Monthly Archives: January 2011

Forde, C., McMahon, M. & Reeves, J. (2009). Putting Together Professional Portfolios. London: Sage.⤴

from @ TecnoTeach


Chapter 1 - What Is a Portfolio

'a space in which you can plan and reflect in depth on your practice, helping identify your strengths and find ways of building on these' (p.1).

OR

'a collection of materials put together in a meaningful way to demonstrate the practice and learning of an educational practitioner' (p.1).

IT IS NOT

'a random collection of materials and artefacts'.

What is the purpose:

* to illustrate achievements?
* to demonstrate ongoing developments of thinking and practice?
* to collect evidence?
* to provide a vehicle for reflection?

Types of portfolios:

* Course Content - contains items that have significant relevance to a course.
* CPD Portfolio - contains record of professional development with reflections and evaluations.
* Competence-based Portfolio - achievement against specific criteria.
* Accreditation for Prior Learning - contains evidence related to prior learning.
* Project Portfolio - contains resources and reflections of groups related to a specific topic.

There are quite a few similarities and differences between what we place in different types of portfolios that it is easy to get blur the boundaries between the main focus or to use the wrong tool for the job.  In this age where many use blogs and wikis as their electronic means of reflection and evidence, I do question whether the correct tool is being applied for the correct purpose.  How often I have seen wikis being used as a reflective tool in the format of a diary and blogs being used as a place to record evidence when the other way around would be much more beneficial.  Surely as years roll on it is much easier to view an organised wiki to view specific key evidence that trail through a specific tag in a blog and likely so, it is easier to map development by viewing the learning journey in a blog than fish through a wikispace.  

If you are using a blog or a wikispace: what is the purpose of your online space?  Look at the different types and purposes and see if you can reflect on the reason you have either chosen a tool or been asked to use a tool and is it the right tool for the job.  Hopefully by looking at the above key aspects, you will begin to understand the 'why' and 'what' of ePortfolios and the online tools available.  There will be cross-overs and stand-alone moments but at the end of the day the underpinning purpose should be a place to map the development of one's relationship between learning and practice.

My Personal Response:

I originally created this blog, not to illustrate my achievements or collect evidence but to share what I was doing with technology in the classroom with a wider audience where the knowledge of the crowd was far greater than the knowledge of the individual.  By joining the 'community of practice' of my fellow educational bloggers, I could learn from them and reciprocate this knowledge sharing by sharing my ideas through this blog where developments in emerging technologies were at the heart of my reflections.

Over the years, this blog has moved a little towards collecting evidence, however, still has the reflective process and sharing as the main reason for posting.  It has still not, to me, met the purpose of 'illustrating achievement' due to it being my personal reflective area to connect with others and converse rather than just show.  Illustrating my achievement comes primarily through my professional CV or through my personal wikispace that provides more a timeline of events and evidence rather than the reflective process.

So the question is, why am I writing about Portfolios and discussing my blog?  It appears that many use blogs for the purpose of a Portfolio and tag specific aspects of learning.  For me, this is not the purpose of my blog, and like the old saying goes, 'what is one man's meat is another man's poison'.  


Forde, C., McMahon, M. & Reeves, J. (2009). Putting Together Professional Portfolios. London: Sage.⤴

from @ TecnoTeach


Chapter 1 - What Is a Portfolio

'a space in which you can plan and reflect in depth on your practice, helping identify your strengths and find ways of building on these' (p.1).

OR

'a collection of materials put together in a meaningful way to demonstrate the practice and learning of an educational practitioner' (p.1).

IT IS NOT

'a random collection of materials and artefacts'.

What is the purpose:

* to illustrate achievements?
* to demonstrate ongoing developments of thinking and practice?
* to collect evidence?
* to provide a vehicle for reflection?

Types of portfolios:

* Course Content - contains items that have significant relevance to a course.
* CPD Portfolio - contains record of professional development with reflections and evaluations.
* Competence-based Portfolio - achievement against specific criteria.
* Accreditation for Prior Learning - contains evidence related to prior learning.
* Project Portfolio - contains resources and reflections of groups related to a specific topic.

There are quite a few similarities and differences between what we place in different types of portfolios that it is easy to get blur the boundaries between the main focus or to use the wrong tool for the job.  In this age where many use blogs and wikis as their electronic means of reflection and evidence, I do question whether the correct tool is being applied for the correct purpose.  How often I have seen wikis being used as a reflective tool in the format of a diary and blogs being used as a place to record evidence when the other way around would be much more beneficial.  Surely as years roll on it is much easier to view an organised wiki to view specific key evidence that trail through a specific tag in a blog and likely so, it is easier to map development by viewing the learning journey in a blog than fish through a wikispace.  

If you are using a blog or a wikispace: what is the purpose of your online space?  Look at the different types and purposes and see if you can reflect on the reason you have either chosen a tool or been asked to use a tool and is it the right tool for the job.  Hopefully by looking at the above key aspects, you will begin to understand the 'why' and 'what' of ePortfolios and the online tools available.  There will be cross-overs and stand-alone moments but at the end of the day the underpinning purpose should be a place to map the development of one's relationship between learning and practice.

My Personal Response:

I originally created this blog, not to illustrate my achievements or collect evidence but to share what I was doing with technology in the classroom with a wider audience where the knowledge of the crowd was far greater than the knowledge of the individual.  By joining the 'community of practice' of my fellow educational bloggers, I could learn from them and reciprocate this knowledge sharing by sharing my ideas through this blog where developments in emerging technologies were at the heart of my reflections.

Over the years, this blog has moved a little towards collecting evidence, however, still has the reflective process and sharing as the main reason for posting.  It has still not, to me, met the purpose of 'illustrating achievement' due to it being my personal reflective area to connect with others and converse rather than just show.  Illustrating my achievement comes primarily through my professional CV or through my personal wikispace that provides more a timeline of events and evidence rather than the reflective process.

So the question is, why am I writing about Portfolios and discussing my blog?  It appears that many use blogs for the purpose of a Portfolio and tag specific aspects of learning.  For me, this is not the purpose of my blog, and like the old saying goes, 'what is one man's meat is another man's poison'.  


The Student Perspective – No Longer Living Next Door to Alice- Week Three⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better than Yesterday

There are some days when teaching is merely a series of small battles. With management, with colleagues, with pupils, with parents even; with computers which get huffy at exactly the same time you want them to be your friend. I had some of those battles this week in preparing for Episode Three of Inanimate Alice.  It seems that every computer suite in the school was overbooked for weeks ahead and the fabulous notebooks we used last week were nowhere to be seen. For two days, all of my preparation had to stay on hold. But did I lose heart? Well, yes, I did a bit.
The first two weeks had gone so well that perhaps inevitably I was forgetting that, when teaching something so completely new and, to me , original, it can be a rocky road at times. I’ve never been through the process. Next time I’ll be more aware. I teach in a school of 1800 kids; the ICT provision is ‘unhelpful’ at times; and, yes, I did replace another word with ‘unhelpful’.  Trying something like ‘Inanimate Alice’ takes a lot of preparation; but it’s worth it.


My class and I had recently set up Individual Blogs on GLOW – Scotland’s National Intranet for Schools – and, as a temporary measure until I could gain access to notebooks , I asked the students to Blog their thoughts on Episodes One and Two. This week, I’ll let them tell you their story.


Harry’s Blog     
                     

“When I first saw Inanimate Alice, I had walked into the middle of it because I was at a music lesson. After I came in, I quickly tuned into the story.  Once a few scenes had passed I noticed that it was the same story we read a few days ago. When I first saw it I read the words and then noticed the background images and film. I also heard strange music which made me uncomfortable.
The first time I saw “Inanimate Alice” I really loved the idea of it and watched it at my home, it is a very different experience to reading which I love. I also love film and music so it was a very enjoyable experience.”


Morgan’s Blog

“To read the online story you need to be aware of everything you are watching, hearing and reading. I tried to look at every part of the screen so I didn’t miss any picture or movement in the story. The sound is really helpful as it helps you imagine how Alice is feeling whereas with just the words it is not as obvious. The thing I really enjoyed was the interaction in the online stories because it is fun and it makes you feel part of the story.
 My favourite part of the story so far is when Alice falls out in the snow in the second one because the sounds are loud and fast and it makes you hold your breath!”

Scott's Blog

“The part of Inanimate Alice that worked for me was the puzzles because they made the story more fun. In Episode Two I was more used to the screen layout and I did not get distracted from reading the words. My reading skills changed after reading Episode Two because I became more able to read with things distracting me from reading. A tip I would share with other digital story readers is to try and not get distracted.”




Beth’s Blog

Inanimate Alice has been great!

"The music and the images just make the whole thing really exciting. Sometimes though, the music was quite uncomfortable. I’ve never seen anything like it and it was so good when we got to use the netbooks. We could go at our own pace and notice more because it was closer to us.

I’ve enjoyed everything from Inanimate Alice so far. The group work has been good because we all put our ideas together and came up with what we think the next episode will be like. We’ve noticed things that each other hasn’t, giving us more questions to think about!
Trying to make sense of the story is difficult though, I have so many questions like, Who is Brad, is he real or totally made up, and how can he speak?
I can’t wait till we can make our own Inanimate Alice episode. I have some pretty good ideas and even though it looks quite difficult it’ll be loads of fun!”


Ailsa’s Blog

“I really like ‘Inanimate Alice’. I like the way you were seeing everything through Alice’s eyes. It was cool the way it had the black background and the white text because usually it is a white background with black text. I like the way you need to play a game on the player to get to the next scene. My favourite game on the player is the bicycle game where you need to make the whole bicycle pink.”


Rebecca’s Blog

“When I was reading this I couldn’t get my eyes away from the screen. It literally brought you in and wouldn’t let go of you. When I was reading I scanned my eyes up and down and all around.
What really worked was it actually made you read between the lines and not just skim it quickly, you actually read it, looked around the screen then read it again to really take it in. My favourite part was when Brad speaks to her because I have so many questions that haven’t been answered about this part. How does he speak? Is he based on a real person? Is it her imagination?”


Lewis’s Blog   
                                  
“In my English class we used netbooks for the second episode of Inanimate Alice. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen, it was that good. The best bit I thought was in Episode Two and it was the part where Alice was going to go to ski school, but she fell in the snow. That got my heart thumping.
The most difficult part to read is when the writing is flashing to make the part look scary. The music worked very well with the story. By the time I read the second episode I knew what to expect. I would tell people who are reading their first digital story - ‘focus on everything you read, see and hear.’”


I apologise for such a long post this week but I was delighted with the kids’ responses. We eventually got to see Episode Three late on Friday but had no real time to follow up. We’ll do that on Monday. However, what I’ve learned this week is that, even though I prepare my lessons thoroughly at all times, if you are considering Inanimate Alice for your class, make sure that every aspect is covered. With schools cutting back all over the place, don’t let a lack of hardware get in the way of the student experience.

The Student Perspective – No Longer Living Next Door to Alice- Week Three⤴

from @ Just Trying to be Better than Yesterday

There are some days when teaching is merely a series of small battles. With management, with colleagues, with pupils, with parents even; with computers which get huffy at exactly the same time you want them to be your friend. I had some of those battles this week in preparing for Episode Three of Inanimate Alice.  It seems that every computer suite in the school was overbooked for weeks ahead and the fabulous notebooks we used last week were nowhere to be seen. For two days, all of my preparation had to stay on hold. But did I lose heart? Well, yes, I did a bit.
The first two weeks had gone so well that perhaps inevitably I was forgetting that, when teaching something so completely new and, to me , original, it can be a rocky road at times. I’ve never been through the process. Next time I’ll be more aware. I teach in a school of 1800 kids; the ICT provision is ‘unhelpful’ at times; and, yes, I did replace another word with ‘unhelpful’.  Trying something like ‘Inanimate Alice’ takes a lot of preparation; but it’s worth it.


My class and I had recently set up Individual Blogs on GLOW – Scotland’s National Intranet for Schools – and, as a temporary measure until I could gain access to notebooks , I asked the students to Blog their thoughts on Episodes One and Two. This week, I’ll let them tell you their story.


Harry’s Blog     
                     

“When I first saw Inanimate Alice, I had walked into the middle of it because I was at a music lesson. After I came in, I quickly tuned into the story.  Once a few scenes had passed I noticed that it was the same story we read a few days ago. When I first saw it I read the words and then noticed the background images and film. I also heard strange music which made me uncomfortable.
The first time I saw “Inanimate Alice” I really loved the idea of it and watched it at my home, it is a very different experience to reading which I love. I also love film and music so it was a very enjoyable experience.”


Morgan’s Blog

“To read the online story you need to be aware of everything you are watching, hearing and reading. I tried to look at every part of the screen so I didn’t miss any picture or movement in the story. The sound is really helpful as it helps you imagine how Alice is feeling whereas with just the words it is not as obvious. The thing I really enjoyed was the interaction in the online stories because it is fun and it makes you feel part of the story.
 My favourite part of the story so far is when Alice falls out in the snow in the second one because the sounds are loud and fast and it makes you hold your breath!”

Scott's Blog

“The part of Inanimate Alice that worked for me was the puzzles because they made the story more fun. In Episode Two I was more used to the screen layout and I did not get distracted from reading the words. My reading skills changed after reading Episode Two because I became more able to read with things distracting me from reading. A tip I would share with other digital story readers is to try and not get distracted.”




Beth’s Blog

Inanimate Alice has been great!

"The music and the images just make the whole thing really exciting. Sometimes though, the music was quite uncomfortable. I’ve never seen anything like it and it was so good when we got to use the netbooks. We could go at our own pace and notice more because it was closer to us.

I’ve enjoyed everything from Inanimate Alice so far. The group work has been good because we all put our ideas together and came up with what we think the next episode will be like. We’ve noticed things that each other hasn’t, giving us more questions to think about!
Trying to make sense of the story is difficult though, I have so many questions like, Who is Brad, is he real or totally made up, and how can he speak?
I can’t wait till we can make our own Inanimate Alice episode. I have some pretty good ideas and even though it looks quite difficult it’ll be loads of fun!”


Ailsa’s Blog

“I really like ‘Inanimate Alice’. I like the way you were seeing everything through Alice’s eyes. It was cool the way it had the black background and the white text because usually it is a white background with black text. I like the way you need to play a game on the player to get to the next scene. My favourite game on the player is the bicycle game where you need to make the whole bicycle pink.”


Rebecca’s Blog

“When I was reading this I couldn’t get my eyes away from the screen. It literally brought you in and wouldn’t let go of you. When I was reading I scanned my eyes up and down and all around.
What really worked was it actually made you read between the lines and not just skim it quickly, you actually read it, looked around the screen then read it again to really take it in. My favourite part was when Brad speaks to her because I have so many questions that haven’t been answered about this part. How does he speak? Is he based on a real person? Is it her imagination?”


Lewis’s Blog   
                                  
“In my English class we used netbooks for the second episode of Inanimate Alice. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen, it was that good. The best bit I thought was in Episode Two and it was the part where Alice was going to go to ski school, but she fell in the snow. That got my heart thumping.
The most difficult part to read is when the writing is flashing to make the part look scary. The music worked very well with the story. By the time I read the second episode I knew what to expect. I would tell people who are reading their first digital story - ‘focus on everything you read, see and hear.’”


I apologise for such a long post this week but I was delighted with the kids’ responses. We eventually got to see Episode Three late on Friday but had no real time to follow up. We’ll do that on Monday. However, what I’ve learned this week is that, even though I prepare my lessons thoroughly at all times, if you are considering Inanimate Alice for your class, make sure that every aspect is covered. With schools cutting back all over the place, don’t let a lack of hardware get in the way of the student experience.

How to : Looping Video on iPod⤴

from @ digital learning foundation

Ever wanted wanted to use your iPod to replace a computer as a constant replay device, or just to have it play a looping video? If so, you will have found that none of the existing video apps will play a looping video. But, if you have been to an Apple store you will have seen iPods playing a looping video. So how do you do that....

Warning, before you do this, back up your iPod as you will be changing settings that will change your syncing settings. This has been tried and works on an iPod Classic.

1) In iTunes Summary window for your iPod, tick enable disk use on your iPod.

2) From finder create a folder on your iPod called "Demo Mode"

3) in iTunes name a video "Demo" and sync it to your movies section.

4) Unmount your iPod in iTunes, but keep it plugged in so its is powered... and wait for two minutes.... if all goes according to plan you should then have a looping video.

This mode will only work when your iPod has external power either through the dock connector or a powered dock, and kicks in after two minutes of inactivity.

To disable this mode, remove that "Demo Mode" folder you created at 2 above...

You can find more detailed instructions here : iPod Screen Saver

Our Glow Wikis – So Far⤴

from

The class now have their own Glow Wikis. I’d been waiting patiently for their launch to assess their suitability for use as an ePortfolio. I’d played around with the idea of using wikis as an ePortfolio last year while I was on secondment and wrote a couple of blog posts about the ‘experiment’. One of these can be seen here.

While I was waiting for the Glow Wikis to make an appearance, I toyed with the idea of using the Glow Blogs as ePortfolios. The children seemed a bit bamboozled by the prospect, however, and I suspect that it was because they had been using these online spaces as a traditional weblog and found it difficult to make the connection.

I created a ‘sticky’ post and linked to pages on the sidebar. The ‘Sticky’ said:

Welcome To My ePortfolio

This is my Learning Space where I blog about things I’m interested in.

I also record my achievements inside and outside of school. Click HERE to read about them

I knew from the reaction that there was confusion and when Andrew changed his Sticky wording, I realised that they didn’t see the blogs as an ePortfolio:

Hi everyone! Mrs V gave us all ePortfolios!

An ePortfolio is a page on your blog where you record your achievements in and out of school. Click HERE to read about them.

                                                                                                    

 Even with that subtle change of emphasis, though, no-one added anything to the ‘ePortfolio section’ of their blog.

But now that they’ve been given a Glow Wiki as an ePortfolio, everyone in the class seems taken with the idea.

There have been some frustrating glitches … but so far these have been overshadowed by the positives.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where this leads :-)

In case anyone is interested, here’s how I set up our Glow Wiki eportfolios:

In the  ’My Glow’ area, I added the Glow Wiki webpart.

I asked our school secretary (our ASM) to turn on the rights for me to set up a wiki.

I’ve since learned that @claganach, our ICT Curriculum Development Officer had turned them on for the whole school – thanks Malcolm :-)

I decided to set my trial Wiki to public immediately because I wanted to be sure that when it was live it would ‘behave’ the way I expected it to .. if that makes sense??

I soon discovered that it differed from the class blogs and from the wikispaces I’d experimented with previously. I still can’t embed videos etc. hosted elsewhere into the Glow Wiki and any links using the link icon require viewers to be logged in to Glow to view them.

I’ve been finding ways around these hiccups, though.

For example:

  • Uploading pictures is quite straightforward
  • Although I haven’t discovered how to embed media in Glow blogs, the children can easily upload videos, podcasts, etc without the need to host elsewhere
  • It’s possible to create links to other areas of the wiki if tinyurl is used to create the links. I’ve no idea why this is the case – but if any Glow experts can help me find the answer to this, the children in my class will be forever in your debt 🙂 
  • The wiki URLs are very long so I’ve created a link to them on a page on our class blog. I think this also tends to create a sense of class community as everything we have is more connected.
  • It was also very easy to copy and paste these links into a text editor webpart in my ‘My Glow’ area.

The children set up their Glow wikis in the same way as their Glow blogs were set up

I’m glad that I set up our Glow blogs in the way that I did as it meant that I was already a member of the children’s ‘My Glow’ area so I was automatically an administrator of their Wikis as well.

I’ll keep posting about how our Glow ePortfolios progress, and meanwhile I’d love to hear back from any ‘Glow in the Know’ folk who have solutions to the linking and embedding issues :-)

Transformational Leadership COSLA Award⤴

from

Well done to East Lothian Council and all those supporting and involved in the Innerwick Transformational Leadership Programme for a making it to the Short Leet (Silver Award) for the COSLA Excellence awards.

Could the successful blend and partnerships with VDEL(MOBEX), Forum Interactive and  the innovation and use of Outdoor Learning and Experiential Learning  , which are core parts of the programme, help the project bag another award?

Good luck to the Organisational Development Team at East Lothian Council at the finals!

Transformational Leadership COSLA Award⤴

from

Well done to East Lothian Council and all those supporting and involved in the Innerwick Transformational Leadership Programme for a making it to the Short Leet (Silver Award) for the COSLA Excellence awards.

Could the successful blend and partnerships with VDEL(MOBEX), Forum Interactive and  the innovation and use of Outdoor Learning and Experiential Learning  , which are core parts of the programme, help the project bag another award?

Good luck to the Organisational Development Team at East Lothian Council at the finals!