Blog 3: Choosing the Right Tools

In this week’s lesson, we learned about various resources that are available for use as portfolio storage. In Dr. Barrett’s 2008 study of Options for Online Storage of Digital Archive she explains that a Working Portfolio is “The Collection or Digital Archive, Repository of Artifacts, Personal Information and a Reflective Journal” (p. 1). I believe that this is the best approach for my implementation of electronic portfolios in the classroom. My plan for level 1 implementation (Step 5.1) is to use Vimeo and WordPress to store artifacts. After looking through the resources linked to this lesson, I chose Vimeo as a video storage tool for the student’s video projects in my Video Production classes because it keeps the quality of the videos while also allowing direct downloads. When students first begin the class, they will create a simple WordPress account and a Vimeo account. When an assignment is due, each student will upload their finished video to Vimeo and then embed the link to their WordPress account. I will simply keep a list of links to the students’ WordPress sites and go to these links to grade their finished work.

The stakeholders will be my future high school Video Production students. Since I teach electives, grades will range from freshmen to high school. Since the learning levels of each student will vary, it will be important to make sure that the programs that I utilize for the e-Portfolios are user friendly. To ensure that students are utilizing WordPress correctly, I will introduce students to e-Portfolios by giving students a step-by-step set of instructions that will guide students in the initial setup of their accounts. In these steps, I will instruct students to allow messages to only be viewed by themselves so that I can give a graded rubric and constructive feedback to them for each project through the message tool.

My rationale for using Vimeo is based on my purpose for utilizing ePortfolios, which is the need for students to store video projects in the Video Production classes that I teach. After doing some research, I realized that WordPress works well with Vimeo because all that students have to do is paste the URL and it creates a video box that can be viewed inside WordPress rather than opening a new page. Since WordPress allows for multiple pages, I would have students divide their e-Portfolio into the following sections: About Me, My Work, and Blog. Since other people will be able to view their site, students will set up the “About Me” section to give them the space to be creative and make their portfolio into an expression of themselves. This will encourage ownership and create the foundation to be something that they are proud of. The “My Work” page will be the spot for all of their video projects to be posted. This will be the initial link that students send me so that I can grade their work and provide feedback. The “Blog” page will be a space for student reflection as well as a platform to submit any other written assignments. This will give the students an opportunity to visually track their progress in class. In Dr. Barrett’s link “Selecting a “Free” Online Tool for ePortfolio Development”, she explains the goal of reflections by stating, “At the end of a course (or program), students would write a reflection that looks back over the course (or program) and provides a meta-analysis of the learning experience as represented in the reflections stored in the blog entries.” As seen in this quote, reflections can also be used as a summative assessment that will not only help me as a teacher understand each student’s progress but it also helps the students see their growth in learning. In conclusion, as I have considered various tools and resources to implement e-Portfolios, I have found that it is important to remember my purpose for using this approach and the students that this will affect.

Resources:

Barrett, H. 2008. Options for Online Storage of Digital Archive. http://electronicportfolios.org/web2/index.html.

Barrett, H. 2012. “Selecting a “Free” Online Tool for ePortfolio Development”, http://electronicportfolios.org/eportfolios/tools.html.