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Portfolio March 7, 2007

Posted by hbarrett in Portfolios.
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This is the first page of the GoogleDocs version of my Electronic Portfolio that was automatically posted to this blog.

My Electronic Portfolio – Dr. Helen Barrett
IntroductionReflectionBiographyPublications Portfolio At a GlanceGoals and Mission • (below)

My Competencies: Electronic Portfolios • Digital Storytelling • Technology • Teaching and Instructional Design
My Artifacts (Portfolio-at-a-Glance) (opens in a new page)


Introduction

Welcome to my Google Docs e-portfolio. I am exploring the capabilities of using this system to maintain electronic portfolios as part of my research on implementation of online electronic portfolio systems. Click on one of the links at the bottom to see the pages that I have decided to include in this version of my portfolio. You can read my biography, see the artifacts that I have identified as my best work, and read my reflections about creating this portfolio and my future goals. If you want to see all of the artifacts in my portfolio, select Portfolio-at-a-glance. If you follow a link to an artifact a new window will open and if you want to return to the portfolio, close the top window.

Every portfolio has a purpose. My purpose for developing this portfolio is to show my skills in developing an electronic portfolio using any number of tools. After reviewing all of my artifacts (see my Portfolio at a Glance) I found five general categories of competencies:

  1. Electronic Portfolio Competency – Knowledge, Skills and Experience
  2. Digital Storytelling Competency – Digital Video Editing Skills
  3. Technology Competency – Multimedia & Web Page Authoring Skills
  4. Teaching & Instructional Design Competency – Presentations
  5. Writing & Assessment Competency (My Publications below)

Click on the link above to open the page with the reflection on each competency, along with links and captions for each of the artifacts that support my achievement of that competency. My Artifacts (Portfolio-at-a-Glance) is a matrix that shows all of the artifacts in my portfolio, and the competency demonstrated.


My Reflection on the process

This is the 25th tool that I have used to create my electronic portfolio. Since I copied the pages from another version of my portfolio, all URLs automatically came over as weblinks. The tool allowed me to reconstruct my portfolio in less than an hour, copying and pasting the information. I easily uploaded my only file artifacts (on the Portfolio-at-a-Glance page). All of my other artifacts are web links.

This system has the potential to offer interactivity, since each page can have comments added by those selected to Collaborate. I was able to add links by simply creating a link and I could designate that link would open a new browser window which is what I prefer: the portfolio remains open so that when an artifact is opened, the reader can close the window and easily return to the portfolio, rather than using the Back button.

There is also no data management tool, to aggregate assessment data, although Google Spreadsheet could be used. Therefore, this tool would work for formative assessment (providing teacher and peer feedback on student work) but not for summative assessment. But the process for adding comments and feedback would need to be agreed upon with the readers.

The major advantage of GoogleDocs is that it is a Web 2.0 tool, and universally available through a WWW browser. I found it fairly easy to use, although it helped that I knew how to edit HTML to fine tune the formatting. I tried to use the Google Spreadsheet to create the Portfolio-at-a-Glance matrix, since it was originally created in Excel. However, I could not easily create a hyperlink in the cells, and the links did not translate when I converted the Excel spreadsheet into Google. So, I converted the spreadsheet to HTML and pasted it into Edit HTML on a new page. A table is easy to edit in a GoogleDoc page.

I think this program is a viable tool for maintaining portfolios that are comprised mostly of word processing documents that are converted into GoogleDocs. I don’t know how it handles other documents as attachments, such as PowerPoint. It is very easy to create links from a GoogleDocs page to any web page or any other GoogleDoc page.


My Biography

My Vita can be viewed on my website athttp://electronicportfolios.org/2006Vita.pdf

I recently retired from the faculty of the College of Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage and have been researching electronic portfolios since 1991, publishing a web site on Technology and Alternative Assessment since1995 and an Apple Learning Interchange Exhibit (linked below). I was involved in Educational Technology and Staff Development in Alaska between 1983 and 2001,first as Staff Development Coordinator with the Fairbanks School District and then with the University of Alaska Anchorage. I was in charge of Educational Technology programs for the School of Education and initiated the development of UAA’s New Media Center for campus-wide faculty development.

As the Assessment Coordinator for the International Society for Technology in Education’s National Educational Technology Standards for teachers (ISTE NETS-T) Project (2000-2005), I developing strategies and resources to assess teacher technology competence. I also served as Vice President for Assessment and E-Folios for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). Through the Educause/NLII/AAHE Community of Practice, I provided early leadership to define pedagogical specifications for online portfolio systems.

Between 1999 and 2001, I wrote several successful federal technology grants, the most recent through ISTE to support technology and assessment in teacher education programs throughout the United States, providing training and technical assistance on using electronic portfolios to assess achievement of teaching standards. I was on loan to ISTE on a full time basis for the duration of this PT3 Catalyst Grant (2001-2005).

My presentations at numerous regional and national conferences have explored the emerging field of technology and alternative assessment and my authoritative articles have appeared in books, journals and proceedings published by ISTE, AACE, AAHE, and WCCE. I recently produced a multimedia CD-ROM-based Electronic Portfolio Handbook. My research about electronic portfolios began with a study of K-12 student portfolios for the Alaska Department of Education in the early 90s. In the mid-90s, my research focus changed to electronic teacher portfolios, and I am currently exploring both high school graduation portfolios and family involvement in e-portfolio development in early childhood education. This newest research focuses on how schools can meet the Parent Involvement goal of NCLB through the collaborative development of electronic portfolios to communicate authentic student learning related to standards, goals or outcomes.

In 2005, I became the Research Project Director for The REFLECT Initiative, an international research project, underwritten by TaskStream, to assess the impact of electronic portfolios on student learning, motivation and engagement in secondary schools.


My Future Learning Goals and Mission

I believe that all portfolios need to include three forms of reflection, focusing on the past, present, and future. These questions are:

– What? (the artifacts that I have collected from the past)
– So What? (what these artifacts show about my learning at the present time)
– Now What? (my future learning goals)

So, here are my future goals. This version of my portfolio was created after I retired from the University of Alaska Anchorage. I am using this portfolio to help me reflect on my strengths and how that will contribute to my future professional direction.

Researching Electronic Portfolios

I have spent the 2005-2006 school year conducting the REFLECT Initiative, the first in a two-year research project on electronic portfolios in secondary schools, sponsored by TaskStream. I am really excited about what we are finding in this research, and would like to do much more of this work in the future. I am looking forward to the second year of REFLECT, when I will have an opportunity to conduct focus groups with the high school students who have been using TaskStream for the last year. I have also begun an informal study of high school electronic portfolio implementation in my home state of Washington.

Digital Storytelling

After I finally retire, I want to encourage “baby boomers” and senior citizens to use digital storytelling to preserve their memories and life stories for future generations; a mission statement: “using today’s technology to tell yesterday’s stories to tomorrow’s generations.” The current popularity of scrapbooking and genealogy all indicate that there is an interest to preserve these memories. But those who study genealogy know that we can find the dates and facts about a life, but stories that are not preserved are lost forever. Everyone has a story to tell. Digital storytelling is one way to preserve and share our family legacies.

Perhaps I can also work into the process a “retirement transition” focus, using digital family stories as a way of finding a new purpose in retirement after a very busy working life. Learning to share digital stories could become a powerful transition activity. And in the process, new retirees could learn technology skills that they might have missed in their professional careers.

Here is an opportunity for schools, as well, to bring this digital storytelling process to their communities, to match young people who have the technology skills with older people who have the stories to be preserved. Then, we can truly become a community of lifelong learners who share our knowledge and wisdom with each other.


Portfolio-at-a-Glance

Before creating a portfolio, it is good to create an advanced organizer, to identify the specific artifacts that I wanted to include in my portfolio. Below are three versions of my portfolio: the original Excel version, a PDF version,and a scanned copy of my original worksheet that was used to classify the artifacts.

After selecting the artifacts, I tried to identify which competencies or skills each artifact demonstrates. I found five or six major categories right now, maybe more when I think about it. But the major categories have emerged. Now, all I have to do is create a collection for each grouping, and write an overall reflection plus record the captions. Since I had all of the artifacts on one of my websites, all I had to do was capture the URL.

From start to finish this project took me an evening, and most of the time was spent in selecting the artifacts and writing the captions. Those aren’t really technology issues…they are portfolio issues.

Excel Version: Portfolio-at-a-Glance (Table)

I spent an evening in 2004 going through my web pages and my hard drive (my digital archive) to select the specific artifacts that I wanted to use in my portfolio. I set up this Excel spreadsheet that let me list the artifacts (21 in all) and then create hyperlinks to each URL. If your browser will not open an Excel file, open the next version (in PDF).

PDF Version: Portfolio-at-a-Glance (PDF)

After creating the list with the URLs, I added comments in Excel to represent the captions for each artifact. I played around with converting the document into HTML, but spent too much time fighting the Microsoft style sheet codes. So I just converted the document into PDF, which I will use on the WWW. I uploaded the Excel spreadsheet to this portfolio as a document, but I might prefer using the PDF.


My Publications

These publications were selected as evidence of my writing skills and my knowledge about portfolios that support assessment for learning. I chose examples of my publications from the early 1990s through to the summer of 2004. I can definitely see a change in my thinking about portfolios, from learning about e-portfolio tools, to learning about assessment for learning. The most recent articles reflect a real change in my thinking, profoundly impacted by the changes in technology between the early 90s and 2006 (pre-Internet through Web 2.0) as well as a greater awareness, through my reading and research, of the impact of portfolios and reflection on assessment for learning.

Purpose of Digital Stories in ePortfolios
http://electronicportfolios.org/digistory/purposes.html
This paper was developed for the Digital Storytelling Gathering, and provides examples of digital stories created for several purposes.


Authentic Assessment with Electronic Portfolios using Common Software and Web 2.0 Tools
http://electronicportfolios.org/web20.html
This paper is accepted for an updated version of Coming of Age: an introduction to the new World Wide Web; it started initially as a handout for a workshop at the KIPP conference in New Orleans in early August 2006, that I co-facilitated with one of my REFLECT teacher leaders. I became very excited about the many Web 2.0 tools that I found to support IEPs (Interactive Electronic Portfolios) or what I refer to as ePortfolios 2.0.


AERA paper
http://electronicportfolios.org/reflect/AERAPaper2006.pdf
Roundtable Paper discussed at American Educational Research Association Conference (April 9, 2006). This paper presents the REFLECT Research Data Collection Plan, and options for questionnaire items to be included in the second round of data collection (for Spring 2006).


White Paper: Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement
http://electronicportfolios.org/reflect/whitepaper.pdf
This 2005 paper was written for TaskStream to cover the literature for the REFLECT Initiative, a research project on implementing electronic portfolios in secondary schools.


Article for IRA JAAL Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement: The REFLECT Initiative
Accepted for upcoming Electronic Portfolio issue of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (JAAL-International Reading Association) – July 2006. This paper is an update of the White Paper (below) that was written at the beginning of the REFLECT Initiative. This updated paper discusses some of the findings from the first year site visits. (only available through IRA for now)


Connected Newsletter article
http://electronicportfolios.org/portfolios/ConnectedNewsletter.pdf
Using Electronic Portfolios for Formative/Classroom-based Assessment. Submitted June 2006 to the Connected Newsletter (Classroom Connect). This paper was a re-write and update of the REFLECT Brief published in early 2005 as part of the RFP.


Create Your Own Electronic Portfolio
http://electronicportfolios.org/portfolios/iste2k.html
The latest article that I published in Learning & Leading with Technology, April 2000, focused on “Using Off-the-Shelf Software to Showcase Your Own or Student Work.” In this article, I moved from commercial software to the use of common desktop software tools.


Technology-Supported Portfolio Assessment
http://electronicportfolios.org/portfolios/compteach0394.htm
This was my first publication on Electronic Portfolios, published in The Computing Teacher, March, 1994. Reprinted in Student Portfolios: A Collection of Articles edited by Robin Fogarty (1996). Palatine, Illinois: IRI/Skylight Training & Publishing, Inc., pp. 127-137.


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