Thursday, December 4, 2014

Digital Portfolios Please...

Happy Thursday everyone:)

I just returned from pulling my students' writing portfolios from our ELA department, and I got to thinking.....

How do we get schools/districts to start using digital portfolios??

I believe we must promote digital portfolios as much as possible in order to keep better track of student writing and use it more effectively as data for planning.  This would also make the writing more relevant for the students, and allow them to access it anywhere.

Down and dirty:
Data in all shapes and forms is critical when it comes to effectively planning lessons and addressing student needs.  While it should not drive all decision making, it should play an integral role in the development of such.  I believe we do the students a great disservice when we file away their writing and never look at it.  If the writing were housed digitally teachers could access the date and use it to plan before the school year begins.  What a relief and help this would be.

Student buy-in.  We all want it, especially when it comes to writing.  We need our students to be effective communicators.  How are we supposed to accomplish this if they can't see their own growth, analyze and discuss their own weaknesses and strengths?  Digital portfolios would allow them to share with family, friends, and students across the world.  Now that is an authentic audience.  Students can comment in real time and work when absent.

One of the best things would be the fact that their work could travel with them anywhere. Wouldn't it be nice to get a new student, and have an idea of where they are at in their learning/thinking/writing process.

Your classes aren't one-to-one?  Mine either.  Sometimes I take my students to the library and utilize the computers in there.  Most of the time though I use the few devices I have.  Hmm..8 at this time.  I just had two die on me:(
The teacher might also have students write their rough drafts and then type what they have on the computer.  This tends to work well since students work at various paces.
I also borrow devices from the library, and my colleagues.  Students can check out devices from the library too, and many of them do.
It might seem impossible, but there are ways to work around not having a one-to-one system.
Another idea is for the the teacher/school/district to start off with a minimum number of items housed.  This would allow for the staggering of the use of devices.
I also apply for grants through each year and ask for Chromebooks.  I figure I can eventually build a one-to-one class.  Hopefully:)

I know change is difficult and there are a lot of ideas/trends being knocked around, but this is a concept educators must implement soon.

 Here is a more structured conversation on the topic courtesy of Holly Clark's twitter feed (if you don't follow her you should!).

Keep up the good fight!