Over the last 6 months there has been a vast number of aha! moments and questions that have been raised for me in regards to e-portfolios. In the last post on our Learning Links I skimmed across a few of these concepts. After having a few discussions with people at EduCamp it gave me a chance to think through these concepts a bit more. In this post I want to reflect on these concepts and look at a few of the big questions I have floating around.
Tech vs Reflect When we put the technical needs in front the of the student needs are we then creating barriers for the students to overcome? From moving away from a Learning Management System for student e-Portfolios to a free relatively low-tech portfolio system has allowed me to see students completing tasks in a range of situations.
Transference Across Sectors One of the key concepts for me that make an e-Portfolio powerful throughout a learners life is the ability for it to be transferred across all age levels. The MOE acknowledges that the lack of interoperability between systems and schools is a major barrier to the use and advancement of Managed Learning Environments (MLE).
At EduCamp I had the opportunity to talk again to one of the ex-teachers from Manaia Kindergarten about what they have been doing with their Blogger based e-portfolios. Their system seems like a powerful way of allowing the learning to be owned by the family and then transferred on throughout that child's learning. NaketaNZ talks more about this in her post on EduCamp. A few years ago I had the chance to present at an Early Childhood Conference and then talking to some of the same EC educators at EduCamp, it reinforced that there needs to be an eye kept on what is happening for our students that enter our schools from ECE through to where our kids go at the end of their primary schooling. When we are talking about e-portfolios it's all that learning that comes and goes with them and how is it going to go with them?
Continuuing on the path of moving on with the e-Portfolios (Learning Links) that we are developing within our classes I am becoming more interested in the pathway of creating individual blogs for each student to track their learning through. At the moment there are a few ways of creating and maintaining them that would work effectively and safely for the students and families. This will be part of the ongoing development.
Through a range of conversations we have already identified that a large portion of time needs to be placed to upskill and develop our parents knowledge and understanding of e-learning. The change from paper portfolios to digital portfolios was received well by the majority of my parents - who were really keen to see the variety of learning their children were involved in. But this opened the door for more questions and new knowledge that parents realised they need to keep up with what their students are doing in class. A next step is to run a series of workshops along with another teacher to develop our parents understanding. I can see that if we move to blogs as a primary way of sharing learning that for them to be highly successful we will need to run a series of workshops/sessions in varying formats for parents. I would be interested to know how those utilising e-portfolios to share student learning are informing and upskilling their parents to use and respond within them also?