Some teachers could ask, “why use an ePortfolio?” Is it really going to trump other classroom materials? I don’t think the answer is that you have to choose one way or the other, but to instead allow these resources to work harmoniously with each other to further student learning. In this week’s lesson we were given an overview of what these electronic portfolios are and how they can be utilized.
In the article, “3 ways to increase student motivation in schools”, Dan Pink wrote, “Today’s management is designed for compliance, and schools and teachers should be more focused on engagement through self-direction” (p. 1). I agree that students learn better when they are able to take learning into their own hands and ePortfolios create a great space for this type of education to occur in. After studying this week’s materials, I see some of the main challenges in this approach to be tracking student progress and making sure that they are communicating well with other peers. Some students are not self-motivated and need an extra encouraging push to keep going. This is why ePortfolios would be helpful in my junior high and high school classes because the online work would be paired with in class communication.
During this week’s lesson, I learned that ePortfolios exist in a much broader category than I anticipated. In the article, Digital Portfolios: Guidelines for Beginners, the authors state, “Definitions abound – most of them describe an ePortfolio as a type of online working environment, or learning journey that can house or provide access to many digital artifacts and resources in various media formats (p. 5). I think that this structure of flexibility is a huge asset for educators because it can better fit the diverse needs of a classroom.
As I think about implementing ePorfolios in my classes, I first consider the needs in my media driven classes. In the past I have taught graphic design and video production and there was a great need for students to have an avenue to easily share what they created not only with me for grading purposes, but also with other students. I have used “Moodle” which was a good program but did have some flaws (for more information go to https://moodle.org/). Since this did not check all of my boxes, my hope is to create a system that fits the specific needs of each class. For example, in my Video Production classes, I would love to use an ePortfolio as a way to have an “online film festival” and have students give each other peer feedback. As I continue learning more about ePortfolios, I think that my first attempt to use this as a classroom tool will be focused on the following needs: a place to post student work (videos and graphics) and a place for students to communicate with one another about what they are learning.
Pink, D. (2011). 3 ways to increase student motivation in schools. Retrieved from:http://smartblogs.com/leadership/2011/07/28/dan-pink-on-3-ways-to-increase-motivation-in-schools/
SMS Services Team, Ministry of Education (2011). “Digital Portfolios: Guideline forBeginners”, Wellington, New Zealand.