Today I’d like to present to you my presentation on the Innovation and Diffusion of E-portfolios in K12 Schools.
The state of North Carolina has recently discontinued the NC Test of Computer Skills. This statewide assessment was first administered to middle school students in the 8 th grade. This test was also a graduation requirement. Students who didn’t pass the assessment were required to receive remediation and re-test. Re-testing for students could occur up to age 21 after high school. Since the assessment is no longer required I would like to propose the implementation of the use of e-portfolios to assess technology literacy skills of upper middle and high school students.
As we look at implementing e-portfolios in K12 institutions, throughout this presentation I will be discussing the 4 stages of the innovation and diffusion process. These stages include: Stage 1 – Problem or Need Stage 2 – Research Stage 3 – Development Stage 4 - Commercialization
This innovation generates from a need to have students document and reflect upon their knowledge and learning experiences electronically in K12 settings and the need to allow them to use the latest technologies available to assist them in their e-portfolio development. There is also a need for teachers to have alternate forms of assessment for students.
In stage 2 “research”. I will focus on the research organization, findings and lead thinkers for e-portfolios.
The leading research for implementing e-portfolios in K12 schools comes from the REFLECT Initiative whose Research Director is Dr. Helen Barrett. The research project was conducted 2005-2007. (http://electronicportfolios.org/)
As educators we are often reminded that we are here to serve our students and give them the best educational opportunities possible. Their educational experiences rely heavily on their interest level. Dr. Barrett explains in her findings that “From the comments made by the students in the focus groups, as well as the responses to survey questions, students wanted to be able to express their own individuality, choice, and creativity in their portfolios.” (Barrett 2008).
The lead thinkers for the research on the innovation of e-portfolios in K12 settings were Dr. Barrett and the REFLECT Initiative team as well as fellow educators.
Stage 3 of this process is Development which focuses on the problems and Intended Audience for the research.
Dr. Barrett describes the problems with this innovation as “Limitations”. She also states “One problem with this study was timing, both in terms of its duration and in terms of the particular development of the Internet as it was emerging during the period of this research (2005-2007). The project only lasted two years, which prior research on school change shows is much too short to show any lasting change. A majority of the students in the study used this particular system for one year or less. Furthermore, the changes in the Internet (moving from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0) and the emergence and popularity of social networking sites had an impact on student attitudes toward the specific tool used to develop these portfolios.” (Barrett 2008)
This innovation began by targeting students and teachers in K12 institutions.
I will now focus on the innovation decision process which includes: Stage 1: Knowledge Stage 2: Persuasion Stage 3: Decision Stage 4: Implementation Stage 5: Confirmation and then the communication channel.
In 2000 Dr. Helen Barret compiled a solid definition for e-portfolios which states …”an Electronic Portfolio contains artifacts that may be in analog form, such as a video tape, or may be in computer-readable form; in a Digital Portfolio, all artifacts have been transformed into computer-readable form. An electronic portfolio is not a haphazard collection of artifacts (i.e., a digital scrapbook or a multimedia presentation) but rather a reflective tool that demonstrates growth over time.” (Barrett, 2000) Dr. Barret along with others from the REFLECT Initiative conducted their first research study with e-portfolios in K12 settings in 2005.
Dr. Barret notes in her research study that by 2007 which was the year her research was concluded, The internet had changed in such a drastic way shifting from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 which offers more FREE options to users, and doesn’t require a significant amount of web design expertise. Students will now have significant access to Free Web 2.0 tools at no cost to the schools, and increased creativity.
According to a 2009 US Census Report Internet use has tripled within a decade. With the increase in amount of Internet usage there are true educational benefits to the use of e-portfolios allowing for more flexibility, access, creativity on the part of the student and exposure to a variety of tools.
Throughout your decision process I encourage you to remember that upon implementation you will: Promote 21 st Century Learning by providing students with the resources and tools needed to create e-portfolios Be able to have reference to testimonials from other educators about the positive effects of e-portfolios on student learning. You will have continued available access to any updated authentic student work at any time via the web. You will become the first K12 school district in the state of North Carolina to use e-portfolios for student assessment and reflection.
Students now have an opportunity to collaborate with their teachers and peers. The content of e-portfolios will follow each student throughout their journey in K12 schools. E-portfolios will continue to enhance classroom assessment.
The Internet serves as a mass media communication tool in deciding whether or not to implement this innovation. Much research along with scholarly articles have been submitted and are available for viewing on the World Wide Web.
This chart shows a steady progression in the use of e-portfolios as they are not only an active innovation in higher education institutions but the trend has begun shifting to K12 institutions.
E-portfolios have become increasingly popular over the years in Higher Education Institutions. This concept has just recently been introduced to K12 schools. K12 schools are considering utilizing e-portfolios as a form of alternate assessment and a collection of knowledge for students. Because E-portfolios have had such a huge success in Higher Education institutions, I feel that High Schools will become the early adopters of this innovation. High School students are ultimately preparing to transition to college. As the High School’s embrace this innovation, then middle schools will seek to embrace it as well. To strategize the implementation of e-portfolios in K12 schools , I suggest that we focus more on… Gathering data and collecting surveys from key stakeholders (i.e. teachers, students, administrators, parents) Benefits of implementing e-portfolios in K12 schools The positive impact e-portfolios will have on student achievement How the e-portfolio process will allow students to prepare themselves for college and future careers. … and not completely on the technology aspect of it.
In looking at the implementation of this innovation possible laggards could include: Teachers and/or administrators who prefer traditional methods of assessing student knowledge Those who focus more on the fear of the technology aspect of e-portfolios rather than the content it brings Those who are skeptical about such a new endeavor and delay implementation until they have concrete data on its success. Strategies to encourage the laggards to adopt this innovation include: Testimonials from colleagues - Introduce key leaders and educators who support the adoption of the innovation have actually used it and experienced a positive outcome for their students. Develop professional development opportunities in which teachers receive instructions and activities on the e-portfolio process. Provide data and research that shows schools with students who’ve had a high success rate with the innovation
The perceived attributes for this innovation include Relative advantage (How this innovation is perceived by key stakeholders will determine its rate of adoption) Trailability (Because the use of e-portfolios is relatively new to K12 settings, the adoption of e-portfolios in K12 institutions will initially be an experimental process with high school students. Observability (Observations and perceptions of key stake holders will be key to it’s success) Rogers (2003)
Decentralized Diffusion The use of e-portfolios has not been adopted statewide and is not a requirement for K12 institutions. With this in mind much of the diffusion of this innovation in a K12 setting would largely be under the control of school administrators and teachers. The experimental process of e-portfolios would involve using specific grade levels and teachers who have no prior experience with the innovation but are willing to try a new approach to assessment. Key Change Agents will be essential if this innovation is going to be successful. The Seven Roles of the change agent are: To develop a need for change on the part of the clients – School leaders now need an alternate form of assessment for student technology skills and knowledge of core content. 2. To establish an information exchange relationship 3. To diagnose problems 4. To create an intent to change in the client 5. To translate intentions into action 6. To stabilize adoption and prevent discontinuance 7. To achieve a terminal relationship with clients To promote a Critical Mass I propose that we assemble a group of key leaders and teachers who are highly respected as educators and who’s endorsement of this innovation would produce a positive critical mass and buy-in from fellow educators and administrators.
In closing, we are in the business of cultivating and teaching 21 st Century learners. As educators we are encouraged and urged to teach and expose our students to 21 st century learning skills. According to the American Association of School Librarians, these skills include the following: Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge. Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge Share knowledge and participate ethically, and productively as members of our democratic society. Pursue personal and aesthetic growth The use and implementation of e-portfolios encompasses all of these skills and is a key component in ensuring that we prepare our student to be competitive 21 st century global citizens. (ALA 2007).
REFERENCES: Barret, H. (2008). The REFLECT initiative: A research project to assess the impact of electronic portfolios on student learning, motivation and engagement in secondary schools. http://electronicportfolios.org/reflect/NECC08.pdf Barrett, H. (2007). Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement: The REFLECT Initiative. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy , 50 (6), 436-449. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press. AASLA Standards for the 21 st Century Learner (2007). http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/standards.cfm. US Census Bureau (2009). http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/communication_industries/013849.html
Wandra Coffield EdS Educational Technology EDUC 7101 ~ Fall 2009 Walden University Innovation and Diffusion of E-portfolios in K12 Schools
Barret, H. (2008). The REFLECT initiative: A research project to assess the impact of electronic portfolios on student learning, motivation and engagement in secondary schools. http://electronicportfolios.org/reflect/NECC08.pdf
Barrett, H. (2007). Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement: The REFLECT Initiative. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy , 50 (6), 436-449. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.
AASLA Standards for the 21 st Century Learner (2007). http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/standards.cfm.
US Census Bureau (2009). http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/communication_industries/013849.html