To begin with, I think articulating what I know and have learned about educational technology from my academic, professional, and other experiences and providing evidence of that learning with a collection of artifacts I’ve created is much more relevant and meaningful to me. Not only can I come back to it later and see what I learned, but I can compare it to my knew knowledge and reflect on my growth and/or change of opinion. This applies directly to what we are discussing with e-portfolios since student reflections should be a key component of their work. When students can look back and be proud of something they did, it can give them a boost to move forward. How many times have you looked back in amazement of an accomplishment. Thinking about the two awards I was part of from ISTE for the Adventures of Maybelle and Penguin Palooza (both sites are older and need updating) makes me realize how much good I was able to do for hundreds of children in my district. When kids can look back and see those nuggets of greatness, it may be all they need to repeat greatness once again. I believe answering questions about educational technology that ETEC professors have identified as the most important things to know and having them judge the logic, accuracy, depth, breadth, and precision of my answers only allows me a moment of reflection that will not carry on throughout my career. It is a one and done moment that I may not even really enjoy participating in.
Having been an advertising major in college, I am very familiar with the aspects of a physical portfolio. It can only be seen when I unzip my bag which means I don’t really get any joy out of knowing peoples ongoing opinions of it. In contrast, had I been able to create that same set of documents for display online, I probably would have worked a little harder, respected the ongoing critiquing a little more and appreciated the feedback I got, whether positive or negative. After exploring e-portfolio tools again, I still find one in particular better than the rest. My biggest concern is the longevity of the tool I choose.
Companies like google and their Google Sites seems long term and a student that moves on can take their portfolio with them. It has blogging capabilities and all the abilities that any website builder tool provides. Similar to that, Weebly is another great option that seems in it for the long haul, and although it can be done, taking the e-portfolio if a student moves is a little more difficult if the he or she exists under a teacher account. I considered a third tool called Thinglink which is simple and fabulous but has the same issue as Weebly. Thinglink is very different though in regards to its presentation style. It would be difficult to weed through over time and although neat for individual project, wouldn’t be a great tool for the long term in my opinion. OneNote is another fabulous tool similar to Google and with a little bit of help can be transferred out if a student leaves the district. One Note has some amazing capabilities that don’t exist in Google and Weebly. For example, OneNote by Microsoft allows the user to easily build content while collaborating on whatever it my be. You can take notes electronically but typing, by writing with a stylus or by building an image library. Your data comes up in tabs and can be put into categories. Students can build their world of knowledge simply and easily while keeping it private or sharing sections with collaborators. In the end, it isn’t a website, but a virtual file cabinet of data. The last one, Live Binder is a little to simplistic for a portfolio in my opinion, but is a great way to gather similar information into one place. I believe Live Binders would actually incorporate well into any of these other tools reviewed as a piece of evidence in learning.
All in all, I think the best for students is probably OneNote. I think OneNote allows for a long term solution that meets all of the needs a student might have, without sharing to much publicly. In class, we utilize Weebly because I already have a premium account which makes it a simple decision, however, if I was recommending a tool based on student versatility, I would most definitely chose OneNote.
My website has been in development for several years. Because of this class though, I will be reworking the site to cover the elements suggested that I hadn’t considered before. You can visit my site at LeaAnne.me and tell me how you might improve its functionality and enticing presence. For this particular opportunity though, I will be testing out OneNote and will work through the process of developing it. You can follow my progress here.
A wife, mother, teacher, life-long learner and an avid runner.