Today in class we got the opportunity to talk to a really unique individual who has a totally different view on assessment. Instead of the formal “report card”, Ian Landry has been using a tool called E-Portfolio’s which are a form of assessing students by gradually accumulating their work throughout the year to be able to visibly see the progress made to that individual learner. I think this is an amazing idea because of my experience’s in elementary school and high school with formalized report cards. When it came to elementary school I stayed back in kindergarten due to an illness and then skipped back up into my age group in grade 5, skipping grade 6 and going straight to grade 7. Because of this skip my math skills were very lacking and because I excelled in other subjects this struggle went very unknown by my family and by my teacher too as I copied work and some how squeak by on my tests. When I would receive an average number such as a 2 or 3 the issue was still left unnoticed because my other grades were fine so I must have been fine! To this day I still struggle with basic math skills because of this gap that was never fully addressed. It is had to say but maybe my mom who was a high school teacher would have noticed me struggling in my work if she had seen the lack of engagement and progress made throughout that grade 7 year of school. I really like how the idea of portfolios are completely personalized, no one learns the same way and all students progress comes in different forms, comparing them with the letters 1-4 does not gauge a students capability or intelligence. I also liked how to E-Portfolio’s are said to reduce that insane crunch time for students, I remember my mom stressing incredibly for those weeks and also remember comparing my report to someone else’s in a subject and receiving the same bland comment. Therefor I am really impressed with this idea and I think it’s a really progressive way to help students stay engaged with their learning and build confidence not straight competition.
Video conferencing is a subject that I have never really explored before so today was really interesting for me. I was completely surprised by the quality, effectiveness and productivity of the call. The first thought that comes to video conferencing to me is technological problems and shaky screens but this was nothing like that, we were able to hear and see the speaker very clearly and he could easily hear and see us raising our hands and engaging. It didn’t feel any different really then having a professor lecture from the front of the room. It would be really cool to be able to have guest speakers speak from these in an elementary classroom, it is sometimes difficult to have someone who is maybe wheel chair bound or paraplegic travel and actually be present in the classrooms. This kind of technology would make it way more accessible to have individuals speak to students, just as we did today.
As for Video/Audio editing these were also very new to me as I only actually got my first laptop a year after my high school graduation and it was ASUS so did not automatically come with apps such as imovie or garage band. I think it would be a really cool idea to incorporate both into classrooms with projects like creating a student narrative in which everyone has a story, and when we share our own experiences, they can be a motivating factor for others — and help us reflect on our lives and choices. Narratives can be about students themselves, a fictional character or historical person. Students could use web castify for this, make an imovie, simple iphone video or do a podcast/interview etc.