Online Digital Portfolios – The Strathcona Experience
Kitchen, T. (2010) Online Digital Portfolios – The Strathcona Experience, infonet, The Journal of the Victorian Information Technology Teachers Associations Inc, April/May Online edition to be published. Click here for a pdf copy of the article
Click here to access the iTips videos on wikispaces
Notes from VITTA Conference presentation 2009
These are notes based on a presentation I did with Ms Mary Hall at the VITTA 2009 conference on Wednesday 25th November. These notes will make up the bases of a new article being written for VITTA’s infonet.
Portfolios are a way of giving students a voice
We have lost the art of telling stories and remembering them – so importnat to ancient traditions
Portfolios are stories or learning over time
ePortfolios or Digital portfolios are a way of managing, expressing and communicating these stories in a way acessible to vertually anyone interested and invited.
An online digital portfolio is a way of storing and presenting samples of work in a digital format via the Internet.
They support the notion that our students don’t think of technology (especially the Internet) as “technology” they see it as life.
Ian Jukes (educational futurist) says about today’s teenager,
‘… there’s never been a time in their lives when computers, cell phones, video games, the Internet and all the other digital wonders that increasingly define their (and our) world haven’t surrounded them’ (Jukes 2006, p.1).
Marc Prensky (2001) writes that the current generation of students in the United States expect to be able to communicate with anyone or anything, anytime and anywhere.
‘A digital portfolio is a purposeful collection of learnings over time that documents personal, academic and professional development. It is a visual guide that maps where you have been, where you are going and how you plan to get there. In this context, a digital portfolio is a tool to communicate what you know and can do.’
An electronic portfolio uses electronic technologies, allowing the developer to collect and organize multimedia artifacts (audio, video, graphics, text). ‘It is not a haphazard collection of artifacts (i.e., a digital scrapbook or a multimedia presentation) but rather a reflective tool that demonstrates growth over time.’
(Barrett, Helen (2000, April). Create Your Own Electronic Portfolio. Learning & Leading with Technology Vol. 27, No. 7, pp. 14-21)
The AGQTP (Australian Government Quality Teachers Program) is an initiative of AISV (Association of Independent School’s Victoria). We applied for a $3,500 grant in August 2008 and it was granted December 2008.
Aim of our program
To enhance and develop the use of Web 2.0 technologies within the teaching of English and Science at Strathcona from Years 5 to 8 with a focus on teacher and student use of wikis as online, private digital portfolios.
$3,500 to be spent on providing replacement staff, catering, VITTA conference registrations, potential external PD & gifts.
Mary & I enjoyed 5 day long sessions at AISV with Tom March (ICT in Education consultant http://www.tommarch.com)
along with other Victorian teachers in the 2009 AGQTP.
Our project was to set up portfolios for all Year 5 -8 students with a focus on English & Science
This involved regular PD for 14 teachers
4x Year 5 & 6 teachers
5x Science teachers
5x English teachers
We chose wikispaces as our portfolio management environment because it is relatively easy to set up, easy to manipulate, enables a range of multimedia had multiple levels of security and it is free.
Besides helping the teacghers to become familar with wikispaces, we also introduced many of them to a range of other Web 2.0 tools that could be useful in their teaching such a:
Stixy (sticky notes http://www.stixy.com), Pic Lits (annotations http://www.piclits.com), Ourstory, Exlploratree (mindmapping http://www.exploratree.org.uk), Bubbl.us (brainstorming), Mindomo (mind maps http://www.mindomo.com) and Jing (screen capture http://www.jing.com)
Types of Portfolios
Reflection, Demonstration, Development & Assessment
Digital portfolios based on Reflection
A reflective portfolio is used to consider what was learned, how concepts were learned and what could be improved in future learning experiences.
A reflective portfolio can be constructed while learning tasks are occurring but are more likely to be constructed after a particular unit of work is complete as part of the evaluation process.
A reflective portfolio can be used to record, demonstrate and reflect on learning across many areas over a long period of time.
(Kerry McKenna, 2009)
A portfolio for demonstrating learning is aimed at artifacts and commentary that explains and displays what has been learned in a specific unit of work, subject or experience.
A demonstration portfolio would normally be constructed as the project or unit of work was being undertaken so that the process of learning can be explained as well as the product being shown or included.
(Kerry McKenna, 2009)
A portfolio focused on development aims to support decisions about learning activities that need to come next. This type of portfolio contains artifacts which demonstrate samples of student work which may need improving, video or audio of students engaging in particular activities in which they may fail to meet expected outcomes.
This type of portfolio is used with the student, teachers and parents to identify patterns of learning difficulties which are causing issues and to discuss strategies for change.
(Kerry McKenna, 2009)
An assessment portfolio is aimed at proving learning. It is the assessment, therefore it needs to meet the learning objectives and criteria of the specific unit of work or task. Meaning is constructed through the process of producing the folio itself, the folio demonstrates the student’s understanding of the area of study by its content and structure.
(Kerry McKenna, 2009
Teachers’ developmental levels of ICT use
In 2005 Newhouse, Clarkson and Trinidad investigated models of teachers use of ICT, with an aim to establish a framework for ICT development in schools that could be adopted in Western Australia.
Part of their framework involved establishing clearly defined developmental stages of teachers’ development in the use of ICT. They decided on five levels of development:
4. Integration; and
More on this can be found here