ISTE11- On to the next one…


Ok, I have officially realized that I will probably need to do a blog post on each session to truly do each justice & work through them properly…

before I begin my rambling 2 things 1. I am only focusing on the positives, highlights & how I feel each session can best be implemented b/c I fear that without this focus I will write a book titled something like “Super pumped new techy fireball of a teacher’s take on ISTE11” vol 1-3 therefore I am trying to focus myself and remember Dr. Fredrickson’s constant comments on my college papers that I should “work on my over wordiness” haha, yeahhhh Doc…I came out wordy so not too sure on how to begin that life change but here’s to trying!  Oh, & 2. I am disgustingly fortunate to have 1:1 macbooks & i touches in my classroom (thanks in HUGE part to a board that believes in the absolute necessity for technology integration in a 21st century, globally connected students life) so I am not assuming all readers have this but for my own sake,sanity & reflection purposes I am writing from this perspective. Too Wordy?!?! You are crazy Dr. Fredrickson! (insert understanding of sarcastic comment here please) 

whooooo & now I will begin! 

Digital Portfolios- David Niguidula- How They Transform Schools 

(Niguidala co-authored a couple chapters in 21st Century Curriculum)<a href="“>

My immediate take away: Digital Portfolios are a must for 21st century learners. I fully understand that some schools do not have the computers necessary to complete online digital portfolios but if you do, YOU NEED TO BE DOING THIS. (those caps are mostly directed at myself to get going!) I will post the link to my evernote’s from this session but some of the highlights (with my 2 cents added) will be listed below

1. “It is not about the students just knowing the standards, it is about them understanding the standards & then using them in an effective way” <— that best compliments & supports their individual learning styles, ideas, questions, journey etc. 

He showed a simple way of listing the standards & rubric, project checklist etc. beside the project in the students portfolio & then had the students reflect not just on the project itself, but how that project, or answer, or essay, or reflection, or drawing, or whatever each student CREATED supports/shows their understanding of the standard itself. **For me this aspect of the student taking true ownership of the standard & how it is represented in their work is absolutely crucial in support of an independent learner. (especially one that needs to be able to see a not so up-to-date standard & not only understand it but understand WHY it can be used as a catalyst for individual understanding, discovery, creation, etc)

2. “it is the best way to see where a student started, then where they went & where they ended up” <— oh hey, its not about the destination so much as the journey. I want to be an educator that takes my students on the most purposeful & challenging journey possible. (this is how you show the journey you and your students took) I also think the element of the students going in and explaining why the project is relevant is amazingly powerful in both creating a full circe understanding & also giving them ownership of their work & thoughts.

3. “We have to teach them how to reflect by modeling reflection” <– this will open the door to student ownership of their work- “your purpose is what counts” 

4. A quick overview of a process to take with a project within the digital portfolio…Focus Lesson- Formative Assessment throughout- Students create work (make sure they have a checklist, know the expectations, create their own expectations, allow holes for INDIVIDUALITY TO SHINE, and questioning to occur)- summary of the work- reflection of the work- presentation- GIVE THEM A PURPOSEFUL AUDIENCE, NOT JUST THE TEACHER & CLASS (think bigger- use twitter, other social networking sites, consider ways for their work to get published, etc)

5.End of the year- have students chose their “best work” & repeat the aformentioned process–this is where I believe an extensive audience can really give the students an authentic connection to their work 

6. Have other teachers (if you are Social Studies, have Science, Math, English etc) teachers be part of the review process of the students Social Studies project. This was so interesting to me, & would love to incorporate this aspect, again with opening up the audience & showing students real-world scenerios <– “This not only makes teachers hold up their side of the bargain but also allow teachers to look at the student as a whole” how great to get to see how your students think, work, operate etc. in other contents!!!

7. “Give the students an audience” – whether it is parents, other teachers, colleges, administrators, students in Oregon or New Zealand the “digital portfolio truly allows a project to come full circle” <– I cannot help but think how great this will be for me when I try my hand at the  and other ways in which I am trying to give my students the global connections necessary to ensuring their learning journey is successful. 

8. The beginnings of a “professional portfolio” This is just the beginning of how great digital portfolios can be in the classroom. I would ideally love for my students to have a digital portfolio in each one of their classes, for all 4 years of high school (or even from 7th grade on) How cool to have this digital representation of your learning growth to present in a college or job interview. How self-fulfilling to see “just how far you have come” & better yet envision how much further you can go. The benefits for both students & educators alike are truly endless, especially when considering effectiveness, feedback, physical evidence of learning, & reflection. 

9. Resources I plan on using to begin my digital portfolio journey (management, not necessarily project creation wise b/c that is a whole other post)for the upcoming school year are in this particular order —> My class is virtually centered around    (which I am a huge supporter of & working on a blog post on for you nay sayers out there πŸ™‚ students each have their own profile within their class and will use this site to see their class calendar, agenda, discuss, access documents, videos, images, project checklists, email, blog, collaborate, share,etc. etc. etc. but I have decided that their actual professional portfolio will be built on because it is “the easiest way to post & share everything” I’ve used every type of blogger out there & for me posterous really is the easiest & most efficient. (as is schoology, it makes edmodo & booooodle look like a 8 track & a record) & don’t get me wrong I love vintage things but not when my students digital citizenship is involved! (also both of these sites have awesome free apps that allow students to post discussions, & blogs) I also plan on using the touch & mac app to open up more oral discussion, reflection etc, this just seems like the easiest way to get their voice out there, & again is free. 


Overall, digital portfolios are completely necessary in giving students the platform necessary to not only having an effective purpose for their work but also in supporting them in a globally & digitally connected society. Some of the questions I walked away from the session with (b/c ISTE sessions are on speed & there is little time for face-to-face questions posed & answered) I would love to hear any responses that you all have…

How do you get other teachers & administrators on board with digital portfolios & what are they best ways to teach colleagues how to use them? 

How do you find the time to ensure students are given plenty of time to not only complete the project but also to reflect, present to their audience, etc?

How do you create project questions that connect multiple standards but also give students the freedom to add in their individual questions, ideas etc. 

Where does cooperation & collaboration fit into this, how could students cross-curriculum projects? 

andddd here is the link to my evernotes from this session you are welcome to read, copy, share, etc. evernotes can be found here —>

on to the next one…but before, please consider this in how we teach- (posted by @MaryAnnReilly)



2 thoughts on “ISTE11- On to the next one…

  1. Just a thought… did you consider LiveBinders for making student digital portfolios? Still use Posterous as a growth and reflection piece, but have student have their Posterous blog as one tab. This way, there can be other tabs where additional evidence, goals, assessments, etc. Can be displayed. We always include a tab, too, called, "My Digital Footprint". We can talk about your wordiness later, if you want, on a Skype call. :-). Both you & Dr. Frederickson have valid points.

  2. Hey- I have looked into it but will have to more after your suggestion-it sounds enticing as far as organization goes. I definitely want to to be as organized & efficient as possible & have found that the less websites my students have to hop around the better they do & the less frustrated they get. This is especially difficult when I am 9/10 the only teacher they have that is doing "non-traditional" teaching such as PBL so any suggestions & examples are greatly appreciated. I am also really trying to work on creating questions that are truly multifunctional & combine several standards into one project-so any suggestions you have on that will also be gladly taken into consideration! Also, definite yes to the wordiness lesson via skype!

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