Digital portfolios for kids

Memorable learning events. That's it. That's the whole goal. That's what teachers consider the Holy Grail. That's what we work so hard to achieve in classrooms with our students. Because if learning is memorable, then it's fulfilling both educational requirements; simultaneously increasing and retaining the capacity of the learner. Once you've mastered the memorability, only then you can begin to measure, evaluate, assess and forward plan.

There are so many ways to make learning memorable. I still vividly remember my Year 5 teacher, Mr Aldridge, throwing a foam ball at us during his lessons, often directing his question and the ball at different students in order to fully maintain both our physical and intellectual attention. I can remember and apply almost all of the things he taught me because his passion and innovation are so ingrained in my memory. I wonder what my students will remember about my passion and innovation?

Creating learning moments that connect with students so significantly that they can remember the event on a daily basis can be challenging. EdTech can assist with this in an abundance of ways.

  • Need to teach various styles of poetry? Students can draw them using DoodleBuddy then narrate using a Tellagami avatar.

  • Need to teach long multiplication? Students can demonstrate and explain the various methods using ShowMe or ExplainEverything.

  • Need to teach critical listening skills? Students can podcast film reviews on GarageBand and evaluate each other according to rubrics made using Assessmate.

  • Need to record a brainstorm? Post a question on PollEverywhere and ask students to contribute live responses on a shared screen.

These are mere suggestions and there are infinite and innovative ways that the curriculum can be brought to life using apps, websites and various technologies. If we teach explicitly and connect curriculum concepts with our students in memorable ways, then we are making our learning moments stick. As Dr Fryer says in his video post,

"Seeking ways to use technology tools and other strategies to better engage students and make the learning process more 'sticky' and transfer better into their long-term memory."

So how to do this? I would suggest that surrounding yourself with other educators who are currently teaching more innovatively is the best starting point. You may just need to be shown one little tip, trick, app or site that gets you thinking; I could tailor that for my class. And then you are away!

At the moment my 5G superstars are busily contributing to their own Digital Portfolios in the form of a personal website made using Weebly for Education. They are each responsible for a five page site as mentioned in a previous post. When they create digital content; music, movies, pictures, art, podcasts etc. eventually it all ends up collated on their individual (and password protected) site. The reasons for doing this include; to be able to share it with parents at our upcoming Learning Journey, to showcase their efforts effectively off of their iPads, to allow them to access and evaluate each other's digital citizenship and etiquette and to permit them to move items from their iPads to their site (thus freeing up precious storage space without losing it entirely).

I know I'm creating memorable learning opprtunities for them. I suggested to them last week that I want to be able to introduce a new learning concept and be able to ask them; what digital tools do we use and understand that would best help us achieve our goal? And you know what? They told me. Then it's not about the technology, it's about the teaching and the learning.

And hey, that's what we're all about.

JS

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