John Pallister Wolsingham School and Community College - UK 4th EduMedia Conference - Salzburg June 2008 An ePortfolio – what’s in it for me?
Not me – but my learners!
A young teacher (important to validate information!), and learner
enthusiast for ePortfolios +
normally a 5 slides per minute man, text based slides, no multimedia to engage my audience! - 60 slides to go!
A School and Community College
(130 in Year 12/13)
Development work with:
ePortfolios - 2003/4+.
We also have hills! and learners
More about our learners in a few slides time
What we have done:
Developed a multimedia ePortfolio based on a multimedia authoring package;
Created a learning environment where all Year 7,8, 9,10 and 12 have ePortfolios (550 students);
Supported students as they compiled and used presentational ePortfolios in interview and review situations;
Encouraged students to reflect on their progress and record their reflections in their ePortfolios;
We still have hills to climb! – integrating the process into everyday practice in all subjects;
Contributed to the MOSEP project.
ePortfolio background and drivers
Rapidly developing Information and Communications technologies
pervasive and invasive technologies
enabling communications and supporting collaboration and social networking
to harness the technology
to provide a Personal learning environment
FOR ALL learners
A Personal Learning Environment?
where learners take more control of their own learning and, by taking more responsibility for the management of their own learning, become more independent learners;
where learners set their own learning goals, manage their learning and communicate with others;
that provides learners with access to information sources and a common interface for communication and collaboration;
that encourages the learner to practice and reflect;
that is centred around the interests of the learner, their learning needs and provides the learner with opportunities to learn by ‘doing’;
that will enable learners to develop plans in terms of their competencies, skills and progression routes;
Any where any time learning - + lifelong learning;
Helps learners to find things! - evidence
Different way of learning - that gives greater value to the individual as a learner and moves the focus away from what is being taught towards what is being learnt.
BUT learning has always been a personal thing – economics has, before ICT, meant that it was often packaged up as a group activity – can ICT+ put the personal bit back into learning?
A PLE - an ePortfolio + a bit!
many different definitions for ePortfolios - common elements:
digital evidence owned by a learner;
structured and stored in some way that enables the evidence to found presented or shared with others [teachers, parents, peers, potential employers/HE/Training providers];
evidence being stored is likely to include:
reflections and thinking
A portfolio of digital evidence owned and managed by the learner?
- That supports reflective learning
The ePortfolio Process requires learners to:
Recognise that something needs to be learnt;
Plan how they might do it;
Do what they planned to do;
Record the evidence of what has been done, learnt or achieved;
Review and reflect on what has been done, learnt or achieved;
Record these reflections.
the ePortfolio Process Plan what you need to do Check and share your plan DO IT! Record evidence of what you have done or learnt Share and present evidence Select and link evidence ePortfolio Review and reflect on what you have done Recognise that something needs to be done or learnt
Prepare/update plans Recognise the Need to …… Plans, targets, aspirations Share with .. Review Collect/Prepare evidence Learning activities
reflections Collect/Prepare evidence Share with .. Present/Share with .. Share with .. Review Review Structure Customise evidence reflection Communication and working with others creativity Taking responsibility Carry out Plans
Digital natives born into the internet age, learners who have not experienced a world without the internet; Learners surviving in a digital culture;
Learners will always ask:
what is in it for me?
why should I bother?
Characteristics of our learners :
• experience or are presented with fast moving streams of information that are often visual
• spend a large proportion of their day watching, manipulating or taking information from a screen, or creating and combining information on a screen (TV, Game or Computer)
• have to make sense out of ‘raw’ information, coming from a rapidly expanding global resource, that has not been selected, edited or packaged up for them by teachers, newspapers or textbook editors. – it is from Blogs, Forums, Wikis, Voice over Internet etc
• gain frequent rewards for their efforts in computer games and enjoy the competitive challenge provided by the game and on-line or local competitors
• interact, socially, using the internet, and develop online social identities
• are often confused about what ‘learning’ is, what it is that they are expected to do, and what it is that they expect their teachers to do for them – once they have satisfied the shared learning objective they will often stop and not explore further;
Often find it difficult to focus in depth on any one idea, because of the ‘noise’ or distractions provided by the volume of information sources available to them
learners expect to have on-demand access to information and want to:
• Access, watch and work with visual information – rather than text based information; • obtain instant results from their searches expecting random access by following hyperlinks; • play games or use a game-style interface and enjoy the rewards given; • network with others, and use ICT to communicate with them (people they know?) ;
• use fashionable tools and technology including social software and handheld technology;
work on their own terms, using tools and technology when and how they think fit; • skip from task to task, emulating their experience of fast and furious games and their lifestyle – consistent with their short attention span;
learners, learning with technology and with technology around them
The environment that our learners operate in has changed as have their experiences;
Their expectations have changed;
learn in different ways?
reflect more on their learning?
Become more independent enquirers?
Become more creative thinkers?
Organise themselves better, take more personal responsibility and become better self-managers? - PLTs ref
Important questions for another session
they do bring different things to learning and have different expectations than previous generations;
They do behave differently in this environment and learn some technology specific skills;
everything else is just learning?
What is in the ePortfolio process for the learner?
From the learner’s viewpoint
I want to:
Own my learning
Control my learning
Time to think about what I want to learn
Learn at my own pace following my interests
Recognise my informal learning, what I learn out of school
Learn when and where I want to
My teacher to spend more time talking with me
Use Creative tools for learning
Communicate with others maintaining networks for learning between teachers, between learners
To easily record plans and thoughts
To easily use multimedia technology, e.g. Camera phones
To enjoy using camera phone, iPod and social software
To use it to store evidence of personal activities
To have a structure provided
To easily search the evidence
Something to Help recollection of discussions between my teacher and I
To be able to access web-based portfolios from home
Something that allows reflection
Something that creates a digital record/story
Options of how to link evidence relative to previous evidence
Something that allows teachers to easily assess work I have done
Something that helps preparation for interviews/review meetings
A record of my work that I enjoy showing to my parents and teachers
To practice and develop my ICT skills
To enjoy the sharing process
To customise my work
Something that I am proud of
To be able to work on my portfolio wherever I am
From the learners viewpoint
A set of ‘Success criteria’, developed collaboratively through http://groups.google.co.uk/group/eportfolios-and-plts?hl =en
When, from the learners point of view, will we know that the ePortfolio process has been successfully integrated into everyday practice.
learners will say:
by working on my ePortfolio I have had to think about what information about myself that I should should put into the public domain, what I just want to share with my teachers and what I want to keep private for myself;
I find that I can easily record my plans, my thoughts about my learning, my development and my achievements;
I can use my ePortfolio to store evidence of my Personal Learning and Thinking Skills;
I can use my ePortfolio to store evidence of what I can do outside of school and of things that I have achieved, but have not got a certificate for;
My ePortfolio has made me more interested in my work;
My ePortfolio gives me enough space to store all the stuff I want;
It provides me with a structure that I can use to store multimedia evidence - audio, video and photographic formats, in addition to written evidence;
It makes it easy for me to search for my evidence, and lets me present it in an interesting format;
I think that other people will understand me better when they can see how I think and reflect on what I have done, learnt or achieved;
It has provided me with a digital record/story that shows how I have developed, like a timeline of my studies;
Using my ePortfolio helped me to prepare for interview/review meetings;
I can keep my ePortfolio when I move on to college/university or get a job;.
My ePortfolio impressed the potential employers that I showed it to, as it helped them recognise the positive attitude that I have towards my work, helping me to stand out from the competition;
I believe that my ePortfolio helped me when I was searching for a job, as my employers were impressed by the depth and breadth of my work;
When I wanted to start my own business, my ePortfolio helped me show to funding organsiations that I have the right attitude and skills and it helped me get their initial backing and help;
It shows me at my best.
Supporting my personal development and progression
Developing personal communication skills
I find it easier to capture multimedia evidence using digital devices than it is to write down what I have planned, done or achieved;
It has helped me to become a better writer, and to get my ideas across to others by using varying forms of media;
I find it helps me to remember and explain what I have done when I have to talk to my teacher or other students;
My ePortfolio has helped us to give feedback on each other's work;
My ePortfolio is good for showing my progress to other people;
My ePortfolio helps me to be confident;
My ePortfolio gives me new ways of presenting my work using technology;
My ePortfolio helps me to show people what I'm really good at.
Collaborating and Working with others
It means that my teachers and mentors take more interset in me as an individual and I feel comfortable knowing that they are following my progress, offering advice, support and guidance when they think I need it;
I find it easy to access my web-based portfolio at home and can let the people I have allowed see the evidence that I decide that I want them to see;
Collaboration is a good thing. I can think about the opinions others have about my work and then build upon their ideas to improve my own work;
I find it useful to store my portfolio evidence that my teachers need to assess in my ePortfolio;
I have enjoyed sharing evidence of what I have done, achieved, or created with others;
My ePortfolio is good to do things with other students;
My ePortfolio tells me about what my friends are learning;
It is my digital theatre - where the audience is by invitation only.
Enjoyment and creativity
I enjoy using my camera phone, iPod, computer and social software to help me to develop my ePortfolio;
My ePortfolio helps me to be creative;
I enjoyed showing my ePortfolio to my parents and tutor during my review meeting and they were pleased with what I had produced;
I have enjoyed customising and working on the organisation of my ePortfolio as it helps people who look at it to get to know something about me, my character and style;
I am proud of my ePortfolio because it is something that I feel that I own;
It provided me with an opportunity and a reason to experiment with, and to be creative with multmedia tools;
At home, my parents take more notice of my schoolwork through my ePortfolio.
Supporting my learning
By thinking about or reflecting on what I have learnt, what I have found difficult, what I have done well, I think that I understand a little more about myself and what I can do, and by thinking about my abilities, experiences, qualities and skills I can see how I have progressed and what I have achieved, so I can plan what I need to do to improve;
When I have new evidence to store in my ePortfolio I have to look at the evidence that I already have in it and decide where my new evidence should be stored and how it should be linked in, which helps me understand a little more about myself and how I have learnt and developed;
I think that my teacher now spends more time talking to me about my learning, achievements and planning which has helped me and made me think more about what I have done and what I should do;
I need only store a piece of evidence once but I can use it for different purposes and subject based assessments;
My ePortfolio helps me think more about my own learning;
My ePortfolio makes me take more care with my work;
My ePortfolio helps me be better organised in my work;
My ePortfolio has helped me understand my work better;
My ePortfolio has made me pleased with my progress;
My ePortfolio has helped me to learn;
My ePortfolio forced me to do things that teachers would have done for me.
My ePortfolio helps me to plan how to improve;
My ePortfolio helps me judge whether I have improved over time;
When I reflect upon my work, I can decide which items are still relevant or no longer needed;
By working on my ePortfolio, I have practised and developed ICT and multimedia skills which I can now use in other subject areas too;
I can work on my ePortfolio when and wherever I want to;
I find the ePortfolio tools easy and intuitive use, as I did not need a lot of help or teaching before I found that I could use it.
The ePortfolio – an appropriate tool for a 21 st Century Learner? Can you ignore it? Might it go away?
Tools and technology will change
Life-long, life-wide hosting, inter-operability and anywhere, anytime access are important challenges
But if the ePortfolio process has value why not use it now, harnessing the available technologies?
Time to move from ‘talking the talk’ to ‘walking the walk’ stage
The end – or perhaps the beginning!
A few extras – just in case!
Why might we want learners to follow the process?
Encourage learners to take an active part in their own learning? – encourage reflection, planning and dialogue about learning?
Support the move towards Personalised learning? - placing the learner at the centre of the learning process
Motivate and engage the learner?
Raise learner self esteem?
Support progression and provide opportunities for learners to develop a 'presentational' or self-marketing portfolio?
Provide somewhere for learners to store evidence to support assessment processes?
engagement – the climate I have access to the tools and technology I need I know how to – in my learning I know how to - technically I know why I need one School - You need one Employers - You need one Universities - You need one Parents - You need one Government Policy – You need one I will commit my time I want/need one Not valuable Too complicated Will not enjoy Have not got the time do I really need one learner
The ePortfolio Process, Tools and Learning
E-Me Technology + Tools Learning
How to use the available tools and technology
How to structure, store and access the ePortfolio
How to support life-long learning and progression
How to engage the learners
How to train teachers to support learners who are using ePortfolio processes
Are prepared to take ownership of their multimedia ePortfolios
Are enjoying working with multimedia ePortfolios, particularly the creative opportunity that they provide
Are prepared to give up their time to work on their ePortfolios during lunchtimes, after school and at home
Were engaged and very proud of their ePortfolio and eager to discuss it, and their achievements with anyone and everyone
Develop the ability to record their reflections and then, following the discussions that sharing their reflections prompted, revise their plans.
Develop the ICT/multimedia skills that they need to compile and maintain a multimedia ePortfolio;
Have to decide where/how to link in new evidence, so they have to focus on the ‘bigger picture’ of their learning and achievements. Context and relevance gets a useful boost.
A Teacher’s View (1)
enjoyed sharing the excitement and satisfaction with students who had used their ePortfolios as support in a formal interview situation.
listened to teachers recount and report their positive experiences of the value of using ePortfolio in student-Tutor-Parent meetings.
The same teachers reported the positive feedback, from parents who were impressed with both the content and potential of their son/daughter’s ePortfolio.
Most parents also commented, positively, about their son/daughter’s ICT skills that the ePortfolio had allowed them to demonstrate in the meeting.
A Teacher’s View (2)
recognised the obvious enjoyment that students derive from sharing evidence, with others, of what they have done or achieved.
By talking with students about their ePortfolios, I have recognised the potential of the ePortfolio to provide opportunities for me to open up discussion with them about virtually any topic that I felt would benefit the learner.
observed an increase in ICT/multimedia skills, with respect to using ICT as a tool for a ‘real’ job, not an assignment, task or an exercise, something that will help them.
At the other end of the spectrum, I have watched older students develop a perception that ePortfolios meant additional work and that universities and employers do not value them.
“How my E-Me has helped me”(2006)
“ It helped me realise what I achieved/done”
“ It helped me think of things that will help me get the job I want”
“ It helped me draw everything I have done during the year together”
“ It helped me focus on my skills and qualities and what could be improved”
“ It helped me to put career plans and targets into perspective”
“ It has improved my presentation and computer skills”
“ It has helped me place all my evidence together”
“ It helped me to realise which skills I have, and those which I need to develop”
“ It helped me to analyse my year and it's events”
“ My E-me has helped me build on the skills I need for my future job role, and will help me when doing future interviews”
An ePortfolio: Never a finished product
I was initially worried that if, when presenting their ePortfolios to visitors, a student ended up on an empty page.
I thought that a page without evidence of their learning, progress or achievements would have no value.
Not so, the fact that evidence had not been completed/presented generally promoted very useful discussion and reflections, after the excuses had been either explored or discounted.
It also emphasises that a learners ePortfolio will never be a finished product.
Life-long learning means that any medium that records learning will always be work-in-progress.
Digital natives motivated by and enjoying a multimedia experience?
OR a learning environment and processes that really did cater for and build on the strengths of the digital natives that we are trying to ‘teach’?
a learning environment that:
is appropriate to learner needs
harnesses appropriate tools and technologies
engages, motivates and challenges
Engaging Learners – The tools and technology
Use tools that enables them to:
customise and take owner ship of their ePortfolio
modify and add to the structure of their ePortfolio
use multimedia evidence
be creative with multimedia evidence
Engaging Learners – Whole school Policy
Integrate the ePortfolio process into the school’s ‘way of working’
Promote the advantages of the ePortfolio process to learners and staff + parents, employers, HE etc
Build in time and opportunities for staff to sit down and look at the ePortfolios
Provide a range of different audiences – audience gives value to the process
Train teachers so that they can support learners who are using ePortfolios
Engaging Learners – The learning environment
Create a learning climate where:
Learners are provided with opportunities to reflect and evaluate what they have planned, done, made, experienced or learnt.
Learners feel comfortable sharing their reflections and revealing their own strengths and weaknesses
Teachers value the ePortfolio process and are able to provide feedback and support to learners
The process is valued more than just the product
Spelling mistakes etc. are accepted - Always work in progress
Engaging Learners – Make sure they know why you want them to compile an ePortfolio
Important that learners know why you want them to compile an ePortfolio - Watch the ‘what can an ePortfolio do for me’ Podcast
Engaging Learners – Make sure they know what it is that they will need to do
Make sure that they understand the ePortfolio process and how it fits in with what they already do – watch the ‘Compiling your ePortfolio’ Podcast
Emphasis the Assessment for learning –
pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim (or close the gap in their knowledge)
being part of the review process empowers pupils to take action to improve their performance. http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_4338.aspx
Engaging Learners – Implementation
Phase in the ePortfolio process from Yr 7, Yr 1 or birth!
Make sure that you have convinced all staff of the value of the ePortfolio process
Engaging Learners – Working with them … (1)
Find time to talk to learners and encourage them to reflect on what they have done, learnt, achieved or plan to do
Encourage them to record their reflections and then, following the discussions that sharing their reflections prompted, revise their plans.
Encourage learners think carefully about where/how they should link in new evidence – this makes them focus on the ‘bigger picture’ of their learning and achievements
Engaging Learners – working with them … (2)
highlight success and achievement, help them to recognise what they have done to ‘generate’ the success – link reflections into their ePortfolio
encourage them to identify their strengths and what has worked well for them – build these into future plans - link reflections into their ePortfolio
encourage them to look for opportunities to improve – what they need to do next time to improve their performance
Create a LEARNING CLIMATE:
learners have opportunities to reflect on what they have planned, done made, experienced or learnt
learners feel comfortable sharing their reflections
teachers value the ePortfolio process and are able to support to learners
Update WHOLE SCHOOL POLICIES so that they:
Integrate the ePortfolio process into the school’s ‘way of working’
Encourage departments to integrate the ePortfolio process into their schemes of learning;
Build in time and opportunities for staff to sit down and look at the ePortfolios
Provide a range of different audiences.
Use TOOLS and TECHNOLOGY:
that learners want to use
enables them to customise and take owner ship of their ePortfolio
that lets them modify the structure of their ePortfolio
that supports multimedia evidence
that provide creative opportunities
Make sure that LEARNERS:
know why you want them to compile an ePortfolio
Understand how it fits in with what they already do
Understand what they will need to do
Have the ICT and multimedia skills required
Train TEACHERS so that they - can support learners who are using ePortfolios all PARTNERS - parents, employers, HE etc understand and value the ePortfolio process Towards an Action Plan Plan an IMPLEMENTATION strategy – phased in from Yr 7 OR Yr 1
reason for ePortfolio
learner support inc technical
explicit evidence requirements
integrated into curriculum
opportunities to present ePortfolio
Process - learners:
use ICT/multimedia skills
select and structure evidence
use ePortfolio to review learning
work with teachers to reflect on their learning/achievements
take responsibility for their ePortfolio
select and organise evidence for presentation (for a purpose)