Students will have a few more formal opportunities this week to finalize their e-portfolios with help from staff members. We’ve set up both a required help session and an informal drop-in time during which students can receive direction, encouragement, and technical help — and snacks, which we’ve learned over the years seem to make everything go better!
Our e-portfolio system is a means for students to record and reflect on school work and activities that have been particularly meaningful to them and to store them online in a way that is easy to access both for them once they leave Conserve School and for friends or family members. 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. Furthermore, more and more colleges are adopting e-portfolio expectations. Here is one example, from Clemson University.
Putting together the e-portfolios challenges students because the task requires not only a certain amount of technical skill, but also independent and creative thinking. Students have to look carefully and thoughtfully at their work and then comment on why they think their work is worth featuring. E-portfolio prompts also ask them to explain how they might have done better. And, in their e-portfolio, they publish their work to the whole wide world, something many of them have never done before.
In recognition of the skill and effort necessary to create a good e-portfolio, we’ve provided an incentive: college scholarships for the CS2 students who create the best e-portfolios. Here you can read about last semester’s scholarship winners.
CS2 portfolios will be evaluated according to a rubric by a small group of staff members this Thursday evening, and the most highly rated entries will earn scholarships of $500, $300, and $200. Good luck, CS2 students, and we look forward to seeing your completed e-portfolios!