Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bring Your Own ePortfolio?

In the plenary session at the ePIC 2012 conference in London, there was another discussion of the variety of ePortfolio tool options and whether we should encourage adults to "bring your own ePortfolio" to an educational institution. Since the online tools have become so robust and easy to use (Google Sites, Weebly), and online storage is readily available (Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft SkyDrive--now OneDrive), the barriers to lifelong ePortfolios are dropping rapidly. We can follow the example of Salt Lake Community College to require students to select from a variety of supported options:
Here are their tutorials using each tool.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Portfolios, Personalization and Passion

There were several themes at ISTE2012 that have reinforced my philosophy of ePortfolio implementation: personalizing education for each child, helping each child find their passion to be more creative and entrepreneurial.

Sir Ken Robinson led the opening keynote panel on the topic, "Redefining Horizons: Encouraging Students’ Passion to Achieve" with panelists Shawn Covell (of Qualcomm), author Marc Prensky, and actress/scientist Mayim Bialik. His book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, "is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels."

Dr. Yong Zhao provided an interesting and entertaining presentation on "Global, Creative, and Entrepreneurial: Defining High-Quality Education."

Monday, June 25, 2012

ISTE 2012 presentations

I'm sitting in the Bloggers Café at ISTE in San Diego. Here are my slides for my presentation that I gave earlier today.
Thanks to Jackie Gerstein for taking this picture!
Here is a sample of the tweets from my presentation:
  • “@2footgiraffe: What? So what? And now what? Via @eportfolios #mnpstech #iste12” @CoachWagz
  • What? So what? And now what? Via @eportfolios #mnpstech #iste12
  • @eportfolios says: eportfolios are a type of "Academic MySpace" #iste12 #edtech
  • @eportfolios if you were building an ePortfolio from scratch and had no limits, what would your top 3 requirements be? #iste12
  • @eportfolios says: "Google believes in data liberation." Hah! #edtech #iste12
  • @eportfolios says: "Why google?...It's an integrated ecosystem." #iste12 #edtech
  • @eportfolios is a genius! #iste12
  • E portfolio is both process and product! #eportfolios @eportfolios #iste12
  • @eportfolios says "remember you are telling a story, not just any story...tell it with pride." #iste12 #edtech
  • The purpose (of portfolios) drives the process and content. Via @eportfolios #iste12
  • #iste12 we need a balanced outcome. Student centered and school centered. Via @eportfolios #mnpstech
  • @eportfolios Helen Barrett has been working w/eportfolios for 21+ yrs #iste12
  • Looking forward to hearing what Helen Barrett (@eportfolios) has to share about e-portfolios w/Google Apps #iste12
  • Excited to hear from @eportfolios AKA Helen Barrett on ePortfolios at #ISTE12
  • Where have I heard Dr. Helen Barrett before? It had to be another conference... #iste12 #eportfolios @eportfolios
  • Me 2 #pwsd RT @hglasser: Dr. Barrett @eportfolios - Student-Centered Interactive #eportfolios with #Google Apps #iste12
  • Packed room for @eportfolios interested to hear how sharing items via google in public venue- how are reflections handled #iste12
  • @hglasser @eportfolios Thank you both for the link to resources! #NAISTE #iste12
  • Dr. Helen Barrett @eportfolios - Student-Centered Interactive #eportfolios with #Google Apps #iste12
  • Student-Centered Interactive #Eportfolios by @eportfolios #SlideShare #iste12
  • Got my seat for #eportfolios at #iste12! @eportfolios , I'm ready to learn!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Conference in Columbia, SC

I provided a keynote address and presentations at a Google Summit sponsored by the Richland Two School District in Columbia, SC in June 5-7, 2012. Here are my slides:

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Google Docs now Google Drive

In April, Google announced the long-awaited Google Drive, which is an enhancement of Google Docs. Biggest change: similar to Dropbox, there is now a Google Drive application for desktop computers to "copy" the files to your desktop (although there are only links to the Google Docs). Instead of the 1 GB limit of Docs free storage, Drive allows 5 GB for free. Any document can be shared and can have a URL for hyperlinking from an ePortfolio (in Dropbox, documents with URLs need to be in the Public folder). GoogleDocs/Drive uses Collections which act like "tags" rather than folders... which means a document can be assigned to more than one collection (i.e., English and Portfolio).

Here are some interesting comparisons of the difference online storage services:

Monday, April 23, 2012

#SSCHAT on ePortfolios tonight

Here are my tweets on an hour-long Twitter chat on ePortfolios tonight using the hashtag #sschat . It is hard to follow the conversation while trying to provide some meaningful content, so I prepared a lot of these tweets in advance. I still found it to be a disjointed discussion... I guess. Of course, the order is reversed in my tweet history, so here is the order that I posted my tweets:
  • My #ePortfolios main website with links to lots of Google Sites:
  • Let's Answer 3 questions about #eportfolios: WHAT? WHY? HOW (including tools)? (in that order)
  • WHAT? define #portfolio: purposeful collection of student work demonstrating learning, progress, achievement over time.
  • WHAT? #eportfolios = #portfolio contents developed & stored electronically - online (now) dvd/cd (old model)
  • #ePortfolio processes=collect/archive, select/hyperlink, reflection/storytelling, direction/goals, present+feedback w/ choice&voice
  • What to collect in #eportfolio? depends on your purpose. - first step in the process - figure out your purpose.
  • WHAT? online #eportfolio similar to social networking processes: + sharing, interactivity & communication w/acadmic focus
  • WHAT? reflection of student as person undergoing continuous personal development, not just store of evidence (JISC-Rebbeck)
  • WHAT? evidence = artifacts (student work) + reflection (rationale/self-assessment) + validation (evaluation) depending on outcomes
  • #eportfolio artifacts can be text, images, audio, video - let students use imagination to demonstrate their leaning
  • WHY? What are your reasons/interests for student #eportfolios?
  • High stakes Standardized tests & #eportfolios come out of different paradigms of learning & assessment. behaviorism/constructivism
  • IMHO #eportfolios should be part of a strategy for lifelong learning, not only short term accountability
  • WHY? #eportfolios = persistent learning record gives students opportunities for taking ownership of their learning #NETP
  • #NETP=National Educational Technology Plan (2010). #ePortfolios on p.12 & 34
  • #NETP Student-managed electronic learning portfolios part of persistent learning record & help students develop…
  • #NETP ...self-awareness required to set learning goals, express own views of strengths, weaknesses, and achievements…
  • #NETP ...& take responsibility for them.
  • There are student-centered #eportfolios that let them explore their purpose and passions & institution-centered EPs used for accountability
  • WHY #ePortfolios? 41 Benefits:
  • HOW? Good resource from NZ: DIGITAL PORTFOLIOS: Guidelines for beginners
  • HOW? Free online tools for #ePortfolio dev:
  • ePort processes:Capturing/storing evidence, Reflecting, Giving/receiving feedback, Planning/setting goals, Collaborating, Presenting
  • HOW? Free online #ePortfolio tools include: WordPress, GoogleApps, mobile apps, Weebly, Yola, Mahara, Digication (with Google)
  • HOW? K12 #ePortfolios with GoogleApps:
  • HOW? 3 levels ePort Dev: 1.artifact dev&storage, 2.reflective journal (blog) 3.showcase portfolio
  • 3 levels come from my chapter Balancing the 2 Faces of #ePortfolios:
  • Level 1 #ePortfolio: artifact development and storage online with URL. Tools: Google Docs, Dropbox, EPwebsites
  • Level 2 #ePortfolio: learning portfolio/reflective journal organized chronologically. Tools: blog (wordpress, Blogger, EPwebsites)
  • Level 3 #ePortfolio: showcase portfolios organized thematically Tools: Weebly, blog pages, Google Sites, EPwebsites
  • Popular specific #ePortfolio websites which also include blogs: Mahara (open source), Epsilen, Weebly
  • Website with lots of information/scaffolding reflection, especially in blogs & showcase portfolios:
  • Support Reflection in #ePortfolios using Mobile Devices: #ISTE12 poster session)
  • Facilitated online class Intro to #ePortfolios in K-12 begins next week.
  • Learn more about #ePortfolios in self-paced or facilitated courses: Focus on GoogleApps, Mahara, mobiles
  • Some #ePortfolio-specific websites & GoogleApps can be kept private (behind passwords) to address FERPA concerns.
  • Was there consensus on whether to assess eportfolios? #sschat Do you mean give feedback (assess) or grade (evaluation)?
  • Depends on purpose. Feedback supports learning. Grading makes portfolio just another assignment. Want more!
  • Join me in online facilitated course starting next week: Intro to K-12 ePortfolios - using GoogleApps
  • Online facilitated class starting May 1: Intro to K-12 ePortfolios (generic tools)
  • Also learn about using mobile devices to support reflection in #ePortfolios

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Using Schoology to facilitate online course communication

During the first cohort of my online course, Introduction to K-12 ePortfolios, I used Edmodo as the environment for discussion. The normal process in conducting distance classes is usually through a structured course management system, such as Blackboard or Moodle. These systems are very instructor-centered. I wanted to use more student-centered tools, so why not use a social network? There are many available, including Facebook and Ning. Since this course was for K-12 teachers, I selected a tool that can be used in K-12 classrooms. Therefore, the primary social network was Edmodo, with some use of Google (Groups, Plus).

my Schoology Folders (Intro to K-12 ePortfolios course)
While Edmodo was easy to use, and looked like Facebook, it did not have true threaded discussion. While I could post a question, and the participants could reply to a post, there was no ability to reply to a reply. I also found it difficult to scroll back through all of the posts to find specific entries...the organization was chronological, not thematic (no one used tags). I tried setting up age-level groups, but they were not used by many of the participants. As a social network for schools, I think it is a great tool, but I was not happy with using it to facilitate my course. So I went looking for another online service.

Years ago, I used NiceNet, so I opened a new account, and set up a course, but I was not happy with the text-only nature of the website (it is a voluntary effort that hasn't changed much in the last ten years). I'm also not sure it does the type of threaded discussion I am seeking. I have taught courses using Blackboard, so I opened a course under their free CourseSites service. I know Blackboard supports the kind of threaded discussion I want. I have also used Moodle, but I'm not sure I have the time to find a reliable free hosting site.

While in Canby School District in early April, I asked about recommendations for a learning management system and was told about Schoology. So, I signed up for an account, and spent most of today setting up my course. I am impressed! I was able to set up folders and organize all of the course activities for each lesson within the appropriate folder. I could hide some of the materials on the site, giving participants a simple interface shown here. I even copied a lot of the content from the course Google Site, so that most of the course information is in one place, but it retained the links to the resources in my Google Site. I also like the Calendar, where I can announce our live events to be held using Google+ Hangouts.  Oh yes, it also has an iOS app!
Schoology course calendar

The next cohort begins May 1, but participants in the first cohort can also join this group. I have also changed the time frame for the course. Participants can proceed at their own pace through the course materials. I will conduct weekly Hangouts for the course participants as online Office Hours, where I will respond to individual questions and learning needs. Register by April 30, 2012.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Revised course plans (and travel plans)

Never again will I plan an international trip over Skype. Since before November 7, when the proposal was submitted, I have been working with the State Department's English Language Specialist Program to spend several weeks in Vietnam in March, because of the interest of a few English faculty members for training in electronic portfolios. I was told that the proposal was approved in February (but March was too soon to travel). Since then, I have been frustrated because I have not been able to get the details about my travel or the status of my visit. Until April 10, I was assured that they were waiting on final approvals, first from DC, then from a supervisor in Bangkok. A week ago, I applied for my travel Visa. Then, late on the night of April 10 on Skype, I was informed that an administrator in the Consulate has cancelled my trip. Still more approvals needed and paperwork to complete while classes are ending in early May. Oh, the bureaucracy! Now I need to figure out what I'm going to do for the next couple of weeks. Plant a garden? (posted to my Facebook account)
Instead, I spent some time last weekend revising two online course outlines:
The major change I made to both course sites was to provide an alternative to creating an Implementation Plan: creating a Professional Portfolio using the same course lessons:
  1. Overview (What?) Define the context for developing your portfolio and assess your readiness for developing a professional ePortfolio, including your technology skill level.
  2. Purpose (Why?) Identify the benefits (and your motivation) for creating your own professional portfolio and write your ePortfolio purpose/audience/vision statement.
  3. Collection/Archive (How?) Create an online space to store your artifacts and identify the artifacts you have collected in digital form and how they will be organized in your portfolio. Identify the primary audience for your showcase portfolio.
  4. Reflection/Blogs (How?) As part of this course, you have already established your own blog (learning portfolio/reflective journal). You could also develop a reflective digital narrative video to add voice to your portfolio (digital storytelling).
  5. Presentation/Showcase (How?) Create a hyperlinked website as a showcase portfolio, organized thematically. By now, you should have selected the appropriate presentation portfolio tool. Options are blog pages (WordPress or Blogger), Google Sites, Weebly, Wikispaces, Mahara, etc. Reflect on each category of artifacts plus provide a reflective caption on each artifact.
  6. Assessment/Feedback (How well?) Write your own self-assessment of your portfolio in your blog. Select one of the rubrics to guide your self-assessment. Share your portfolio link and ask for feedback.
Registration for the next cohort of my facilitated Introduction to K-12 ePortfolios course is open now and collaboration begins on May 1. Once a paid member of a facilitated course, participants are not automatically dropped from the course Google Group and may choose to continue learning with subsequent cohorts.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

New Google Sites version of my portfolio

I created this Google Site in 2010 as a demonstration during a hands-on workshop. Yesterday, I decided to use the virtually unused site to update my portfolio based on the design of my Mahara portfolio created earlier in March. Since I learned how to create a horizontal menu bar in Google Sites,  I wanted to create a portfolio with that type of navigation, similar to the Mahara template I used. It gives me a lot more screen space, and was a lot faster to update. I can also create hierarchical/drop-down menus in the horizontal navigation bar... not possible in Mahara. I am happy that I now have most of my longer videos in YouTube, which makes it so much easier to embed them in Google Sites. It is interesting to compare the two versions of my Google Sites portfolio:
My Apple iWeb portfolio created in 2006 is still my favorite version visually, but is so difficult to update with iWeb since I swapped out the original domain file! Besides, MobileMe is going away soon. I uploaded that version to my web server space, and also saved the website I created with iWeb about my 2006 European cruise trip:

Saturday, March 31, 2012

EIFEL Preconference sessions

I just sent the following descriptions of my workshops to EIFEL for my full day of workshops on Monday, July 9, 2012, in London. It should be a fun day!

Morning Session #1:
Title: Using "Free" Online Tools for ePortfolio Development
Description: In this session we will cover major categories of free Web 2.0 tools and how they support  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. The tools include: WordPress; GoogleApps; free website builder & hosting tools that include blogs, such as Weebly, Yola; open source ePortfolio tools that require a server (Mahara, OSP/Sakai).

Morning Session #2:
Title: mPortfolios: Supporting Reflection using Mobile Devices
Description: Mobile devices (iOS, Chrome or Android) can support reflection through regular planning & goal-setting, capturing the learning moment, and metacognition (reflecting on change over time). The Learning/Reflection Process is based on a theory of Self-Regulated Learning.  This session will include demonstrations of mobile apps with supporting websites, or those that include the ability to upload artifacts to Dropbox, GoogleDocs, YouTube, etc.

Afternoon Session:
Title: Tell your Story in Digital Video created with mobile devices
Description: Digital storytelling can add voice to an ePortfolio. Mobile devices are becoming powerful enough to use for editing and posting short video clips that can be embedded in ePortfolios. Learn the basics of digital storytelling using mobile devices: write the script; record the narration; capture images with the mobile camera; edit the video with low-cost software, such as Avid Studio or iMovie, which can be used to post these creations to online video sharing sites such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Google Sites Navigation & ISTE Workshop

I discovered the horizontal navigation bar for Google Sites that includes a menu with drop-down links. I developed a Google Site on Using GoogleApps for K-12 ePortfolios, which was adapted from my "generic" Introduction to K-12 ePortfolios course site. I was not going to make the GoogleApps site open to the public, since I added supplemental course information on my ePortfolios with GoogleApps site. I forgot that I used that URL in my ISTE proposal, although I have been receiving requests for access to this site. So, I just opened up the website today, but with major revisions.

I recently saw a very interesting website on Working with GoogleSites, developed by an Iowa technology consultant, that incorporated drop-down menus. After a little experimentation in the Manage site menu, I was able to move the Navigation bar from the left side to horizontal tabs across the top of the site. It gives me more screen space, and longer descriptions in the sub-page links. But on the downside, I have to manually manage the menu items,  adding each new page. On the other hand, I can control the order of the menu and sub-menu links (no more being restricted to alphabetical order when I "Automatically organize my navigation" in the sidebar). I like it!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Evernote Webinar on ePortfolios this week

This coming Thursday, Rob VanNood of Trillium Charter School will be conducting a webinar sponsored by Evernote. His blog is a very good resource on using iPod Touch devices and Evernote to maintain student goal-setting, documenting their learning, and reflecting throughout the learning process.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Philosophy of ePortfolio Development

As I work with others on the implementation of ePortfolio Development, I need to articulate my own philosophy. My doctorate is in Human Development (not computer science), so my philosophy comes from the perspective of using e-portfolios in the context of learning and individual lifelong development. Some people see ePortfolios through the lens of ICT and the underlying technologies; I see ePortfolios through the lens of human development potential in an era of social media. 

I believe:
  • ePortfolio development activities can be found across the lifespan
  • ePortfolio development can be an important element of a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) and Network (PLN)
  • ePortfolio development and social networking have many similarities
  • ePortfolio development is a balance between process and product 
  • ePortfolios can be created for many different purposes 
  • ePortfolios can be created with many different tools
  • ePortfolio development should be integrated into everyday activities
  • ePortfolio development supports a process of Reflection and Metacognition that is essential to lifelong learning

I elaborated in a longer GoogleDoc Document with supporting links to some of my work.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

My Mahara ePortfolio

Thanks to a Facebook posting by one of my colleagues in Australia, I found a free hosting site for Mahara: This service limits file storage to 50 MB. But all of my artifacts are stored on one of my websites, and all of my videos are stored in one of the video sharing services, so I don't need a lot of storage. (YouTube now lets me upload videos longer than 15 minutes, so I uploaded a lot of my recorded presentations and some of my older videos.) I spent the entire evening developing the 41st version of my portfolio with this service. (I guess there is another free Mahara hosting service, which offers a Premium upgrade for $40/year for up to 2 GB storage.)

My portfolio is located at:
I wrote my reflection on the process on a page in the portfolio. I didn't try Mahara in the past because I didn't have a server and the portfolio views were a single page. However, this version let me set up a Collection, which groups pages together and places a navigation bar across the top. There are no sub-pages, and the process was a little quirky, requiring a lot of clicks to do a task. But the drag-and-drop nature of creating pages and populating them with content is fairly intuitive.

The tool has a journal (blog) which can be embedded on a page as either the entire blog, or individual blog entries. Each journal entry can have attachments and multiple tags, to make searching easier. There is a tool to create Plans, which I need to explore further. I also set up a group, which could be used for collaboration and discussion. I might explore using this tool in a future online class. Now I need to see if I can upload artifacts with the PortfolioUP iPhone app.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

ePortfolios and Counseling High School Students

I received this email today:
...we were discussing how this tool might be infused in the high school... It was mentioned that our counselors at the high school are not convinced universities are interested in seeing digital collections when students apply for admission. Do you have any hard data on this? ...We would like to be able to approach the counselors and make this a topic they could tackle as students move through high school. Thoughts?
My response: I am going to raise your vision of ePortfolios a little higher, toward students building their positive online brand. There are many purposes for students creating ePortfolios; marketing/showcase for college admission is only one of those purposes. I did another blog entry a few months ago about high school portfolios.  I really like the purpose that is addressed in the National Educational Technology Plan:
Technology also gives students opportunities for taking ownership of their learning. Student-managed electronic learning portfolios can be part of a persistent learning record and help students develop the self-awareness required to set their own learning goals, express their own views of their strengths, weaknesses, and achievements, and take responsibility for them. Educators can use them to gauge students’ development, and they also can be shared with peers, parents, and others who are part of students’ extended network. (p.12)
Just as with employment portfolios, I think the primary audience for an ePortfolio is the learner, following under Greek philosophers' maxim, "Know Thyself". Developing an ePortfolio throughout school will help students document and understand their purpose and passions. Just as a portfolio helps an applicant prepare for a job interview, a portfolio can be used to prepare a university application essay (with hyperlinks to an online portfolio). But just as most employers don't know how to read a portfolio (or have the time), the same can be said for college admission officers. (Many resumes and applications are scanned or entered electronically and searched for keywords.) However, referencing an online portfolio might make a difference in applying for some jobs, technical programs or colleges.

Reflective portfolios can help students build self-awareness and build a positive online identity (their personal brand); I often quote from a Harvard Business Review article by Peter Drucker, "Managing Oneself", which is a great way to organize reflection in a graduation portfolio:
What are my strengths?
How do I work?
What are my values?
Where do I belong?
What can I contribute?
I became aware of the Drucker article at a conference on advising highly talented undergraduates, where the opening keynote speaker, from Harvard, said he had all incoming freshmen read this article. You might also be interested in the Saskatchewan Identity Management Project and their YouTube video: Digital Dossier. I also recommend blog posts (from Forbes, PBS and Wall Street Journal Online) that can be found in links on Portfolio Careers and Personal Branding in my online class website.

I was recently interviewed for an online article about ePortfolios, where she asked me specifically about college applications: Beyond the Transcript: Digital Portfolios Paint a Complete Picture. The author also asked me about how parents can support the ePortfolio process; I said, "Parents are the first portfolio keepers." So, hopefully you have some data to share with your counselors. Here in the State of Washington, the high school students develop paper portfolios under a counseling program called Navigation 101.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Supporting Reflection in ePortfolios

I was up early this morning for a webinar with a group of teachers participating in a research project in a school district in Ontario, Canada (without cameras at 6:30 AM!). I spent some time last weekend updating my presentation and several websites to focus less on specific tools and more on a generic process.

This presentation draws on some of my previous slides, but is more focused on a generic process rather than using Google Apps, mobile devices, etc. I also focused their independent study on my Reflection for Learning Google Site.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Selecting "Free" Online Tools for ePortfolio Development

All day today, I have been working on a new web page: Selecting a "Free" Online Tool for ePortfolio Development. The chart is developed for K-12 schools, but I think it is applicable to higher education.

I have also updated the diagrams linked from the following page on Interactive Portfolios that illustrate how to translate reflective blog entries into a thematically-organized showcase portfolio, using the first four types of tools listed below. These pages also cover the steps for using that tool throughout the portfolio development process. I identified these major categories of free tools (with links to the diagrams):
  1. WordPress and its derivatives for schools: EduBlogs and KidBlogs
  2. GoogleApps Education Edition, including Docs, Sites, Blogger & Digication
  3. Mobile Apps with supporting websites
  4. Free website builder & hosting tools that include blogs, such as Weebly, Yola
  5. Open source ePortfolio tools that require a server (Mahara, OSP/Sakai)
In this Free Tools chart, I then identified the different purposes/processes we want to be able to implement with these tools, asking: What is your purpose for creating portfolios? How does each tool support each process?
  • Capturing & storing evidence (stored in online system)
  • Learning/Reflecting (organized chronologically) Planning & setting goals
  • Formative Assessment  -Giving & receiving feedback & Collaborating
  • Marketing/Employment  -Presenting to an audience
  • Accountability/ Summative Assessment
  • Collect data for Accountablity Reporting
  • Showcase work thematically -Presenting to an audience
In the cells in the matrix, I put my best estimate of the capabilities of each tool for each process. I also looked at some of the technology infrastructure and support needs, asking "How does each tool match the support resources available?"
  • Server required?
  • Programming required?
  • Ease of Use for Students
  • Age Appropriate Grades K-12
  • Teacher Controls (setting up accounts, controlling content & process)
If you have already selected or are using one of these tools, do you agree with what I have written about the features? If you haven't selected a tool, what further information do you need? What did I leave out?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Reflections on ITSC

I attended my second ITSC conference, sponsored by OETC. It was a hands-on conference, and this picture, taken by my friend and colleague Jackie Gerstein, shows the four devices I was using in a workshop put on by Hall Davidson on Making Mobile Meaningful (with my Macbook Pro, my iPad, my iPod Touch, and my iPhone). We explored lots of Web 2.0 tools that could be accessed with a mobile phone, including I learned that you can email videos directly to a YouTube account through a special email address found in Mobile setup; the same process can also be done within Flickr for pictures taken with a mobile phone.

I learned a lot about QR Codes, and picked my favorite QR code reader for my iPhone (i-nigma or ScanLife). I also picked two websites to generate QR Codes: and (which will also produce a shorter URL). One website that seems intriguing provides an audio clip to accompany the QR Code: I plan to incorporate QR Codes with my poster session at ISTE, including some voice recordings! Hall showed a living book that was a series of QR Codes linked to a series of dynamic websites. I am going to try to incorporate QR codes in my book, as well (which is at the editor!).

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Webinar on mPortfolios

Yesterday I did a webinar for a MoodleMeet on ePortfolios sponsored by LearnNowBC. Here is the link to the Elluminate recording. Here are the slides that are created based on my new poster for the 2012 ISTE conference:
I took my new poster and turned it into a presentation. I am currently exploring the concept of Double Loop Learning in ePortfolios (see my Reflection4Learning Google Site page for more details). Is that level of reflective learning for teachers only, or do we want students to reflect at the level of assumptions, values and mental models?

Monday, February 13, 2012

English Language ePortfolio Development in Vietnam

I got the word last night: my trip to Vietnam has been approved by the U.S. State Department's English Language Specialists program. I will be there in April, helping faculty and students use technology to demonstrate acquisition of English language skills. I will start out at the university in Dalat, and then will probably work with ELL programs in Ho Chi Mihn City (Saigon) and Hanoi. This will be a new adventure! I know I will learn as much from them as they will from me!

I have already started a Google Site to provide both a framework for an ePortfolio (based on a Google Site Template that was published by City University of Hong Kong) and some strategies for using technology to document receptive skills (reading and listening) as well as expressive skills (writing and speaking). I will be building this site further over the next two months before I leave on this trip.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Student Self-Assessment

Yesterday, I read the following newsletter article from Faculty Focus: Student Self-Assessment: A Sample Assignment.  The first assignment is a Personal Goals Statement; the last assignment: What Have You Learned from the Class? These are great prompts for learning portfolio/journal entries. This quote from the article illustrates some "portfolio-like" practices:
The real value of the assignment is the final paper where students return to their goals and assess how well they reached them. You could prompt students to provide examples illustrating how their goals were achieved. If a goal hasn’t been reached, there needs to be a discussion of why.
ePearl Model
These assignments were targeted at college students, but they also work with elementary school students, as documented in Rob VanNood's blog on using Evernote with his 3rd-5th graders at Trillium Charter School in Portland. Rob has prior experience using ePearl, which was based on a model of Self-Regulated Learning. (See Zimmerman's 1990 PDF paper, Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: An overview. Educational Psychologist, 25, 3-17.) This diagram was the foundation for my poster developed on Monday and previous blog entries.

Google Hangouts Office Hours

I just finished my first virtual office hours for my online class using Google+ Hangouts. I set up a private circle just for the class, and invited my students to add me to one of their circles, whereupon I added them to the private class circle. I posted the schedule in the circle discussion and simply clicked on the hangout button at the bottom of the message. When they log in to Google+, they should see that I am online:
Pretty cool way to be available to students!