Blogger has been used to trial e-portfolios at Kimi Ora. ICT lead teacher Jess Hall shares the process she went through to select Blogger, and introduce it to staff and parents.
I’ve been trialling this year, e-portfolios for all seven of my students and so far it has gone really well. Initially I looked at starting them as a way for our parents to keep up with what was going on at school and after a couple of months I realised that our families don’t have that time to get on it every night or every second night and write me essays about what we could do or how great this was or this that and the other thing. So, our vision had to shift a little bit. We now use the e-portfolios as a formative assessment for IEP goals and as a celebration of the kids’ lives. Right so I researched different tools such as wikis and other free spaces on the Internet to put our e-portfolios on. I kept coming back to blogger. It’s the most user friendly, I think, the way you can just put on a video was what really got it for me. A lot of our work has to be video because you’re showing the little things not just, you know you can’t just show a photo of a kid looking happy, you’ve really got to show them maybe moving their leg to take a step by themselves or moving their spoon to eat or whatever. So the video was a major part and it’s really easy to load on with Blogger.
Jess, Josh’s teacher, introduced us to the tool and she took us through the process of what its all about, whether we agreed to such a tool, which we definitely did and then in our own time my wife and I just sat down and away we went.
The development of e-portfolios is a culmination of work that has been ongoing for many years and raising the skills of the staff.
With e-portfolios, I guess there was a lot of PD at the start of it all to get everyone up to speed and comfortable in using them because there’s that little bit of a technophobe element to whenever you use anything technological but its quite a simple tool once you use it a couple of times. So we had some really good training from Jess the teacher in charge of the project where we all sat down and got a chance to play with it to put things in then she would sit over our shoulders if we needed her to and put everything together. And she’s always available to go back to so its kind of an ongoing thing and I think that that ongoing support is something that can’t be underestimated in any project using technology.
This year we’ve trialled e-portfolios in one class. Next year we are looking at moving into other classes in the school. Not all students will have an e-portfolio next year, but within two years we’re looking at all students having an e-portfolio.