Saturday, May 8, 2010

IWEB: Electronic Portfolios

As the year is winding down, I've been reflecting on my purpose for having my students create Iweb portfolios.  Originally, our tech specialist asked my class to experiment on this application and see what all it could do.  So, we focused second trimester creating, adding, experimenting, and sharing ideas together.

When my colleagues and I had a brainstorming session, a big disadvantage was that students could not work on these at home because it was solely intranet.  If we truly want students to internalize and apply classroom learning, bridging that home/school connection is a must.  That's why so many Web 2.0 tools are becoming ever popular with students to explore.  It matters not what platform you use, PC or MAC, one only needs access to the internet.

Now my scope has changed.  The IWEB has become a centralized place to house their learning.  Whether working on Pages, ComicLife, Kidspiration, or more, my students transfer their finished products to their Iweb pages.  They have even imported quick movies to document their reflections and to keep book lists of all they read.    My student, N, is learning how to import Garageband into Iweb.  It's an application I'm playing with and want my students to try this year.  The latest step was to connect our pages together and create a more website look.  The last week of school, parents will be coming in to see what all they have done and we'll burn everything to a cd.    As I think about next year, my goal is to begin early enough and keep adding all throughout the year.  

My passion has always been primary students and their learning.   The possibilities with this application are endless.  If first and second graders created their portfolio with a couple pages, continue on throughout their elementary career, think about the growth we would see when they left as fifth graders!!  As a fourth grader, they could look at something they created in first or second grade.  It may spark ideas for other projects or new ideas.  But, what an authentic Mentor Text. This is also a wonderful tool for parent/teacher conferences.  I showed each students' portfolio on the smartboard to parents and they enjoyed seeing a visual snapshot into their child's learning.

Thinking about my Big Ideas for learning next year,  the IWEB is going to be a place to begin learning together, and a continuum of learning throughout the year.

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.  ~Chinese Proverb

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