getting the opportunity to share their ideas for each 21st Century category.

Next, we teamed up with our buddies to teach them these 21st Century words. I am so glad that I was able to do this with our 2nd grade buddies. It proved to be one of the greatest learning opportunities for both sides, and the teachers too! They worked on understanding the vocabulary by defining the words, drawing pictures, writing sentences, and doing in class/online scavenger hunts to look for examples. The students do amazing things when they are able to teach others. They really challenged themselves to be clear and confident before they taught their buddies, and couldn’t wait to share their ‘buddy breakthroughs’ when we finished.

The ePortfolio is a richer picture of your student's 21st century learning skills and accomplishments. It is a chance for them to share more about themselves: what makes them proud, what makes them unique, and what they love. They are able to take these things and apply them to all of the learning they do at school.

The biggest ‘Ah-Ha’ moment for me in implementing these with my class was when a student came to show me what he added to his Critical Thinking category. This student showed me a video of when he competed in ‘The Pinewood Derby”, explaining the math and science that went into building the race car. He was thrilled to discover all of the learning that he had applied, and how he truly had to think critically to be able to compete to the best of his ability in the race. He scientifically describes what a ducted fan is, why he decided to use this, and how friction came into play when they were brainstorming. He thought the greatest challenge of critical thinking with the race car was overcoming the friction troubles that came up because the wheels were held by steel nails. Through much Critical Thinking, he says, “it was a new pack record! It was so exciting because it was fun to watch the car zoom down the track.”

Through the ePortfolios, my hope is that my students learn to determine what their ‘best’ and most applicable work for each skill is. I hope that they are able to analyze and evaluate their own learning and work through the ePortfolio platform. They will be able to carry this learning with them as they move up, and into high school, college and a career as they work on developing a portfolio that adds to their lives in a powerful and meaningful way!

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LISD ePortfolio Vision - From LISD

The LISD student ePortfolio is a dynamic representation of skill acquisition, authentic artifacts, and reflections that demonstrate to all stakeholders and the global community a progression of understanding in content, interests, and 21st century skills.

As written in the LISD Strategic Design, LISD will institute a student portfolio system that informs and inspires students and educators for continuous improvement and growth. The portfolio will be created in a manner that can travel with the student and incorporate a variety of assessments.

The LISD Student ePortfolio is a richer picture of students' 21st century learning skills and accomplishments. The ePortfolio will allow students to showcase work that demonstrates important life skills that cannot be measured by a standardized test. The ePortfolio is in a digital format so each student can personalize the portfolio and maintain evidence of learning that can go with them after high school. Each student in grades 2-12 will be able to create an ePortfolio. The platform used for ePortfolios is Google Sites.

For more info, visit this page.

Worth Reading

LISD ePortfolio Toolkit

Can be found here!

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