Using an ePortfolio to facilitate your professional growth is a way to organize and use your resources, collect your reflections, share your ideas, and document your learning. Google Apps is the perfect tool for maintaining your ePortfolio. The video below demonstrates how teachers can benefit from such a practice.
In your Willard Google Apps account you have access to all these tools, and more:
- Google Docs: create documents, spreadsheets, slideshow, or drawings; upload Word, Excel, PowerPoint files; audio, video files; share and access from multiple locations; collaborate with others on a project by sharing files and using the comment feature; publish a document on the web; take notes when attending a presentations, workshop, or reading a book or projessional journal.
- Blogger: post reflects on what you’ve read, how a lesson went, conferences you’ve attended; include links to the book or blog post you read, the video you watched, the presentation you attended.
- Reader: build a personal learning network by subscribing to online content, participating in conversations with your peers via comments, and sharing articles and resources of interest.
- Calendar: indicate your participation in various professional development activities. Attach files to events (notes from conference, certificate of participation, videos or audio recordings); create a timeline for implementing a new program or strategy.
- Sites: create a webpage that links to all these various resources as a starting point, a homepage, for your portfolio. This provides one link that can be used to share your eportfolio with your administrators, mentors, and peers.
- Groups: build your personal learning network by creating and/or joining a group of your peers in order to share ideas and resources, and get answers to your questions.
- Picasa: upload, edit, and share pictures of students’ work, your classroom, events you’ve participated in, etc.
- Youtube: upload and share recordings of: your lessons, your presentations to peers, presentations you’ve attended, etc.
- Flowr: build your personal learning network by participating in a private group of your coworkers using this social networking tool.
- Aviary: record your thoughts and reflections as audio files.
- Survey Monkey: create a poll and gather feedback from student/parents/peers to assess the implementation of a new strategy or program.
- Creately: develop a diagram or concept map illustrating a newly learned concept to process and apply it. Share this diagram with others and gather input.
Since we now have our students using Google Apps, the same concept applies for them as well. An eportfolio created in Google Apps can easily travel with a student and be shared with teachers, peers, family, friends, colleges, and the world.
As educators we typically want to foster life long learners. I think that using Google Apps for student eportfolios is one of the ways that we can do that. A teacher can model life long learning for students by maintaining an eportfolio and demonstrating that learning can be driven by personal interests, never ends, and that it is social. It encourages students to take ownership of their learning, reflect, and share.