Sunday, March 25, 2007

Digital Portfolios + Wikis

Last week I conducted a workshop for all staff and considered the question of how we are going to use wikis as the basis for student portfolios in Years 7, 8, & 9. The initial challenge for many teachers is to understand the concept of a wiki as an online website that can be created and edited by teachers and students, or anyone for that matter. And the second major concept is the potentially complicated notion of a digital portfolio as more than simply a repository for excellent work. Part of the workshop was to use the Intel Education Visual Ranking tool to rank different purposes for digital portfolios. The main purpose was to have staff discuss how they see portfolios being used with their classes and what learning, assessment and evaluation they might support.
The challenge is to create a shared understanding of what a portfolio is, how it is structured, how and what it demonstrates about student's learning and how it is used in parent/teacher/student conferences. The Victorian Education Department has some excellent online documents that support the understanding and development of portfolios through templates, documents and weblinks. For teachers in the department they access them through their department login although I believe that you can view some of the material as a guest. Try searching from this link for digital portfolios.

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