I’ve been writing …. and tweeting …… and talking for a while now about ePortfolios!
I initially set them up for a few primary 6 stage children at Carronshore. Since then these children have helped some Primary 6s at Nethermains to set up one, too. The Nethermains group and their teacher are coming along to Carronshore tomorrow so that they can find out how easy it is to embed a Voki and Photopeach slideshow into their ePortfolio.
I’ve also been sharing the idea with the teachers from the Art Department at the local High School and I’ve helped a small group of 4th year students to begin working on their own ePortfolio.
When I mention this to others in my own Local Authority – and to others outwith the Authority – the first question I’m typically asked is : “So … what is an ePortfolio?”
I find the answer to this question difficult. I think it’s because when I first heard about the idea, I was so attracted to it that I began reading any available relevant literature. This led me to writing a blog post about what I understood about the concept … but I can’t regurgitate all the bullet points in that that post every time someone asks me to explain in a few sentences what I mean by an ePortfolio, so I’ve tried to reduce them again to get the main points (as I see them) across.
1. What is an ePortfolio?:
- It’s a collection of student work that tells the story of the student’s efforts, progress, or achievements
2. What should they look like?
- There should be evidence of self-reflection
3. What’s the teacher’s role?
- They need to plan carefully to provide clearly defined criteria
- Effective feedback should be given to students, to encourage them to observe their own learning journey
4. What about the pupils?
- Comments should go beyond “I think I did OK” or ” I think I have more to learn.”
- Pupils should be monitoring their own learning so that they can adjust what they do when they perceive they are not understanding.
The next question that I need to prepare for is: ” How do you manage something like that?”
Whilst on secondment, I’ve only been able to ‘play around’ with the idea and I’m looking forward to trialling it ‘for real’ when I return to the classroom in August. I’ve been very encouraged, however, by the motivation shown by the children I’ve helped set one up for so far. Because I set up the wikispace eportfolios, I receive an email every time a change is made to one of them.
Once you create an account, you can create more spaces with their own unique URLs. You can then invite others to become members of that new space by sending them an email.
One way to keep control over the new wikispaces you create, is to invite users using the ‘gmail trick’ method by adding a ‘+ name’ the first part of the email address.
The instructions in the slideshow below show the steps involved and describe how the same method can be used to create multiple accounts in a variety of online tools.