In addition to being an EdTech Researcher co-blogger, I also write regularly for Edutopia. Several weeks ago, I published Digital Portfolios: The Art of Reflection as a response to inquiries about the true purpose of digital portfolios. Beyond curating content and then publishing it, I wanted to address the role that portfolios could play in supporting students.
Too often, conversations about digital portfolios center on the tools: how to save, share, and publish student work. However, when the process of curate > reflect > publish serves as the sole focal point, digital portfolios become summative in nature and are often viewed as an add-on at the end of a unit, project, or activity.
If the ultimate goal is for students to truly develop as learners, then they need an opportunity for making connections to content as well as the overarching learning objectives. In other words, as Matt Renwick states in his book, students need both progress and performance portfolios to bring learning to life (p.123).
In many ways, this post provided me an opportunity to reconsider the approach that I take when introducing digital portfolios professional development workshops. Rather than begin with the tools or even the idea of curation, my plan moving forward is to begin with the Essential Questions and build reflection into the curriculum rather than onto the end.
You can read the full article at Edutopia.
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