Posted by: csdailyblog | February 5, 2011

Tech Training: Conserve School E-Portfolios

Kathy Jones, Math Teacher and Educational Technology Coordinator, makes a point to students Bree, Koty, and Autumn while Dean Kathleen O'Connor looks on.

It’s a challenge for students to become comfortable quickly with all the functions of their laptops, so to help them along, we offer small bites of tech training throughout the semester. Everyone learns technology better if the information is delivered in short sessions. Students first had an introduction to technology at Conserve School during orientation and then a second training session one evening this past week. We broke students up into three groups that met separately so that we could give each student more individualized attention. Kathy Jones, Math Teacher and Educational Technology Coordinator, led the training, and Kathleen O’Connor (Academic Dean), Stefan Anderson (Head of School), and I circulated among the students to provide assistance.

Head of School Stefan Anderson points something out to Maggie while Amber looks on. Devon is just visible in the next row.

We introduced students to our e-portfolio system, a means for students to collect and reflect on school work and activities that are particularly meaningful to them. Academic research shows that reflection and self-assessment are powerful tools for improving student learning, and an e-portfolio can be a useful vehicle for eliciting and guiding self-reflection. (See one example of educational literature that promotes the use of student self-evaluation here.) In addition, the professional world uses technology routinely to showcase achievements, products, and services, so by teaching Conserve students how to assemble an on-line portfolio, we’re giving them a boost on their way to developing the skills and outlook of professionals. In addition, more and more colleges are adopting e-portfolio expectations. Here is one example, from Clemson University.  

Koty looks like he is a bit puzzled, and he glances over at Autumn to see how she's doing.

Putting together the e-portfolios will challenge students because the task requires not only a certain amount of technical skill, but also independent and creative thinking. Students have to review their work regularly, write about why they think their work is worth featuring, and explain how they might have done better — and they publish their work to the whole wide world, something many of them have never done.

In recognition of the skill and effort necessary to create a good e-portfolio, we’ve scheduled short e-portfolio help sessions throughout the semester. We’ve also provided an incentive: college scholarships for the students who create the best e-portfolios. Here you can read about last semester’s scholarship winners.

See more photos and text about the first week of tech training on Educational Technology Coordinator (and Math Teacher) Kathy Jones’ Conserve School website.

On another note, we took three vans of students to the Three Bear Sled Dog Races in Land O’ Lakes today. Photos coming soon!

Mary Anna

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  1. I really enjoy all the photographs on the parents blog site, thanks for diligently posting these!

    • You’re welcome!

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