About Thinks

Sometimes good thinks happen and sometimes bad thinks happen. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the two.

Some thinks need immediate action and some thinks may remain as thinks forever. Thinks can be angry and heated. Thinks can be joyful. Thinks should never be cold.

These thinks are linked to many other wonderful thinks and I like to attribute these.

These thinks do not necessary reflect those thinks of my employer.

Think long, think on.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mark Osborne ePortfolios

I LOVE the idea of ePortfolios - especially in the way that Mark Osborne so carefully points out that they are a tool for reflection. He convincingly argues that he would happily accept a pen and paper reflective journal from a student at his school. His mission is to engage students in reflection - an ePortfolio is a tool for this.

I particularly appreciated how an ePortfolio enables us to see the WHOLE child in terms of assessing them through the Key Competencies. For example while a child may not be able to demonstrate 'Relating to Others' in the traditional classroom environment, a glimpse into their Saturday morning soccer game can show the teacher that the child can demonstrate competency in this area.

The ePortfolio product he uses is http://myportfolio.school.nz/ This has an added component that resembles social networking environments such as facebook. Students have profile pics, a wall, and the opportunity to personalise their homepage with attributes about THEMSELVES. Mark articulates very clearly how this enables him to establish a genuine and full picture of his students. Can you imagine how long it would take you to ask 30 students how their weekend was with great depth? This social networking environment can paint a picture of this in a very efficient way.

He also emphasised the importance of triangulation in that there is an ongoing dialogue between family, student, teacher (and the whole world if, and only if, you wish). Exciting stuff! He took us through many of the sophisticated features (such as enabling public or specific person) viewing for a specified time. He points out that this is particularly useful for potential employers etc.

Furthermore he points out that the compiling of these portfolios are by the student and the use of digital technologies such as webcams, video cams and cameras can enable students portfolios to become vibrant and meaningful records of their learning journeys.

Like I said in my Mark Treadwell post, we all need to get moving on this to ensure that no children are left behind.

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