Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Online Courses under Development

I am working on the following course outlines to be available in the Fall Quarter 2011:
  1. Overview of Student-Centered Electronic Portfolios  (generic, no specific tools, an overview of the different purposes/tools, with an emphasis on collection, reflection, and direction/goal-setting) - 1 credit - 3 weeks with six lessons or 6 weeks with six lessons (20 hours) - 3-week version of course offered twice a quarter
  2. Implementing Electronic Portfolios in K-12 Education with Google Apps (Docs, Sites, Blogger, YouTube, Picasa, Digication, Teacher Dashboard) - 3 credits - 10 weeks, 20 lessons (60 hours) Prerequisite: Overview class
  3. Classroom-Based Research on Implementing Electronic Portfolios in K-12 Education - 1-3 variable credit - 10 weeks (may be repeated twice?) (20-60 hours) Prerequisite: Implementing class - This class is meant to support teachers the rest of the school year.
  4. Adding Voice to E-Portfolios with Digital Narratives - 1 credit - 3 weeks, six lessons or 6 weeks, six lessons (20 hours) (with a focus on reflection in e-portfolios through multimedia)
I want to pilot the Overview course (#1) before the ISTE conference in June, and offer it officially by September 1. At the same time, I want to get started on designing the Implementation class (#2). I will work on the other two in the fall. As of tonight, 100 people have filled out my online form indicating interest in the course... in 8 days. I guess there is some interest!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Evolution of Electronic Portfolios

I was recently asked for information on the evolution of electronic  portfolios. My response:
There are several levels that could be addressed: the context, the technology and the pedagogy. In the 90s, much of the development and implementation of e-portfolios was in K-12 schools. That stopped in 2001 (thanks to NCLB?), and the emphasis was in higher education. I am hoping to bring e-portfolios back to K-12 through an online community of practice. In Europe, there is an emphasis on health care, workplace and community portfolios, documented at EIFEL's conferences since 2003. With the emergence of social networking, which one could argue involves portfolio-like activities, the electronic portfolio has become more personal and universal.

The technology began on desktop computers in the early 90s, published on CD-Recordable discs in the late 90s, on the Web with customized systems (or web authoring tools) in early 2000s, Web 2.0 in the late 2000s, and now mobile devices combined with Web 2.0.

The pedagogy began as formative assessment in the 90s, summative assessment in higher ed in the 2000s, and individual learning/digital identity development in 2010s (at least that is what I am focusing on). The current wisdom (thanks to Julie Hughes) is for e-portfolios to be more of a conversation than a presentation.

The evolution depends on which lens you are using to view electronic portfolios. Anyone write up a more formal history of this evolution?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Google Apps announcement

I just received this message from one of my GoogleApps domains:
Google Apps accounts are undergoing an improvement, allowing you to give users access to over 60 additional applications from Google. We encourage you to transition your organization’s accounts on your own schedule now.

There are several advantages to transitioning on your own schedule:
Make the change on your own timeline
Have time to try the new infrastructure with a subset of your accounts first
Use automated mailing lists and email templates to pre-notify your users
Get access to over 60 additional applications from Google right away
Finally! I am excited to try out the new improvements. It's been a year since they announced these changes were coming. "This change will let users access many new services such as Blogger, Reader, Google Voice and calling-in-Gmail (US only), Picasa Web Albums, AdWords and iGoogle from their Google Apps accounts."

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.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Online Course in 2011-12 School Year for K-12 schools

I am thinking of offering an online class on E-Portfolios in K-12 Schools throughout the next school year. It would provide an opportunity to guide schools through a year-long process of implementation with GoogleApps/Digication/Teacher Dashboard and maybe also with mobile devices. The plan is to primarily use a private Google Group and Google Site to facilitate the course, with live events available through Skype, Elluminate, or Adobe Connect. I am gathering information now with a form: