Friday, September 19, 2014

The ePortfolio - iterations of reflection


30 Day Blogging Challenge - September 19- Name 3 powerful ways that students can reflect on their learning. Discuss the one you use the most

I've used with portfolios long before they were an educational buzzword and started adding incorporating e-portfolios more than a decade ago.

Why?

Because of the power they have to take students through a journey of reflection.  Each step along the way provides a different way that students can reflect.

1)  During the process of collecting artifacts, students must reflect on whether something is worth keeping or sending to the recycle bin.   So whether we are articulating it or not, the process of collecting, curating, and organizing what we keep using bins,  section dividers, or tags involves a lot of reflection about why something is important and how important it is.



2) The portfolio process usually involves some sort of written reflection that accompanies the artifact as it takes its place in a student portfolio.  The act of writing by nature is probably the most powerful way to reflect.  Each word is chosen carefully to describe why the artifact was selected and what it say about you.  The value you placed on a learning tasks say a lot about you as a learner.

3) The presentation of this portfolio in a college interview or a job interview is yet another level of reflection.  If the first two steps are done correctly,  there is a good chance a student will not even open their portfolio during that interview, but it will instead sit on their lap having instilled within the student a sense of identity and confidence in who they are, what they know and can do, and why its important to them.  

I remember of the president of the Chamber of Commerce telling me once -- "Lucie we can always tell your students when they show up for an interview in one of our businesses. They sit there with their portfolio on their lap and have a sense of confidence about them about why they are here."

Each iteration of the reflective process in creating an eportfolio leads to that type of confidence.
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