Session 2 – Nitty Gritty

What do you think about these statements regarding ‘learning’? puzzle_640

  • Learning is doing
  • Learning starts with the learner’s own ideas
  • Learning involves getting personally involved
  • Questions drive learning and are also outcomes of learning
  • Learning involves uncovering complexity
  • Learning can be a group process and a group outcome
  • Learning and thinking can be made visible

A great opportunity to share ideas and thoughts. With this as a conversation starter, how might these ideas affect the way you approach the ePortfolio environment. Knowing your ‘why’ should be the foundation. 

Workflow (e.g. how to make it work and keep smiling): footprints

  • Separate procedural instructions vs critical reflective thinking. When students understand the steps of login, writing, uploading (images, audio clips, video clips etc), they can move towards reflective activities.
  • Primary classes > perhaps the first posts are responses to an image that has been uploaded by a teacher. Then have small group or pair partner talk to share/push ideas and rehearse what to write. Students can also record their thoughts using audio.  This may take away the daunting task of facing a blank screen. 
  • iPads can be used to upload or write to the ePortfolio > consider bookmarking your class site (use Safari) and saving a launch icon on the iPad. 
  • Save work as drafts to allow for thinking time. (“learning involves uncovering complexities over time”)
  • Writing from other areas (eg. Google Apps for Ed) can be copy/pasted in ePortfolio posts; then commented. This applies to any paper copy as well – take a picture of it and upload the image. Rubrics or better yet – sections of rubrics can be uploaded and further reflections added to the piece making learning an ongoing process. 
  • sample letters to parents and feedback prompts are on the page: Administrivia
  • Parent emails for notification > Once the ids are loaded, the notification process (preset) automatically sends every time a new post is PUBLISHED. It is important that parents use their ID (as they are enrolled as subscribers) not their children’s id. Their view is from the front-end of the ePortfolio where they can view and comment on any published post. They can also access their child’s ePortfolio at any time by going direct -no need for an invitation. 

Other questions that popped up:group-464644_640

  • Images taken by students or of groups should follow a similar process as images on a classblog (groups, activities that are angled off the face). Of course, images of an individual student can be uploaded to their personal portfolio at any time. 
  • Why and when – consider varying the amount of times that posts are published – not every student has to publish at exactly the same time with the same amount of content. Allow for flexibility – “personalization” means that not everyone’s should look the same – the ‘why’ is always more important than the ‘what’ or ‘when’
  • Grade 6/7 portfolios allow options for setting their own theme designs and making choices over the design process (ADST curriculum). A teacher noted that the students were very engaged with this process and the rich conversations that ensued were motivational in how they felt they owned their site and the content became personal 
  • General information – (eg. fieldtrip, science activity…) might best be posted in a classblog, allowing the world to learn 
  • self reflection using the language of the core competencies may need an organizational structure to continue the conversation. First steps may include a “notice and name” process. Later perhaps something like a single point rubric might help – we’ve recorded all of them using this structure (see Curriculum page).  These were meant merely as guides in an ongoing conversation, not as any form of grading. 
  • Interviews can be done through the post/comment feature