ePortfolio PL Introduction

Welcome, educational pioneers!

You are here because you have decided that you want to try something new, improve your own teaching and learning, and improve the quality of learning for our students. Over the past year and a half, we have been working in a digital leading and learning program. Our main focus has been researching the use and implementation of learning ePortfolios in the secondary classroom. Below, you will find our overall goal, as well as our goals and plans for all nine sessions this year.

This is a different kind of professional learning program that you were introduced to last year. Instead of a “one and done” system which doesn’t really work, we will be practicing the “go and show” model described in the Prezi you viewed with your department. In this model, we will be coming to each session with a clear, achievable goal. We will be there for modeling and support during each session, where we will foster collaboration among all of us. In addition, each session will contain a deliverable  as well as a task to practice and troubleshoot over the month afterwards. In between sessions, we (as well as administration) will also be reaching out to you to check in and see if you are in any need of assistance with that month’s goals. 

If you would like to see our long-term goals, which include school-wide implementation of ePortfolios, check out our outline for both this year and next year. You can also access other ePortfolio related resources and blogs by checking out my ePortfolios  tab. Thank you for volunteering your time towards this innovative alternative professional learning model.  You will NOT be disappointed.

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) – Overarching Course Goal

Teachers will create and utilize learning ePortfolios in their individual classrooms while collaborating and troubleshooting with their colleagues to improve the quality of classroom instruction, student engagement, and authentic student learning.

3 Column Table: 

Learning Goals Learning Activities Assessment Activities
Session 1

Teachers will learn about the “why” behind learning ePortfolios.

Teachers will watch promotional video and will review the ePortfolio literature review. Teachers will create a shared Google doc to hold ideas, needs, areas of concerns, etc. throughout this year’s professional learning.
Session 2

Teachers will learn how to create ePortfolios.

Teachers will create WordPress sites and customize personal ePortfolios. Teachers will expand on their ePortfolios and include pages, categories, menus, blog posts, etc.
Session 3

Teachers will learn how to implement ePortfolios in their classroom.

Teachers will collaborate with the lead teachers and their colleagues on activities that could benefit from ePortfolios. Each teacher will create a plan for how the ePortfolio can be used within his or her classroom.
Session 4

Teachers will learn how to troubleshoot when it comes to implementing the ePortfolios.

Teachers will bring their feedback in regards to strengths/weaknesses and pros/cons of implementing ePortfolios and will collaborate with the group on their experiences to troubleshoot and improve. Teachers will make and document necessary adjustments following the troubleshooting process. These notes will be shared through a Google doc.
Session 5

Teachers will learn how to instruct their students on creating ePortfolios and learn how to create an assignment for a blog post.

Teachers will review how they set up their own ePortfolios and collaborate with the group on how to customize a blog post assignment for their own classrooms.  Teachers will have their students create ePortfolios and also have them create blog posts.
Session 6

Teachers will discuss and create at least one student-centered and classroom-relevant application.

Teachers will troubleshoot last month’s issues. Teachers will also discuss and create examples for student-centered uses of ePortfolios. Teachers will add to session 4’s shared Google doc to add ideas and content, as well as notes about concerns and needed areas of improvement.
Session 7

Teachers will learn how to troubleshoot when it comes to issues regarding ePortfolios in their content area.

Teachers will bring their feedback in regards to strengths/weaknesses and pros/cons of how students are using ePortfolios in their content area and will collaborate and troubleshoot ways to improve with the group. Teachers will make necessary adjustments following the troubleshooting process and continue to add to the shared Google doc.
Session 8

Teachers will discuss and organize time and plans for what to accomplish over the summer and next school year and also determine the group’s needs for the ePortfolios to be a success.

Teachers will discuss their findings from the year. Teachers will also set goals and outline steps for moving forward over the summer and in next year’s alternate professional learning model. Teachers will create a list of needs for resources to share with administration in the next session along with planned sessions for all faculty in the next school year.
Session 9

Teachers will discuss and reflect on the year’s work and will seek approval for moving forward to full building implementation for the following year.

Teachers will host a meeting with administration. Teachers will provide and show both teacher and student ePortfolio exemplars. Teachers will also continue to work on their own ePortfolios over the summer and, if approved, determine collaborative meeting times in July and August.

Key principles for effective professional learning:

KP 1: The duration of professional learning must be significant and ongoing to allow time for teachers to learn a new strategy and grapple with the implementation problem. (Sessions 1-9 and onward)

KP 2: There must be support for a teacher during the implementation stage that addresses the specific challenges of changing classroom practice. (Sessions 1-9 AND in between sessions)

KP 3: Teachers’ initial exposure to a concept should not be passive, but rather should engage teachers through varied approaches so they can participate actively in making sense of a new practice. (Sessions 1-3)

KP 4: Modelling has been found to be highly effective in helping teachers understand a new practice. (Sessions 1, 2, 3, 5, 9)

KP 5: The content presented to teachers shouldn’t be generic, but instead specific to the discipline (for middle school and high school teachers) or grade-level (for elementary school teachers). (Sessions 1-9)


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