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Fall After School 2010
“A portfolio tells a story. It is the story of knowing. Knowing about things... Knowing oneself... Knowing an audience... Portfolios are students' [and teachers’] own stories of what they know, why they believe they know it, and why others should be of the same opinion. A portfolio is opinion backed by fact... Students [and teachers] prove what they know with samples of their work.” Paulson and Paulson (pioneers of portfolios from constructivist standpoint) Somerville High School and OneVille will collaborate to create demonstration that fulfill the newly established School guidelines for Portfolios and provide students and teachers with a means of sharing academic progress and achievement with others in the Somerville High School community. These ePortfolios can also include additional elective elements that could be useful beyond the Somerville High School community as students apply for jobs or create college applications (i.c. descriptions of community service, internships, etc.). The ePortfolios will be stored on a demonstration Somerville High School ePortfolio intranet (meaning that there will be no access to these ePortfolios beyond the high school or demonstration project). [2011 note: This was changed to make use of Internet cloud storage through googlesites, wikispaces and posterous.]
1. Collaborate to produce ePortfolios that demonstrate learning and achievement for each Somerville High School Education Department with students and teachers 2. Create a team of experienced teachers and students who can serve as mentors and coaches to extend ePortfolios to the rest of the Somerville High School Community in the future 3. Generate an ePortfolio approach that allows students and teachers to provide constructive feedback, as well as technical and academic support. 4. Collect a toolbox of recommended open source software and media tools that can serve as the basis for producing ePortfolios. 5. Share elements of the demonstration ePortfolios with other Somerville High School educators and students to show the potential of the ePortfolio approach.
A more detailed description and recommendations for the project
The ePorfolio Project has already been shaped by recommendations and needs expressed by SomerVille High School administrators and educators. It will continued to evolve collaboratively. This detailed description serves as a starting place for the ePortfolio project and clarifies some recommendations from an initial meeting between OneVille staff and Somerville High School educators and further thinking from OneVille Staff.
Participants and their roles
Participants in the ePortfolio Demonstration Project will include Oneville Research Project, OneVille scholars and consultants, Somerville High School administrative representatives, department heads and teachers, and Someville High School students. Their roles will be: The OneVille Research Project will provide stipends directly to students and teachers participating in the Somerville High School ePortfolio Project based on a mutually agreed upon timeline, as well as some technical equipment, as shown in the attached ePortfolio Demonstration Project Budget The Equipment will become the property of the Somerville High School community at the end of the ePortfolio project. The OneVille Research project will also provide scholar/educators and consultants from the OneVille Team to provide day-to-day support for the ePorfolio project. The OneVille Scholars and Consultants will include a scholar/educator with experience in portfolio design for students and teachers and a scholar/educator with experience in educational applications of social media and software/hardware issues that might be associated with the ePortfolios. These OneVille staff will collaborate with Somerville High School ePortfolio participants and serve as coaches and facilitators in the process and their goal will be to assist in developing a student and teacher-led ePorrfolio process that can continue on into the future. Consultants with experience in specific tools may be brought in for training sessions, to address specific needs that may arise in the ePortfolio Project. Oneville staff will work with Somerville High School to design any permission forms deemed necessary for the ePortfolio project. OneVille staff will have access to the ePortfolio development process and be recording observations as part of their research. The Somerville High School will organize small teams of a teacher and two students that will represent each School Department, including the English, Foreign Language, History, Mathematics and Science Departments. If possible, the Vocational Education Department will be included in the project. To support the relevance of the ePortfolio project to the whole school community. OneVille recommends that the students be chosen to represent the diversity of the Somerville High School community across academic achievement, gender, ethnic background, home language, social class, age/grade, and academic/vocational goals.
This ePortfolio project is primarily concerned with producing demonstration portfolio entries for students. However, OneVille also recommends that participating teachers also create teaching portfolio entries to serve as master learners of the ePortfolio process with students, to experientially gain the skills and an understanding of the obstacles that will help future students, and to explore ePortfolios for their own professional growth. Students and teachers will meet regularly (initial recommendation is twice a week) with OneVille Staff to produce demonstration ePortfolio entries for each School Department and will participate in formative evaluation along the way offering constructive feedback and suggestion to each other.
ePorfolio Project Constructionist Approach
The pedagogical approach of the project is constructionist. Students, teachers and OneVille staff will work together to mutually provide support for the planning, design, construction and evaluation of ePortfolios and the ePortfolio process. All students, teachers and OneVille staff will play roles as both learners and experts, since it is likely that each will have unique skills and knowledge to contribute to different parts of the project (e.g. some students may have ideas, recommendations and feedback based on media and technical skills that go beyond those of some teachers). Participants will have both formal and informal opportunities to offer each other formative constructive feedback and suggestions during the design and ePortfolio building process: • An informal commenting process will be built into the ePortfolio platform so that participants across Departments can offer each other ongoing feedback and cross-germinate ideas about how to structure entries. Two formal presentation and evaluation sessions will help students, teachers and OneVille staff refine the ePortfolio entries and process.
At the end of the ePortfolio project, participating students and teachers will have an opportunity to publicly present their ePortfolios to members of the wider Somerville High School community. OneVille recommends that ePortfolio entries be designed to include demonstration of a mix of end products that demonstrate confidence and competence in subjects, as well as entries that demonstrate a learning process.
[2011 Budget Note: The first phase of the OneVille ePortfolio project included a budget of about
$11,000 for Somerville High School expenses. Teachers received $850. stipends and students received $400 stipends. Other expenses included things such as equipment, video-taping by students & tech department, as well as refreshments for the community ePortfolio presentation]
This is an initial recommendation for a 10-12 week schedule for the ePortfolio project that can serve as a starting place for collaboration and can be revised in the planning sessions to meet the needs of Somerville High School.
two 1 ½ hour sessions Two 90-minute planning sessions with all participating Somerville High School Educators will be held before the start of the program to collaborate on details for the ePortfolio project process. Among the topics to be discussed are student selection, software tools, equipment, accommodating individual departmental schedules and needs, feedback protocol and training.
3 hours Teachers, students and OneVille staff meet for three hours to train in portfolio development, feedback approaches and core technology skills.
ePortfolio Development I sessions
approximately 16 hours
Individual departmental teams meet with OneVille staff support over the course of four weeks (approximately 4 hours/week) to develop ePortfolio entries.
Mid-Program ePortfolio Presentation and Evaluation Session
2 hours All participants meet to formally present and discuss their progress on the ePortfolios. Participants will have a chance to offer each other feedback and suggestions and seek group advice for thorny problems that arise. Adjustments to the ePortfolio project can be made based on the outcome of this session.
ePortfolio Development II sessions
approximately 16 hours Individual departmental teams meet with OneVille staff support over the course of four weeks (approximately 4 hours/week) to further refine and develop ePortfolio entries based on feedback from the presentation and evaluation session.
Final Team ePortfolio Presentation and Evaluation Session
two hours All participants meet to formally present and discuss their ePortfolios. Participants will evaluate the ePortfolio project process and make recommendations for how to move the project forward, including a formal presentation of their work to the wider Somerville High School community.
Some possible open source software tools researched by OneVille Staff
Platforms for ePortfolios
BuddyPress social network software that can be used in school based on the power and flexibility of WordPress. Mahara is a free web-based interface to house the ePortfolios and provide a space for communication between its members. Elgg is a free social network website that could also house the ePortfolios and provide a better communication space than Mahara.
Tools that might be useful in building ePortfolio entries
The ePortfolio entires can be created using any of the digital tools listed below. Other tools might be suggested along the way: Audacity allows creating sound files in different formats. Microphone is required as well as an audio system (speakers). Scratch allows creating all sorts of simulations and it will be especially useful for science ePortfolios. The simulations can be uploaded to Scratch web site and run from there. Wikis allows for collaboration and sharing of any kind of documents via web. Students and teachers can edit documents together increasing the level of support and interaction among them. Tools for video making and editing vary and we will start with what the school has available and might use some free software tools, if privacy issues can be resolved. Learning Library is a tool created by New Media Literacies and is already embedded at the SHS web site. this web based tool to create “digital lessons” using any kind of digital media to “teach/introduce” any given subject matter or project to a given audience. It is a good way for a student to show what he knows by teaching others and being able to plan and create a “lesson” Google docs allows collaboration and sharing of text via web. It is similar to a wiki, but just for text documents. Google sketch allows the creation of powerful drawings, even professional ones. Slide Share (http://www.slideshare.net) allows creation of web based presentations similar to power point but with the capacity to add and synchronize sound. Others such Glogster.edu and Museum Box allows interactive presentations. Visualization tools such as Wordle, Tagxedo or The New York Times Visualization Lab can allow creation of web of words and other fun projects using words like collage.
Comics making tools such as ReadWriteThink’s Comic Creator, Professor Garfield’s Comics Lab can help students to be creative with their ePortfolios. Time Line tools such as MakeBeliefsComix Xtimeline, Time Glider or Timetoast can be very hand for social science projects. Mind map and idea brainstorm tools such as Bubbl.us, CoSketch.com and Cacoo allows students and teachers to plan their projects and present them as a summary.