e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2

Overview

East Renfrewshire logoIn June 2011, two of East Renfrewshire’s clusters worked with their pupils to create e-portfolios using Glow Blogs. This involved Eastwood High School, St Ninian’s High School and their associated primary schools. At the start of the 2011-12 academic session, the other five Secondary clusters did the same. Part 1 of this cookbook covers the background to this and the set up process for the e-portfolios.

Here in part 2, we focus on the use of the e-portfolios and the plans that one school has for this.

Context

The schools in East Renfrewshire are using e-portfolios as part of their adoption of the recommendations in Building the Curriculum 5, and whilst every school in the local authority is following the same basic adoption principles, each school has its own specific plans for implementation and use. This cookbook highlights the plans of one of these schools.

Crookfur Primary School

Crookfur Primary is one of the schools in the Eastwood High cluster.

Gillian Graham is Depute Headteacher in Crookfur and has responsibility for implementing the e-portfolios. Supported by the National Glow Team, the school created e-portfolios with all of their Primary 6 and Primary 7 classes. Building on this, Gillian then worked with the Primary 5 classes to do the same.

Gillian has been taking part in the Education Scotland pilot group for Pupil Profiles and when introduced to the e-portfolios, immediately saw a way to link them with the pupil profiles.

Working with staff and Headteacher Fiona Loudon, Gillian developed the format of the profile document that the P7 pupils in Crookfur Primary will complete. This document will contain the pupil’s reflections on their learning, their progress through the curricular areas, information on achievements across learning plus a section for parental comment on their child’s progress.

In ICT time, pupils add information to their e-portfolios about their weekly achievements, to build a permanent record throughout the year. This will be used at the end of the year to help pupils complete their profiles. These will then be attached to their e-portfolios.

Staff can access each pupil’s e-portfolio and comment on the posts that pupils write and parents can view the e-portfolios when their child logs in to Glow at home to show them.

In the following audio clips, Gillian Graham explains Crookfur Primary’s plans for use the e-portfolios:

Who will be using the e-portfolios and why (0:41)
Gillian Graham – who will use e-portfolios and why
  

Use of e-portfolios and Pupil Profiles (0:51)
Gillian Graham: Pupil Profiles

 

 In the following video, we’ll look at one pupil’s e-portfolio and how they have included their pupil profile in it.

Pupil profile in their e-portfolio (8:10)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2

You can also view a sample of the pupil profile document being used in Crookfur Primary in the following attachment:  You can also view a sample of the pupil profile document being used in Crookfur Primary in the following attachment:    Pupil’s primary 7 Profile

Ingredients

In order for pupils to be able to attach their profile to their e-portfolio, they first had to learn how to add content to their blog. The Crookfur pupils learned the same things as the pupils in all of the East Renfrewshire schools.

This included:

–          Adding information about themselves on the blog’s welcome page

–          Learning how to use the Blog Dashboard to write a post and edit it

–          Finding out how to categorise and tag a post

–          Learning how to attach documents and images to blog post

Pupils were also shown how teachers can comment on posts and how they can then read those comments and reply.
 

Recipe

Learn in the following videos how to do the things listed above:

How to set up the ‘All about me’ welcome page (8:48)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
How to use the blog dashboard to write a post, categorise and tag it (9:54)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
How to attach a document to a post (6:10)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
How to add an image to a post (8:38)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
How teachers access a pupil’s e-portfolio and add comments to it (7:11)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
 

One additional thing which pupils did, to give ease of access to their e-portfolio, was to create a button on their Glow Light screen to take them straight to their e-portfolio. Find out how to do this in the following video:

How to create an e-portfolio button on the Glow Light screen (3:39)
e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire – Part 2
 

 Impact

Each of the schools in East Renfrewshire plans to use the pupil e-portfolios in different ways and so the impact will be different for each.  

In the following audio clip, Gillian Graham gives her thoughts on the benefits of using e-portfolios, including access from home and parental access:

 

Benefits of using the e-portfolio (1:16)
Gillian Graham: Benefits of e-portfolios

 

Ninian’s High School:
Josef Fuchs is Principal Teacher of Development at St Ninian’s High School in Giffnock. He has been heavily involved in the implementation of the pupil e-portfolios there and commented on the benefits that he and the school see for their usage:

 “E-portfolios allow our pupils to keep an online record of their progress and achievements throughout their school life.  These records can be categorized into achievements and/or curricular areas.  Pupils post updates on their progress and achievements, also being able to attach media files such as photos to evidence these. 

As these can be updated continually, this record is a much fuller account of their experiences than if completed as a paper exercise termly or annually which was the previous method. 

We have a strong emphasis on pupils being responsible for updating their own e-portfolios regularly.  Staff across the school encourage pupils to add in for example test scores, extra curricular activity involvement and achievements such as awards gained.  School staff can easily view and comment on pupils e-portfolios at any time although we plan to timetable a formal review on a termly basis. Another use is that we can make resources available, for example PE fitness test scores and Home Economics Food Diaries that pupils copy and paste into their e-portfolio and then fill in the answers online, allowing pupils and staff to access these.  It also removes the ability to lose them while also saving paper and filing space. We believe these to be invaluable as we prepare our pupils for the next stage in their lives. 
The benefits include:
 

  • Giving pupils the necessary communication tools to use in the world which is becoming more and more digitalised. 
  • Preparing pupils for using e-portfolios at further/higher education level and beyond in many professions such as Medicine, Dentistry and Law.
  • Encouraging pupils to be self reflective, important in many professions such as Teaching and Nursing.”

 

These comments reflect the impact on just two of the schools involved in the implementation of e-portfolios in East Renfrewshire. There are many other benefits being enjoyed across all of the schools.

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