Tuesday, May 19, 2009

e-Portfolios & Collaborative Conferences

Tonight we had our collaborative conferences where the e-portfolios were shown to parents via students and the teachers. This year is our 2nd year of e-portfolios for some, but first year of schoolwide implementation - Year 1 through to Year 6 students.

It was really interesting to note the number of parents who already had a good idea of what was going on within the e-portfolios. A high percentage of the students had already talked with parents and discussed what was going on and what they were working towards. Parents were impressed because they had an eye into the classroom and an eye on what students were working towards in achieving their set goals.

The continuous question of "what can I be doing at home to support my child?" was greeted with the response of "support them with their e-portfolio goals." Many parents were keen to have a go at commenting and many of them liked the idea of e-portfolios because the transparency in learning that was present. They showed the hard data (reading levels) through to reflections and evidence of learning (classroom work, modelling books, tests etc). They could see what their child was doing and how they were working in class to achieve this. A big change from our previous 'red portfolio' format. It will be really interesting to see how many parents translate the positive gestures and nods into actual comments and feedback in the e-portfolio - but I am hopeful that this will happen.

While yesterday I was feeling somewhat disheartened with the e-portfolios, I can see that the hard work has had a starting point and is developing into something more positive. We have already discussed getting feedback from parents and teachers as we head towards developing the next steps in our e-portfolios.

Thanks to onemanuprising for the formatting tips! :)

Photo Used Under CC: Rob Hogeslag


Pedro said...

I'm glad your e-portfolios are starting to head in the right direction for you. I like the idea of them being a workspace as well as a publishing space. If they were just a place where kids showed up to do work, it might be interesting to see how rich the information is. Might be easier on you too? Maybe kids could flag the things they are proud of to be 'published works'. Sharing clear data is fantastic. Must feel great to have such well informed conversations with parents. Top effort making this happen in your school.

Pete Hall
Summerland Primary

johnfaig said...

e-Portfolios are very powerful from several perspectives. First, they engage parents who can view their son/daughter's work and compare them to peers. It is also helpful for both parents and students to see their development. The most important aspect, however, may be as a reflection tool. Most students view an assignment, test, or project as the end result. The workload of most students ensures that a bad grade can be quickly forgotten. If you weave the e-portfolio back into the classroom, e-portfolios will become even more powerful. Students need to take pride in their work that they will reflect and revise it - even after the grade has been given.

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