A Teacher of Technology in Education

Having the opportunity to work in two schools, which by definition are very similar but are completely different in many aspects.
Since 2006, I have worked with students in one of my schools to design and create a ‘Digital Portfolio’ after attending Professional Learning through Catholic Education Office Melbourne.
Here is a link to a presentation I did back in 2007 for ICT Leaders in my area: Sample Student Digital Portfolio Considerations (Overview of how Digital Portfolios have been used)

Up until half way through 2010 classroom teachers and I worked collaboratively in ICT lessons, however this changed and my lessons became ‘release time’ ie classroom teachers did not attend my lessons and I worked on ICT skills as more ‘open ended tasks’ .  It took a bit of adjustment not having the support of class teachers in ICT lessons, I missed the discussions I used to have with class teachers about ICT particularly how to continue supporting student learning and engagement using ICT tools.

Change also begun to occur in the use of Digital Portfolios at the school, as now I was the driver the Digital Portfolios through ICT, teachers were not using/adding/reflecting/encouraging the use of Digital  Portfolios in their own classrooms.
I decided to change the Portfolio to an ICT Digital Portfolio as an avenue to document, reflect and record student learning in ICT.  Up until the end of 2011 I still asked students to ‘burn a copy’ of their Digital Portfolio onto CD, design a CD cover using MS Publisher, however many students wanted to add more of their work to burn so it could be shared with their families at home.

This year, I have not begun portfolios with Year 3 ( which is when traditionally I introduce Portfolios) however with Year 5/6 they have recorded their learnings/reflections on the different areas we have covered  this term
(photography, camp reflections, touch typing skills )

Reading a reflection by Celia Coffa  ‘Digital Portfolios – E Portfolios – Children as reflective learners‘  I have had many of the same thoughts and questions and wonderings. With the greater use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms, is there still a place for digital portfolios?
I used to have an open ICT session, inviting parents/guardians in to view student work, also during Parent/Specialist Teacher/Student Conferences I encourage the students to share their learning and skills in ICT with their families.  However this is only 5-10 students out of the whole student population.  Class teachers do not include the digital portfolios in their open sessions/open days etc.

It brings me now to lots of questions to consider…

**Do I go down the path of ‘blogging’ to showcase student learning and reflection?

** Do I continue with my ‘school blog’ or should I create class blogs for each class in Year 3?

** Do I encourage teachers in 3/4 & 5/6 to also consider the blogging format as a way of showcasing student learning & reflection?

** Do I still continue with the MS PowerPoint version of Digital Portfolio with Year 4 -6?

I will revisit Celia’s reflections for any further insights, as well as Silvia Tolisano Langwitches Blog  and continue my gentle encouragement and hope that teachers give blogging a go!

Look forward to other thoughts/reflections on Student Digital Portfolios – still relevant?

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