Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Worldwide E-Portfolios-in-K-12 Community of Practice?

I am working on a plan to develop a worldwide community of practice to support the design and implementation of electronic portfolio processes in K-12 schools. The primary audience for this Community of Practice (COP) will be K-12 teachers and Technology Coordinators, providing the following professional development through online course content. The initial courses would focus on  GoogleApps/Digication/Teacher Dashboard and a few other Web 2.0-based tools and mobile devices. The COP will be formally announced at ISTE 2011 and the first online course will begin in August 2011. Here is a preliminary outline of the activities that could be supported by this Community of Practice.
  • Clarify a Vision for implementing electronic portfolios with students in your classroom
  • Using GoogleApps for Education domain with support from local school or district ITS
  • Identify different tools available to implement electronic portfolios for both teachers and students
  • Support a pilot study with students to test out the different free electronic portfolio tools, based on Internet connectivity (Digication, Google Sites, etc.) and mobile devices or 1-1 laptops
  • Provide professional development in electronic portfolio development knowledge and skills, using either face-to-face or online strategies, to be able to:
  • Capture & store evidence in a variety of multimedia formats and Web 2.0/mobile tools
  • Reflect on Learning - “reflection = the heart and soul of a portfolio”
  • Give & receive feedback as part of formative Assessment FOR Learning
  • Plan & set goals as a lifelong learning strategy
  • Collaborate using Web 2.0 tools
  • Present showcase portfolio to an audience
  • Evaluate portfolios used for summative Assessment OF Learning
  • Share strategies for using reflection to support student learning, both “capturing the moment” during the learning process and retrospectively as a culminating activity
  • Develop a long range plan for implementing electronic portfolios in classroom/school/district
  • Determine success criteria for electronic portfolio implementation
  • Support classroom-based research on the implementation of electronic portfolios in K-12 classrooms through community of practice and guidance on gathering data, publishing results
  • Provide a Certificate of Excellence in E-Portfolio Practice to teachers upon publication of classroom-based research after two years of implementation
  • Graduate-level credit available at an additional fee. Professional Development Clock Hours also available with nominal assessment fee (based on individual district/state requirements).
These are the initial ideas. This COP could provide a great opportunity for collaboration among graduate students who want to study K-12 Electronic Portfolio Development for a Masters or Doctoral degree through their selected graduate programs. I have served as an external examiner on multiple dissertations and theses that are focused on electronic portfolios, with another one planned for July in the U.K.

There would be three levels of support in this Community of Practice:
  • Self-paced: a website with course content and readings, which will be free, but no communication with instructor or other participants
  • Collaborative: a collaborative space for dialogue and feedback throughout the year, which will require a one-time membership fee
  • Credit: participants in the collaborative space may earn university credit for full participation in the courses, for an additional credit fee (I am working on finding the right university to offer graduate credit for these online courses)
I posted a form online to collect indications of interest, and have received more than 70 responses in five days, although some of the respondents are from higher education. I plan to keep the form up until the ISTE Conference in June.  In a later post, I will elaborate on the online courses that will be offered and a tentative schedule. Feedback is welcome.

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