Thursday, January 23, 2014

Digital Portfolios

     Many teachers are making a transition to the new buzz word of standards based grading. Some teachers have always been there and modified their grading to fit into whatever grading system is required by the school. Any way teachers grade, portfolios of student work are a great way for students to prove and demonstrate their understanding and learning of any topic. Traditionally, students would be asked to pull specific pieces of work and organize it into a binder or folder, where the teacher could sift through and see the compilation of work over the course of weeks, months, or the school year. The same idea still exists, but it is much easier to compile these pieces of work, and create something the student can easily "take" with him or her and use as evidence of learning.

     To stick with the buzz words, ePortfolios are the 21st century learning initiatives take on student portfolios. The idea is for the student to create a unique and original digital piece of work that demonstrates the student's growth, and mastery of the content. There are a variety of forms of an ePortfolio, but the final product is still the same. A compilation of student work. People learn best when they are given the opportunity to try a task, then reflect on the experience. ePortfolios do exactly that. It provides an opportunity for students to do their best at any given assignment, and then reflect of the process.

But why ePortfolios?

    The benefits to ePorfolio's allow the students to have a certain realm of freedom, creativity, vision, and ownership. The traditional portfolio is rigid, and bound to a single vision of the teacher. The ePortfolio has the potential to provide the student with the freedom to use a variety of tools and express his or her knowledge, or mastery of the content in the best way that makes sense for him or her. Similarly, it provides a way for the student to reflect on his or her learning, through the vice that allows for the most comfort with expression. When learners are comfortable in a learning environment they are able to make great advances, especially when they are comfortable and confident with the way they need to prove their understanding and reflect on growth. These unique creations also have the potential to be an artifact that the student can take anywhere they go. Especially if it is built using free opensource tools. Tools like Google Sites, Silk, Dropr, or even PortfolioGen.

     The student can create a portfolio, and be able to access it wherever there is internet access. The student will also have the ability to limit and control the range of their audience and have the ability to pull that ePortfolio for appropriate college or job applications.

No comments:

Post a Comment