Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection
The advancements in technology in the classroom continues to grow at an exponential rate and it is important that we stay in tune with the 'times' of our world. Especially, if you are an educator. I found this chapter to be particulary useful in the fact that engaging our learners is the number one reason we are here to teach.
Digital portfolios offer efective ways for both students and teachers to assess their teaching and learning accomplishments. With a digital portfolio, you will be able to see a person's expansion of knowledge and skills over time. Unlike a paper portfolio, a digital portfolio is shared with many viewers in a variety of digital formats. Kathleen Blake Yancy distinguishes three different types of digital portfolios currently in use:
- "Online assessment systems" where "students store preselected pieces of work in a commercially or institutionally designed template."
- A "print-loaded" portfolio that takes a paper text and displays it electronically.
- A "Web-sensible" portfolio that takes a paper text and displays it electronically.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital portfolios are as follows;
Accessibility Knowledge and skill requirements
Portability Professional support
Creativity Expensive equipment
Technological self-confidence Time and energy
Community Need for increased viewer skills and equipment
Presentation distracts from content
Curriculum theorist Lee Shulman foresaw five potential dangers of portfolios:
- "Lamination," where the portfolio becomes an elaborately constructed collection of materials whose appearance dominates its substance
- "Heavy lifting," where the time needed to make the portfolio distracts and discourages the maker.
- "Trivialization," where unimportant materials dominate the collection
- "Perversion," where a quantitative scoring system used by evaluators minimizes the process of personal reflection, resulting in the portfolio becoming another test-like measure of performance
- "Misrepresentation," where the teachers include only their best materials rather than those that truly show what happens every day in the classroom
These dangers, argued Shulman, can be counterbalanced by the strengths of portfolios as a teacher assesment approach, including the following five major advantages:
- First, portfolios permit the tracking and documentation of longer episodes of teaching and learning than happens in supervisory observations.
- Second, portfolios encourage the reconnection between process and product.
- Third, portfolios institutionalize norms of collaboration, reflection, and discussion.
- Fourth, a portfolio can be seen as portable residence.
- Fifth, the portfolio shifts the agency from an observer back to the teacher intern.
Tech Tool Link TaskStream
This is a great website for teachers! With the help of TaskStream, you are able to easily design e-portfolios, teacher lesson plans, and unit builders. You have to create an account in order to join for free. This website is easily accessible and would be a great tool for any educator. I plan on using this website in the years to come!
Chapter Summary & Connection
Once again, Transforming Learning with New Technologies has filled the chapter with useful educational ideas for both students and teachers! I learned what the best perfomance based assesment for teachers and students are, as well as how digital portfolios are great tools for learning, and how to actively involve students in participation- which is crucial! One new technology tool that I learned about this chapter is a clicker- a remote control device used to respond to questions posed by teachers using student participation systems.
Maloy, Robert W. "Chapter 11/ Engaging Teachers and Students in Learning and Self-Reflection/Transforming Learning with New Technologies. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2011. 304-327. Print