Monday, January 30, 2012

Supporting Reflection with Mobile Devices

I am doing a Poster Session at ISTE 2012 in San Diego entitled,  mPortfolios: Supporting reflection in ePortfolios with mobile devices. Here is the first draft of the document that I will eventually print out in poster size.  I think I will also try to create a Prezi document based on this diagram. Each of the icons can become links to the specific app website. A lot of this information is posted online in my mPortfolios Google Site.

The Reflection Cycle, which I posted earlier, is based on a theory of Self-Regulated Learning that was the underlying theory of the ePearl ePortfolio system developed at Concordia University. I have adapted the process to include suggestions for mobile apps with supporting websites, or those that include the ability to upload artifacts to Dropbox, GoogleDocs, YouTube, etc. I also identified the multiple portfolio processes that are identified in the JISC publication Effective Practices with ePortfolios: Capturing & storing evidence, Reflecting, Giving & receiving feedback, Planning & setting goals, Collaborating, Presenting to an audience. I also added indications of how the strategies fit within the revised Bloom's Taxonomy. I have placed the Evernote app under all three stages because of the impressive implementation by the teachers and students at Trillium Charter School in Portland. The blog maintained by Rob VanNood is a very insightful documentation of their implementation of Evernote within the self-regulated learning process.

I would love feedback on the diagram, including more suggestions for useful apps to include. A full size version is posted on my website, as well as a PDF version.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

FETC Slides

Last week, I spent two days in Orlando at the Florida Educational Technology Conference, doing a workshop on Tuesday entitled, Student-Centered Interactive ePortfolios with GoogleApps, and a presentation on Wednesday entitled, mPortfolio Development with Mobile Devices, where I used a version of the slides that I already had uploaded to Slideshare (my Powerpoint files have too many images to upload now!).

I learned a few new things at this conference:
  • I can now edit Google Sites with Safari on my iPad and iPhone. I'm not sure when that change happened... but it is about time!
  • The Richland2 School District, where I worked last September, was one of three districts that was highlighted in the Google Chromebook sessions. They made a very good case for adopting this device for 1-to-1 adoptions. (See Tom Vander Ark's blog entry in Huffington Post!)
  • There are now at least two options for editing video online (which would include the Chromebooks): YouTube Editor and Stupeflix Studio. I will need to play with both of these options for digital storytelling.
Wednesday evening, I flew from Orlando to Anchorage (a difference of 90 degrees Fahrenheit!). I will write another blog entry about that trip, because I worked with the Languages department, and we explored a lot of strategies to help them capture student learning in their respective target languages. I am very interested in researching more strategies for documenting second-language learning.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Technology & Learning Question of the Week

Today, the Question of the Week on the Technology & Learning newsletter was:

Is your district using e-portfolios to evaluate student work?
  • YES. These are great tools for assessing students and building individual portfolios.
  • NO. E-portfolios are too hard to manage. 
  • LOOKING INTO IT. Our school is evaluating the logistics of implementing these assessment tools. 
I find the statements following each response to represent a biased and narrow perception of the use of e-portfolios (for evaluation), but there is no way to add a comment or provide feedback on the survey itself. No wonder we have limited adoption of e-portfolios with this lack of understanding about the genre. E-portfolios are not just tools; they are a philosophy and a process to support learning!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Worldwide online class

I am pleased with the registration of my first public online class: Intro to K-12 ePortfolios. The participants are primarily from North America, although I have students from Europe (The Netherlands, Germany, Italy) and Asia (Hong Kong, Japan). In the U.S., I have several groups of 3, 4 and 10 from school districts! The majority have signed up as "singletons" so I will be developing some groups for collaboration. Any group of four or more will qualify for a private one-hour live teleconference via Skype or GoToMeeting. Deadline for registration in this cohort is January 16, so I will have the final number next week. The next cohort begins in April.

This online class has many new elements for me: using Edmodo instead of threaded discussion in a course management system like Blackboard or Moodle; posting the course content online in Google Sites; doing live conversations in Google+ Hangouts. I team-taught an online course last fall using Edmodo for student discussions, and I have been using Google Sites for years. I picked Edmodo because it was a social network that can be used in schools, and has some features that make it more user friendly than a CMS. Maybe in the future I will use Google+ Circles for asynchronous conversations in the class. However, using Google+ Hangouts is new for me. I have the option to use GoToWebinar, but that tool is very instructor-centered. I really want us to have more of a conversation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

XO 3.0 at CES

The One Laptop Per Child Foundation is showing its $100 tablet, the XO 3.0 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. It looks different from the design announced in 2010, but is now closer to production.

While it won't be available under a "give one, get one" purchase at this time, the technology is very interesting, especially the solar panel/cover, giving two hours of power for one hour of charging. According to TGDaily, here are some other specs: 8-inch display with 1024x768 resolution, 512MB RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 1GHz Marvell Armada PXA618 processor. Under the hood, the tablet will run either Android or Linux (Sugar) operating system and can be charged using a solar panel cover or a third-party wind-up handle mechanism, as well as a standard wall plug. I can hardly wait until this tablet goes into production, and we can order one under the same charity arrangement.

Friday, January 06, 2012

VoiceThread iOS App

I just read a Tech & Learning blog entry from teacher Bob Sprankle, about using the mobile version of VoiceThread. Here is a VoiceThread he put together with his students, that "was captured almost entirely by walking around the room and having students reflect as they were learning/working." The blog post was entitled, "What's Your Favorite Transformative Tool of 2011?" I have been following the VoiceThread tool for several years, and am excited that they now have a mobile app that can be used on an iPod Touch device. The app is free, but there are a limited number of voicethreads that can be posted per email address. There are educator accounts, where a teacher can set up 50 student accounts (email addresses not required) for $60/year or $15/month. This is an interesting discussion of

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Webinar scheduled

I will be conducting a 90-minute webinar for School Leadership 2.0 on February 15, 2012, 7:00-8:30 PM EST (4:00-5:30 PST). The title of the Webinar: Balancing the Two Faces of ePortfolios. Registration page: Description:
This presentation will focus on the two different approaches to e-portfolio development: workspace vs. showcase, process vs. product, portfolios-as-assessment-for-learning/improvement vs. portfolios-as-assessment-for-accountability. Learning portfolios focus on reflection and strategies to support metacognition: "capturing the moment" with mobile devices, blogging/reflective journals for in-depth reflection, and digital storytelling. We will also discuss how to use of electronic portfolios as part of a comprehensive assessment management system supporting both paradigms of assessment for continuous improvement and assessment for accountability. 
We will focus on maintaining student-centered e-portfolios with Web 2.0 and mobile tools across developmentally progressive levels. Educators can select a minimal level of implementation (ARCHIVE: electronic storage of artifacts); a secondary level (PROCESS: documenting learning over time using a reflective journal/blog with linked artifacts); or a higher level (PRODUCT: organizing reflections and artifacts thematically in a showcase/presentation to demonstrate specific outcomes/goals/standards).

Monday, January 02, 2012

Online course announcement

The course content of the first course of the E-Portfolio Academy is online as both a self-paced and facilitated course:
Introduction to E-Portfolios in K-12 Schools

The facilitated course is open for registration through Paypal or school purchase order:

The content of the two versions of the class is the same. There are three differences between the self-paced and facilitated classes:
  1. The facilitated class has a cohort of students who go through the content together and carry on a facilitated asynchronous discussion.
  2. I will be directly involved in the private discussions and will lead the cohort through the content, including live events.
  3. The self-paced class is free; there is a charge for the facilitated class.
The discussion schedule will be provided only to members of the facilitated class through the Edmodo group. The discussion will be asynchronous, so there are no specific times to be online, but I will be scheduling some Google+ hangouts which will be synchronous (live), but not during the first couple of weeks.

The course interaction will be facilitated through an Edmodo group (private educational social network), Google+ Hangouts, and email group. Be sure to sign up for Google + and an Edmodo (teacher) account. Right after the New Year, I will also send invitations for the private groups to all registrants. The first facilitated course cohort will begin between January 2 and January 16. The next cohort is scheduled to begin in early April.

I was asked about the approximate number of hours per week that one can expect. Here is my response:

There are six lessons in the course. In the facilitated course, we will have a slow start: the first lesson will last two weeks (January 2-16) to give everyone a chance to get used to the course tools and the course process... and some are just getting back from their Christmas Break. To answer your question, this facilitated course is not your traditional academic course measured by "seat time." You will get out of the course what you put into it...within the schedule with the other course participants.

In each lesson, there are four process elements:
Inputs: Readings and videos
Outputs: Discussions/Group Reflections
    Implementation Plan Component(s)
    Personal Reflections (your blog entry)

How much time each person takes will be highly personal... some people will skim the readings, some will read them thoroughly plus all of the supplemental readings. Some will write extensive discussion posts and responses, some will write brief entries, and no responses. Some will write extensive blog entries, others won't write much each week. The weekly discussions and blog posts are only "required" for those taking the course for college credit (and there is a rubric in the course content that outlines the credit course requirements). If you are not taking the facilitated class for credit, you can get caught up on readings and reflections once your other class is over.

I realize most participants are teaching full time. I will be posting the schedule for the discussions for the facilitated course in the Edmodo discussion group. We can take the "fast track" or the slower approach to covering the course lessons. In other words, we can take one week or two weeks per lesson (7 to 12 weeks). My preference is to let the participants make that decision, although I need to finish the course by the end of February.