I think Chassidy Williams hit the nail on the head in our last discussion. Our portfolios are like a house. We own the house, but still have responsibilities to keep up with such as property taxes, etc. However, our homes are our comfort zones. We decorate, paint and arrange our houses to fit our likes and needs. Our portfolios will vary just as our homes do.
There is such great variety in all of the portfolios. I tend to be attracted to portfolios that are clean and to the point. I am in love with Amy Atchison's site. It's like driving through River Oaks and looking at the million dollar houses. It is organized, original and beautiful. Her learning manifesto is set up like a book. I found it fascinating. I also like Cyndy Schroeder's site. It looks like it would be in my neighborhood. It's organized, clean, and easy to follow.
I looked at several other portfolios. I plan to add a tab of professional development workshops that I have attended like Roselynn Verwood has on her website. I am glad that Dr. Harapnuik included his son's site. Even thought his son is older than my students, it gives me an idea of what I could expect from my classes.
As I have looked at the different portfolios, I have learned that they are all different. There is not one correct way to organize an ePortfolio. My ePortfolio will never be complete. It will always be a work in progress. It will evolve and change as I do.
If used correctly, technology can improve the classroom.
I started this ePortfolio as an assignment while pursuing my masters degree in DLL at Lamar University. I didn't think much of it at first. It was just another step towards my degree. As I have continued to develop the site, it has become mine. A tool that I plan on using and developing over time. Something that will help me become what I need to become.
I hope that I own my ePortfolio. Andrew Rikird says that if my audience is "a teacher with a red pen", then my ePortfolio will not empower me. One day I am working on my site and trying to put my vision together; the next, I am checking off required tasks to make sure I am covering all material. The "Domain of One's Own" initiative intends for students to take ownership of a domain, but it really depends on how that domain is used. It is not intended to be used to complete a check list of assignments. It is intended to show a process of learning.
What does a process look like at the beginning? My department is just completing our mandatory Student Learning Outcome Goal (SLO). We gave a pretest to see where our students began. As expected, they did not do well. We took tests throughout the unit to monitor progress. Finally, we gave a post test. We compared all the data to see progress made. Some students did not pass, but showed significant growth. Still, giving the students a test with a failing grade did nothing for their self confidence. I feel like an ePortfolio would give that same complete picture, but allow students more options to show their success. I think many students would surprise us. My portfolio is similar to the SLO. I am in the beginning of 1 1/2 year process. It is not appropriate for me to compare my work to someone who has completed their journey. Even at the end of the all the classes, my portfolio will still be a work in progress and I still should not compare my work with others. We are all at different points in our learning. I can look and get ideas, but this portfolio has to be mine.
As I have made my way through the first couple of weeks of this journey, I have been trying to think how I could apply what I have learned during these courses in my classroom. I have been afraid of giving my students freedom, but they already have it. Most students have the internet in their pocket, plus freedom to create helps us grow. I recently gave my students a Stop Motion assignment in STEM. I gave two requirements. There must be at least 30 slides and there must be at least two moving objects. As my students have created their projects, I have helped them work through problems, a technology specialist has been helping, and we have looked up issues on the web. The products the students have made are phenomenal. I am showing the projects to other teachers and they are amazed. Even students who are low performing in other classes have beautiful products. Some projects are more advanced than others, but some students have more prior knowledge. All of my students are proud of their work and have learned.
At this time, I am nervous about my creation. This class has one major grade. Is my ePortfolio good enough? As I ask this question, I feel like Carol Deweck is shaking her head at me. Yes, Carol, I have learned something.
Dweck, C. (n.d.) Decades of Scientific Research that Started A Growth Mindset Revolution. Retrieved from https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/
ePortfolios Explained: Theory and Practice. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo Retrieved from: https://uwaterloo.ca/centre-for-teaching-excellence/teaching-resources/teaching-tips/educational-technologies/all/eportfolios
Harpnuik, d. (n.d.). Who Owns the Eportfolio? Retrieved from http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=6050
Watters, A.(2015). The Web We Need to Give Students. Retrieved from https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d9771371
I have decided to put a tab on my website. What was my goal and who was my audience? I want to help math teachers create life long learners in their classrooms. I see all these project for math, but they really don't involve the students ideas. It is a work in progress. I have to start somewhere.
Image from: https://www.teachthought.com/learning/10-conditions-for-achieving-success-with-blended-learning/
Video from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xMqJmMcME0
During EDLD 5302, I began building my eportfolio. I have questioned my decisions and ability several times, but I am hoping that eventually this website will help guide students and other middle school math teachers to have a growth mindset and become life long learners.
We all have our special calling. I am a teacher. Mrs. Goodman, my mentor and student teacher, told me that the day I woke up and decided I was a great teacher and had nothing else to learn; I should retire. Following that rule, I am not close to retirement. We all have something to learn from each other. Only by growing, learning, networking, and collaborating can we become the teachers that our students need.