Tag Archive | ePortfolios

ePortfolios, Assessment and Transition Issues


Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about a CPD session I attended on Building the Curriculum 5 : A Framework for Assessment while I was on secondment.

At the time, I wrote:

……We looked at how we might put this in to practice and were given a scenario so that we could assess an aspect of Literacy. After some discussion we looked at emerging approaches to assessment .

These come with a ‘warning’ message:

However, in their day-to-day practice, practitioners would not be expected to document the assessment process for all learners in this kind of detail. It will be up to local authorities and establishments to decide how evidence of learning is to be captured, evaluated and used to inform next steps in learning and teaching.”

At the time, I thought that, as it’s just not possible to provide that much detail about each student’s learning without compromising learning and teaching time, might we end up going back to paying lip-service to assessment (PLP’s, Self-assessment, Peer-assessment, etc.)?

I wondered what would happen if students were allowed (encouraged/trusted/guided?) to assess their own learning via ePortfolios?

Now that I’m back in class and have set up (emerging?) ePortfolios using Glow Wikis , I’m keeping an eye out to see how the students in my class are using them. Although the children all set out to record their achievements inside and outside of school – as demonstrated introductory statemements (Anna’s is embedded below), assessing your own learning is more complex.

Yesterday at school, however, I had an interesting conversation with Mason.

We’d been doing some work on decimals and I gave them a small slip of paper home with some examples (not something I would normally do – but the ‘homework’ issue is for another blog post!).

Mason mentioned that his was on his ePortfolio. I was confused at the time, but I was pleasantly surprised when I had a look later to see how he’d used his (boring?) homework and his ePortfolio as a vehicle to self-assess his learning in maths.

I am good at maths and I am especially good at decimals. I just started decimals a couple of days ago and I am finding it really easy to understand.Here is my maths homework from today (5.5.11).


I took this picture with apple’s ipod touch 4th generation. I also enjoy doing adding. Out of adding,subtracting and dividing, adding would have to be my favourite. Fractions are my least favourite.My teacher,mrs.V told me and my class that decimals are easier than fractions.”

Thanks Mason – your ePortfolio post told me lots more about your understanding of decimals (and your ability/liking of photography) than your little slip of paper alone handed in on time would have done 🙂

Although, like Jaye ,I’ve seen blogs and wikis peter out in the past when children move from Primary School to Secondary, I’m hoping that they won’t ‘wither on the vine in Secondary School’ this time as Jaye predicts in her recent comment on here .

My fingers are crossed that the children understand the potential of their ePortfolios and use them ‘just because’ .. just like Mason did 🙂

ePortfolios and Transition Stages

My last post ended with a remark about what the future holds for for our class emerging ePortfolios. I was delighted that Jaye Richards took the time to write an indepth comment to the post shortly after reading it – it was Jaye, after all, who inadvertently led me to the concept of ePortfolios via twitter … and I’ve been sold on the idea ever since 🙂

 I made an attempt to reply to her comment but after reading her follow-up blog post on the subject and her thought-provoking accounts of her own experiences, I decided that another blog post on here was the best way to reply. She got me thinking about the stumbling blocks that have been encountered when children I’ve taught in the past have moved on to High School. I also went on a trip down memory lane this evening and experienced (again) some of the frustrations that Jaye talks about in her post.  I’ll quote from Maryam’s transition blog posts to try to demonstrate what I mean.

  • Towards the end of primary 7 at Carronshore, Maryam wrote on her blog” My favourite thing ever is English. I love reading and writing. They are the only two things that are important too me. I have been writing quite alot of posts about reading and writing, well i just love writing and stuff. …. I can’t wait to get to high school  to ask my English teacher for advice for getting really good ideas. “
  • In this blog post she describes the excitement as her entry to High School looms ever closer: “I can’t believe we have finished primary school already! Its a bit quick. Well we still have a couple of weeks left of school but it doesn’t feel like it. We are finally the oldest in Primary school but now we will be back to the youngest in high school. That’ll be a bit hard. I’m looking forward too all the new lessons there and making new friends and stuff. I just cab’t wait for tommorow.”
  • Maryam is now in 1st year at high school (last term):  “I thought i would go on my blog just for old times sake. High school has been SOOO weird. It’s like i have been there all my life and not been to primary school once, but i have not forgotten primary school, I MISS IT SO MUCH. We have been doing all sorts of stuff and we have had sooo much .. drama? I think that is the word for it. It has been so BIZZARE. I have just chosen my subjects before the easter holidays. It was kind of depressing.”
  •  Her final post on her blog was when she entered 2nd year (she’s already regretting her subject choice) “So yes, it has been almost a month of school and i am in second year. It is alot harder than i thought, well kind of. I did choose the subjects i wanted , [i still regret picking some of them]!”

Maryam’s posts dried up soon after this, but her experience of her transition to High School echo the thoughts in Jaye’s post  when she wrote:

 “my old school is now making children choose their examinable subjects two thirds of the way through S1 !!

If I had my way, they wouldn’t even get ‘distinct’ subjects until S3…”


Anyway – back to my post title! –  ePortfolios and Transition Stages.


I’m hoping that the ePortfolios might succeed where the blogs alone failed. Maybe if the children know that the purpose of them is to demonstrate progress in their learning journey, then the responsibility for the upkeep and the freedom to choose what is included would enhance the feeling of ownership. The wikis seem to accommodate the ‘growth’ aspect more than a blog (even with tagging, etc).

I love the way Kian has already set his pages up for Primary 7 and his transition to High School.  All the children choose their own layout and this one obviously made more sense to him.

I also really like his ‘Life Achievement’ section – others have used this phrase when referring to their ePortfolios. Check out Alyson’s ‘sticky’ post on her Glow Blog 🙂

Click on the loveheart to see my ePortfolio.I have all my achievements  inside and outside school!!!

(All my achievement through out my life) Fingers cross it works!!!

I also really like Andrew’s ePortfolio layout. He felt it was important to include a page with links to his favourite Glow Blog posts:

I have a blog as well as this ePortfolio. Click here to visit it. I am going to put some of my favourite blog posts in this section of my ePortfolio. So use the links in the banners below to view my best blog posts.

 christmas post.gif

 winter report.gif


max in the middle.gif

The children are already asking questions about what will happen to their Glow Blogs and Wikis when they move on to Primary 7 and then on to High School.

Ideally, I’d like to support them for one more year to continue to provide feedback …… but that’s not for me to decide 🙂 

Feedback is a very important ingredient if an ePortfolio is to succeed. It’s mostly oral in Primary, but the wikis have a comment facility that could be used by Secondary staff in S1 and beyond?

Too many questions still unanswered – time to publish 🙂

Glow Wikis, ePortfolios and Longevity

At time of writing my case study, I decided not to dictate how the children should use their individual blogs. During the research period, I contacted Jackie Marsh  – and she agreed (I gained permission at the time to quote her):

“I have had a look at the blogs and they are great! I like the way you are
letting the children drive the use of the blogs, that is so important if they
are going to be successful. “

She also mentioned how we were using them on a post on her own blog at the time :

“I am speaking at the BFI ‘Reading on Screen’ conference for teachers tomorrow and although my main aim is to report on the evaluation of the very successful BFI ‘Lead Practioners Project’, I do want to highlight the potential that blogs have for disseminating children’s film productions and facilitating their peers’ critical comments on the films. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Margaret Vass, who is a Primary 7 class teacher at Carronshore Primary School, Falkirk. She told me about the excellent blog she has set up for the children in her class – I really like the children’s ‘WeeMees‘ and love the Voki posting developed by Bethany…blog on, Carronshore Primary 7!”

Bethany’s Voki on edublogs blog is missing now – what a shame 🙁

At the time, all of the Primary 7’s interviewed their parents so that they could write about their early years (as part of an autobiography).

Luckily I can still access the Vokis. Bethany’s is here:


Issues of this sort of thing happening have been discussed on this blog previously.

I still remember the unfortunate incident that led to the decision to transfer the children’s blogs from learnerblogs to edublogs. Edublogs chose to have all new blogs, including pupil blogs, hosted at edublogs. It was made clear that all existing learnerblogs could, if chosen, remain where they were. Around the time of this announcement, however, spam comments began to appear on a few of the children’s blogs. Email alerts usually ensured that these were deleted promptly. On one particular occasion, though, one was noticed by a pupil in her comment moderation queue when she logged in to her blog. Unfortunately, it contained very inappropriate content.

It was a lot of work moving the children’s blogs from learnerblogs to edublogs …. and then edublogs let us down.

Recently I’ve  spent some time reflecting on the journey to give children a more stable online environment and I revisited this post and a thought-provoking comment from David Gilmour

“This is a good topic to debate, thanks for spending your Saturday night doing such a detailed post!

I’m really pleased that Marc got such a good audience for his writing.

Another aspect to this, which cropped up this week for us with the demise of Bubbleshare.com, is the longevity of Web 2.0 services. Inevitably there’s an element of risk in using these free services, and we’ve accepted that. For the schools involved, we’ve had a lot of useful learning – and fun – from it. The slideshows will vanish from the sites, but they’ve probably served their purpose and copies of the original images will still be on disk in the schools.

With portfolios that are needed long-term, though, we’ll need to be careful to take such risks into account.”

Now that I’ve finally set up some ePortfolios with the class I have now, I’m hoping that  Glow will provide the stability we’re after.

And if it doesn’t – at least we’ll be sure to back up all the files as using the new Glow Wikis means that there’s no need to host content elsewhere.

Check out Anna’s ePortfolio – hopefully it’s just the beginning 🙂

Glow Wiki and ePortfolio Update

Well, it’s taken a while to create something that looks like an ePortfolio for an upper Primary aged class – but I think I’m getting there. When I first heard of the concept, I wrote a blog post on here and I like to revisit it now and then to make sure that I’m not cheating and calling something an ePortfolio when it clearly isn’t. The original post is here.

I wrote that post while on secondment, and it helps that I now have my own Primary 6 class to experiment with 🙂 Much of what we’ve been up to can be seen on the pages of our class blog – but I thought it might be a good idea to record the recent ePortfolio journey on here.

My previous post explained my thinking behind using Glow wikis as ePortfolios and here’s the story about how things are going so far:

When I first introduced Glow wikis as ePortfolios, Andrew wrote:

“Hi everyone! Welcome to my ePortfolio. Well, this is actually a GlowWiki but I am using it as an ePortfolio. Incase you were wondering, an ePortfolio is something online where you record your achievements throughout the years. You can use it to get a job when you grow up as well. So if you want to view all my achievements throughout the years, click on the pages to the left, or use the links on the banners below.”

P6 eport.gif

Others have also begun recording their achievements. For example, Anna was keen to record her class talk about her cat called Pepper and she made a reconstruction of her original talk so that she could add it to her ePortfolio. Have a look/listen here

And, as part of our Victorian’s project, the class were asked to interview an older member of their family so that they could get a sense of the past. Brooke uploaded her interview with her Gran to her ePortfolio. Have a listen:  Brooke interviews her Gran about schooldays in the past

Ryan, on the other hand, was less taken with the idea:

“Hi my name is ryan r and I am new to the eportfoio and I do not know what to do on it. Hopefully my friend Jack D the expert can help me.”

His attitude changed, though, when he saw that others had been recording outside school achievements.  Some have started bringing in trophies and medals so that we can have photographic evidence to upload. Check out Lucy’s TaeKwonDo narrated slideshow

After seeing these, Ryan was keen to show off  his own achievements outside of school and brought in some of his football trophies. With help from others,  he managed to update his own ePortfolio and record his football achievements on photostory 3

There are more Glow wiki examples I could link to, but what I’m hoping is that the children will see the connection between their Glow wikis and they great posts they’ve been adding to their Glog blogs. There are lots and lots of examples of great blog posts, but I’ll link to Mason’s one about finding a reading book about his favourite film ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. I didn’t know that Mason liked the film … or the book 🙂 Mason’s blog post is here.

Their story writing, started on their wikispaces during their ‘pre Glow wiki era’, should also be included. The Terrible Time Machine is a great example. Read it here.   

We’ve also recently set up a class Glow wiki so that the children can demonstrate their ability to work with others.

 Check out our first task here: Our Writing Task

Eight groups are involved. The Billionaires have completed some of the tasks. Have a look.

More to come 🙂

Our Glow Wikis – So Far

The class now have their own Glow Wikis. I’d been waiting patiently for their launch to assess their suitability for use as an ePortfolio. I’d played around with the idea of using wikis as an ePortfolio last year while I was on secondment and wrote a couple of blog posts about the ‘experiment’. One of these can be seen here.

While I was waiting for the Glow Wikis to make an appearance, I toyed with the idea of using the Glow Blogs as ePortfolios. The children seemed a bit bamboozled by the prospect, however, and I suspect that it was because they had been using these online spaces as a traditional weblog and found it difficult to make the connection.

I created a ‘sticky’ post and linked to pages on the sidebar. The ‘Sticky’ said:

Welcome To My ePortfolio

This is my Learning Space where I blog about things I’m interested in.

I also record my achievements inside and outside of school. Click HERE to read about them

I knew from the reaction that there was confusion and when Andrew changed his Sticky wording, I realised that they didn’t see the blogs as an ePortfolio:

Hi everyone! Mrs V gave us all ePortfolios!

An ePortfolio is a page on your blog where you record your achievements in and out of school. Click HERE to read about them.


 Even with that subtle change of emphasis, though, no-one added anything to the ‘ePortfolio section’ of their blog.

But now that they’ve been given a Glow Wiki as an ePortfolio, everyone in the class seems taken with the idea.

There have been some frustrating glitches … but so far these have been overshadowed by the positives.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where this leads 🙂

In case anyone is interested, here’s how I set up our Glow Wiki eportfolios:

In the  ‘My Glow’ area, I added the Glow Wiki webpart.

I asked our school secretary (our ASM) to turn on the rights for me to set up a wiki.

I’ve since learned that @claganach, our ICT Curriculum Development Officer had turned them on for the whole school – thanks Malcolm 🙂

I decided to set my trial Wiki to public immediately because I wanted to be sure that when it was live it would ‘behave’ the way I expected it to .. if that makes sense??

I soon discovered that it differed from the class blogs and from the wikispaces I’d experimented with previously. I still can’t embed videos etc. hosted elsewhere into the Glow Wiki and any links using the link icon require viewers to be logged in to Glow to view them.

I’ve been finding ways around these hiccups, though.

For example:

  • Uploading pictures is quite straightforward
  • Although I haven’t discovered how to embed media in Glow blogs, the children can easily upload videos, podcasts, etc without the need to host elsewhere
  • It’s possible to create links to other areas of the wiki if tinyurl is used to create the links. I’ve no idea why this is the case – but if any Glow experts can help me find the answer to this, the children in my class will be forever in your debt 🙂 
  • The wiki URLs are very long so I’ve created a link to them on a page on our class blog. I think this also tends to create a sense of class community as everything we have is more connected.
  • It was also very easy to copy and paste these links into a text editor webpart in my ‘My Glow’ area.

The children set up their Glow wikis in the same way as their Glow blogs were set up

I’m glad that I set up our Glow blogs in the way that I did as it meant that I was already a member of the children’s ‘My Glow’ area so I was automatically an administrator of their Wikis as well.

I’ll keep posting about how our Glow ePortfolios progress, and meanwhile I’d love to hear back from any ‘Glow in the Know’ folk who have solutions to the linking and embedding issues 🙂

Rambling On About ePortfolios Again

I’ve been pondering what needs to be done to create long-lasting ePortfolios for my class. They are in Primary 6 at the moment, and I need to be realistic and assume that the chances are that their Primary 7 teacher won’t  be as involved as I am with their individual blogs – or any ePortfolio set-up.

Last session, while on secondment, I spent a few afternoons with some Primary 6 stage children and set up wikispaces for them. I wanted to gauge how appropriate they would be if used as an ePortfolio.  

Jaimey was very keen to keep hers going, and continued to add bits and pieces to it in Primary 7, but with no teacher input, her interest is waning. The ideal scenario (for me, anyway!) would be that there was an Authority-wide strategy in place to promote the advantages of  creating ePortfolios and that appropriate CPD opportunities were made available … ‘blue sky’ thinking 🙂

The image on here links to Jaimey’s wiki.

But other issues need to be taken into consideration when planning to build ePortfolios. I initially chose wikispaces because the service is free and I liked the way that they looked (I’m referring to the sidebar menus).

However, when I first investigeted ePortfolio Portability and Longevity Issues  on here, David Gilmour  commented:

“Another aspect to this, which cropped up this week for us with the demise of Bubbleshare.com, is the longevity of Web 2.0 services. Inevitably there’s an element of risk in using these free services, and we’ve accepted that. For the schools involved, we’ve had a lot of useful learning – and fun – from it. The slideshows will vanish from the sites, but they’ve probably served their purpose and copies of the original images will still be on disk in the schools.

With portfolios that are needed long-term, though, we’ll need to be careful to take such risks into account.”

I understand what David means and I envy the eduBuzz blogs set up. But, as we don’t have something like this in place in my own Local Authority, I thought that wikispaces , a great ‘web 2.0 service’ (can I still use that phrase?) seemed like a good alternative.

This session, however, I’ve set up Glow Blogs for all the children in my class, and I have been pleasantly surprised at their enthusiasm so far. Until recently, I thought that the best idea to build ePortfolios was to create a link from their blog to a wikispace with a set-up similar to the one above. But I’ve since thought about creating a ‘Sticky’ post with links to other areas in their blogs where they can record achievements, etc. New blog posts can then continue to be published as normal below the ‘Sticky’. The idea is that their Glow Blog becomes a ‘one-stop-shop’ where they can update with reflective posts, but have an area to formally record successes (although there will still be links to a wiki, where some children have enjoyed updating stories over a period of time. Have a look at the joint effort by Brooke, Natasha and Eilidh ).

I created a Trial Blog and set it up with the relevant sections. The Sticky post shown in the image links to  HERE where I’ve set up areas for them to record achievements until they leave Primary School. The idea is that they create links to High School stages (and beyond?)

I exported the information from the Trial Blog as an extended RSS file and imported into the children’s blogs. I had a bit of a dilemma as to whether or not to open up the links from the ‘Sticky’ post in a new window. I worried that if I didn’t do that then visitors to the blogs who were not used to such online spaces (parents?) might get lost and not be able to find their way back to the homepage. After seeking advice on twitter, though, I decided that the best solution was to open the links in the same window and add a  ‘Back to my Home Page’ link on the sidebar.

The class can choose from 3 link designs –  all they have to do is copy the html code into a text widget. I’ve saved the code into a word document, but they need to change the link from the trial blog to their own.

I’m sure they’ll manage 🙂 

In this example the link will go to Declan’s homepage, even though the original image is stored in the Trial Blog. 

<a href=”https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/cpsdeclanw/2010/11/16/welcome-to-my-eportfolio/”><img src=”https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/carronshoretrial/files/2010/11/home-button-1-150×150.jpg” title=”blog home” /></a>

Here’s the three choices.

Thanks again to David Gilmour  for his patience when explaining how to do this!

The sidebar pages widget transfers with all the correct information and the links go directly to pages on the children’s blogs, but the actual posts links still transfer back to the Trial Blog. I’ve remedied this by creating a couple of class ‘experts’, who then teach others how to fix the problem. This is still on-going ….. but if anyone knows of an easier solution, please get in touch.



This post has been a bit of a ramble, but I’ll finish with a reminder to myself of what I believe an ePortfolio to be. I don’t think something like this could be built in a hurry anyway 🙂

Back to Basics

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.

Glow Blogs.. Wikis.. Stories … and ePortfolios

I’ve been going on a lot about how the class are using their Glow Blogs. For example, at the  TeachMeet at this years Scottish Learning Festival my presentation focussed on them. I spoke about them again at the more recent Falkirk TeachMeet …. and I’m constantly mentioning them on twitter (the examples below are copied and pasted from my twitter account and were added there as I discovered them appearing on the top of the list of new Falkirk posts

It’s also great to see that some children who don’t normally enjoy writing in class are beginning to voluntarily write posts on their blogs from home. After receiving some encouraging comments (thanks to my ‘twitter’ colleagues!), they’re writing follow-up posts, too. The children love to have their posts read out in class and often the first thing they say in class is, “I’ve written a new post. Can we read it out to everyone?”

And there was the incidence when Lewis very quietly asked me to read out his latest blog post. No-one in class knew about his gran, and I think he was glad that he was able to mention it via his blog post (he whispered that his mum had said it was ok to share it)

“I have a gran called Ann and she was in strathcarron hospice with cancer and she had allot of medicine. She was in strathcarron hospice for four weeks but at the weekend she died on Saturday night.  Her funeral is on Thursday and I was sad when she died and I am going to miss her very much.”

I was a bit worried when I began using Glow blogs, and before I introduced them to the class I wrote a Wish List post. One of my main concerns was that the children would be frustrated that they couldn’t easily embed slideshows, etc. in to their posts. I think that it does irritate them a bit, but what has happened is that they’ve had to concentrate on the written word. This has led to some unexpected lengthy pieces of written work that we’ve been able to share in class (and subtly learn from?).

 Recently, though, there has been a turn of events. This came about as a result of writing letters to the local Bookbinders Tom Valentine’s in Larbert. The class wondered if they could be shown what’s involved in turning a story they’d written into an actual book. There was great excitement on Thursday when a reply came from the Bookbinders saying that they would visit us and look at some of our stories. The reply also included the children’s letters in a beautiful leather covered book with gold lettering (it’s at school but I’ll take a picture soon and include it here).  Valentines are going to bring along some of the equipment used when binding books before they’re published. 

The class have already begun planning the stories they want  (hope!) to be published. Some want to write individual stories and others want to work in a small group – but what concerns them is how they’ll access stories at home that have been begun in class .. and vice versa. We discussed  using Microsoft Word and saving the stories on to memory sticks – but none of the children have one. Another option is to write on their Glow blogs and save the entries as a Draft post.

It was at that point that I had the idea of setting  up a wiki for each of them. They were set up in a hurry on Friday – I’ve used them previously with classes so it didn’t take long! I only had a few minutes to ‘sell’ the advantages of having a wiki and to describe how to access it and use the various features.

I’ve noticed that Andrew has already added pages to his wiki. It’s looking great 🙂 http://cpsandrewf.wikispaces.com/

What’s even more great is that he seems to have sussed out how he’ll use Glow blogs and his new wiki (another step towards an ePortfolio?)

Hi everyone! Welcome to my wikispace. I am going to use this for a lot of things. The main reasons are to have fun and to write my stories on. To view the stories I am going to write you will have to go on my stories page. I have a glow blog which is awesome so I think this will be awesome! I am looking forward to writing on this. I don’t really know what to write, so see you! Remember to look at all my pages daily!

I’m looking forward to sharing how he’s used his wiki in class tomorrow 🙂

Glow Blogs and ePortfolios?

 At the beginning of this school session, I set up Glow Blogs for my class and wondered if they could form part of an ePortfolio. Our Glow Blogs have been up and running for less than four weeks, so they’re a wee bit away from being ePortfolios yet 🙂

I talked a bit about them during  TeachMeet at this years Scottish Learning Festival last night, and today I’ve been pondering how the (9/10 year old) children have been ‘settling in’ and getting to know their new online spaces. Tonight I took a quick whirlwind tour of the blogs so that I could get some sort of overview of what’s happened so far.

 These are just some of the significant learning experiences to date:

Establishing the Purpose (a couple of first posts – setting the scene for their blogs?)

  • Hi people of earth. This is my first ever blog entry. I am going to use this blog to tell you all about what I do inside and out of school. Please comment!!!
  • Hello mighty world ( that’s full of random people watching me on my blog ). Watch and see what happen’s because im full of good ideas.

Learning about Copyright (a difficult concept, but lots of class discussion about it seems to have paid off)

  • I got all this information out my book Horrible Histories The Savage Stone Age but put it in my own words.
  • My friend Kian sits beside me at class.I am going to tell you some of his ideas.WARNING:The fowlowing section of writing is COPYRIGHT as it is Kians.
  • Earlier today Anna+Robyn used the DJ Earworm song Like OMG Baby. So i just went to DJ earworms site and lokked and looked and looked but nothing so i commented and asked if we could use it with all music credit going to him but he need’s to E-mail back so im waiting!!!

Becoming Familiar with Blog Layout (wondering what happened to the post he’d written just previously?)

  • My first AR reading book was by David Orme …. Look up to see the 2nd book I read.And by up I mean on the compuuter not the roof or sky!

Awareness of Audience (asking for comments – or just ‘talking’ to a perceived audience)

  • So far I have had LOADS of comments on my blog! I would like to thank all the people who left comments. If you see a post and you think of something that describes it or something to improve it don’t hesitate to comment
  • I dont have alot of comments so plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz plz leave comments
  • Okay we did max in the middle today but i cant tell you about it because it’s Alisdairs turn on the computer so ill update you laterz!!! BTW Alisdair is my little brother

Blog as Vehicle for Communicating  Difficult Thoughts (Lewis doesn’t usually share information in class and mentioned quietly that he wanted this post to be shared with his peers)

  • I have a gran called Ann and she was in strathcarron hospice with cancer and she had alot of medicine. She was in strathcarron hospice for four weeks but at the weekend she died on saturday night. Her funeral is on thursday and I was sad when she died and I am going to miss her very much.

I’ve included my Prezi presentation from last night here …. thanks to Fearghal for his help with the setting up (I nearly mucked up!). Thanks, too, to all the other ‘behind the scenes’ people who made it …. despite my stressful state …the best TeachMeet experience for me so far. I came away with loads of ideas to investigate further.


Glow Blog Update

A handful of children now have their Glow Blog username and password. These were sent home along with a covering letter explaining what Glow is and the potenial benefits of Glow blogs. Before issuing the passwords etc., the blogs were customised for safe use (well, as safe as possible without compromising on the gains).

The changes included:

  • Ensuring that all the blog URLs began with cps (Carronshore Primary School) followed by the child’s first name and second initial of their surname – https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/cpsalysonm/ This gives a ‘uniform’ appearance to the blogs and associates them with an educational establishment (not just another social networking site that some children might be already using)


  • The Headers were modified so that the school identity was prominent. I made these by uploading pictures made in weeworld (it’s for 13+ age group, but the children were not using the actual site – they logged on via a school account made by me and simply saved their avatars). I then uploaded them to Microsoft Publisher and saved the file as a jpeg. This was then uploaded to Microsoft Picture Manager and cropped and resized to the right specifications.


  •  In the Settings menu on the dashboard, the ‘discussion’ options were set so that all comments would require moderation before appearing ‘live’ on the blogs. It’s imortant to change the default ones to those shown here because in wordpress they’re set to “Comment author must have a previously approved comment” – a bit like a ‘catch 22’ scenario 🙂


  • The blog Widgets were added in this order:

1. ‘Text’ widget so that the children could add something about themselves that would stay visible on their blog even after the introductory post had been archived https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/cpsandrewf/

2. ‘Text’ widget – to link the blogs to http://www.scotedublogs.org.uk/ . Glow Blogs aren’t able to link to this site at the moment, but it’s being worked on and the issue will be sorted soon – fingers crossed 🙂

3. ‘Pages’ widget I felt it was important to share our class Blogging Rules on their individual blogs.

4. ‘Archives’ widget – I learned from previous experiences of providing children with their own online spaces that it can be difficult for them to understand what has happened to posts they’ve been proud of – and suddenly they seem to disappear because they get archived.

5. ‘Tag Cloud’ widget – Although I’ve activated this widget, I haven’t discussed its use yet with the class. I’m very guilty of not using it in my own blog – but have recently been converted to appreciating the value of tagging posts.

6. ‘Meta’ widget – I learned very early on that if you don’t activate this widget after changing Themes, logging in to your blog can be challenging 🙂

  • I’ve already shared the class flickr account with the children. This was set up a few years ago (for a previous class) but will allow the children to access photos from home. The weemee characters are saved on our ‘class share’ area, but this can onlybe accessed at school.


  • Google Reader helps me to keep track on what children are posting on their blogs. Subscribing to this means that I don’t need to check each individual blog to look for new posts.

Although there have only been a few class Glow Blog account logins assigned, I’m heartened by the results so far  – especially from the boys. I’ll maybe need to re-think some of my original research 🙂

More thoughts  to come …..

My ePortfolio Experiment Begins

Well, I’ve been back in class for eight whole days now (five of those with the children) and it’s been a busy time! I’m with a Primary 6 stage class and one of my goals in coming back to class was to try to set up an ePortfolio for each child. I’d been playing around with the idea whilst on secondment and couldn’t wait to try out the concept ‘for real’ and this post is hopefully going to help me to learn from what’s happened so far  …… it’s been a rocky ride at times 🙂

During my secondment, I had the opportunity to work with a small group of children for a few afternoons and I helped them set up an ePortfolio (of sorts). Jaimey’s can be seen here . I decided on wikis over blogs, because I liked the idea that the children could put menus in the sidebar and have things neatly compartmentalised. I’d used wikis in the past with children, but mainly to allow them with a place to experiment with writing stories . I’d also previously provided children in my classes with individual blogs but wasn’t convinced that they were the best means available for the purpose – I’ve actually moved my thinking on and now see a place for both, but I’ll save that another post 🙂

So – what about my attempts so far in helping my class to build their ePortfolios?  I began by introducing them to our class blog . Because it’s been on the go for about four years now, I was able to locate lots of examples of the benefits of class blogging – and I also told them about what happened when I gave children in previous classes their own individual online spaces and explained that I hoped to eventually give them their own blog , too. I’d spent some time during the summer setting these up via GLOW  (I’d originally planned to use primaryblogger  – a fantastic support for schools! – but then decided, for various reasons, to give the GLOW ones a try). I’d planned on giving everyone in the class a GLOW login anyway, so I decided to set their blogs up at the same time.

Here’s my step-by-step explanation – there are probably better/quicker ways?:

  •  log in as pupil and go to ‘My Glow’
  • add the ‘Glow Blog’ web part
  • click on ‘Advanced Settings’  then ‘Go to Site Administration’
  • Go to ‘Manage  Users’ then ‘Add Users’
  • Add own Glow username to the ‘choose users’ box and click on ‘administrator’ role
  • When email is received, click on the link, create the blog and set the permissions, etc.







After that, I am now a member (administrator)  of every child’s blog and have customised them as I would have done with any other blog ……

Hey Presto!







More to follow ………  🙂