Day 132 (of 183) in an eportfolio frame of mind!
Well – tonight certainly set a tone for some upcoming discussions around eportfolios! At tonights #83learns board meeting, our Director of Instruction nicely pointed me out (hiding in the back) as leading a mini-service session on eportfolios during our upcoming New Curriculum Day (friday).
Now….while my school uses @freshgrade, I am still open minded to be able to share out on a few different available programs and eportfolio services – and even made a highlight video http://www.sor.sd83.bc.ca/ePortfolios%20-%20Small.mov for the “main players” and inspired by sunday night’s #bcedchat conversation around memes….came up with:
Best of all has been the reaction & support that each eportfolio has provided in support. The methodologies are all different but the goal is the same: communicate student learning.
Tonight I was also asked if I could step in and help out with a #FGchat (freshgrade twitter chat) when one of the regular moderators was unavailable. It was fun to be able to step up and both share some of my experiences as well as learn from others. The world of eportfolios is not enhanced through linear gains – but rather through collaboration and creatively sharing, learning and enhancing on each others work….leapfrogging each other in a sense knowing that whoever is “in the lead” today…maybe playing catchup later…but happy to do so because the focus is on communicating learning, not who’s tool is “better”
So even later tonight, I got an email from a small school that is also asking about eportfolios (so I started to see the pattern du jour) with a couple of good questions. So I’m going to share (paraphrased) their questions and my thoughts/answers.
Q1: As principal, how do I feel about being informed about what students are doing?
A1: As principal, I feel that by perusing the eportfolios, I have a much better understanding of the learning and achieving of my learners. Reading the report cards only reinforces that I can write the majority of them without ever seeing the student nor looking at any of their work. Indeed, I have done that as a practice activity to see how accurate I would be…..too accurate for my liking. But I can’t “fake” the work that is shared as authentic samples from learners! I do have access to each eportfolios so I can ‘pop in’ but not a supervision piece. I am able to get into each classroom every day, but I do feel I have a better sense of student learning from the eportfolios I’ve seen than the report cards I have read.
Q2: Secondly, do you provide any sort of formal “report” to parents aside from conferencing and ePortfolios?
A2: I like this one because at a recent eportfolio session, one representative was asked about “weighting” and “averaging” and she paused…..because even though the eportfolio system “can” do it….should we?? “We” want to continue to focus on the importance of formative assessments over summative. I’m ready to see learning journeys just continue…but not everyeone is “there yet”. We do complete a “letter grade” based on a portfolio review for entry into the PR cards…..but….hoping for an ongoing transition to seeing Learning as a lifelong learning journey….not something done one year at a time.
I’m in an eportfolio frame of mind….because so many others are thinking about them too! Viva la ed-revolution!!