Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Piloting E-Portfolio Programs

Notes from SXSWedu session
Presenters: Lennon Heflin, Cynthia Miller, Heathcliff Lopez, David Hernandez, Students from Del Valle ISD

It was great to hear Del Valle ISD teachers and students share about their E-Portfolio journey at the SXSWedu session on "Piloting E-Portfolio Programs." The teachers at Del Valle High School explained how they implemented a rigorous, student-driven portfolio program for seniors to promote the skills needed to succeed after graduation.

Cynthia Miller. a Senior English teacher, shared what the Senior Portfolios consist of, which is:
  1. Research Project
  2. Portfolio
  3. Product
  4. Final Presentation (which will occur on April 10th)

Currently, 420 seniors are creating Senior Projects through Project Share.

Heathcliff Lopez, another Senior English teacher, described how the focus of the Senior Project is to be argumentative in nature.

Lannon Heflin, Project Coordinator of Technology Initiatives at ESC XIII, shared how the Education Service Center is supporing Del Valle ISD in the Senior Project Share pilot. From ideas to how to implement E-Portfolios to "how-to" videos on using Project Share, the ESC XIII staff have been an invaluable resource.

David Hernandez of ESC I shared about the E-Portfolio program they are getting ready to launch with potentially 10,000 students.

What is an E-Portfolio?
  • It is a collection of of digital artifacts representing hard work, creativity, and collaboration.
  • It is a product that demonstates knowledge, values, and achievement
What are the benefits of E- Portfolios?

1. They offer scalability
  • A large amount of multimedia content can demonstrate an extension of more comprehensive content.
  • Students are able to add hyperlinks to external resources 
2. They offer flexibility
  • They allow for single content to be used in multiple ways for different audiences and for different purposes
  • The volume is unlimited
  • They can show student growth over time
3. They offer mobility

4. They offer student engagement
  • Students are able to produce a product
In the future, more cross-curricular content will be added to the E-Portfolio.

The "developmental" is the key to why the Senior E-Portfolios are being done.

Benefits include:
  • A learning community for all
  • Feedback and comments can be given and this is a major part of the Senior's grade.
  • The use of groups has been very helpful.
  • Students can comment on their blogs. They can reflect on projects and share ideas This gives them a sense of community.
  • They allows students to work at home and extends the learning outside the classroom There is a true collaborative effort between students and teachers and student to students

Steps for Success inlcude:
  1. Develop an action plan for 21st century teaching and learning
  2. Consider how e portfolio technology aligns to standards-based instruction and higher-order skills
  3. Answer the E-Portfolio chlallenges of conntectiviy abnd accessbility
  4. Align and allocate resources to further support the use of e-porfolios
  5. Develop a digital culture
  6. Determine how teachers and administrators will support e-portfolios
Student Showcase:
Amy, Darrel, and Kevin shared their E-Portfolios, which included resumes, blog posts, and quick links.

 Heathcliff Lopez shared that by using blogs, students are more honest and reach out more. Face-to-face conversations are not as "open."

Questions from audience:
  1. How can districts use eportfolios with students who are not motivated?
  2. What resources are available to begin implementing eportfolios?
  3. What education do offer students about managing their online identity?
  4. How many districts are piloting eportfolios in project share?
  5. Are students using their own devices?
Cynthia Miller shared how "it is academic social networking" and this is the message that is conveyed to the students.The learning curve for students have been minimal. "We don't have access to computers everyday but we use what we can when we get it.

For additional resources, join the E-Portfolio group in Poject Share, called Piloting eportfolios in Project Share - http://www.epsilen.com/grp/eportfolioGroup

I was extremely proud of both the teachers and students at Del Valle ISD for their hard work and dedication to this pilot program and for their willingness to share their learning journey with others.

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