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Part One: E-Portfolio

Module by: Fred Mednick. E-mail the author

Figure 1: A portfolio is a tree with branches
A Portfolio Grows
A Portfolio Grows (movement.jpg)

Benefits

Putting together a portfolio is an excellent way to reflect upon what you have learned; what you have applied to your classroom practices; and what you will do next. It's a record of your work, your thoughts, and it holds the seeds to your potential.

A portfolio can be a tangible way in which an educator can shape his or her career, based upon the idea that there is always room for improvement. Many teachers who engage in the process of creating a portfolio are proud of what they have produced. They see where they began, and how far they have come. Many report that the "product" of a portfolio has helped them to clarify their goals, and it has helped them to find a teaching position. Portfolios are the most convincing testament to a teacher's work.

Traditional portfolios in the form of folders, boxes, or 3-ring binders hold papers, pictures, cassette tapes, and more. With an electronic Teaching Portfolio, known as an "E-Portfolio," information can be stored digitally, takes up little physical space, and is easily accessed from anywhere in the world.

Teachers Without Borders is pioneering E-Portfolios for teachers, and we have provided a way to for you to create one.

What's in It

Your Electronic Teaching Portfolio (E-Portfolio) will contain the following elements:

  • Professional Statement - My view and approach to teaching
  • Questions - My thinking about theory and practice
  • The Imagined Classroom - School in 2010 through the eyes of the learner
  • Bringing New Thinking into Classroom Practice - Evidence of how what's new becomes the standard
  • Highlights from Certificate of Teaching Mastery - My best, most challenging, and growth-oriented work
  • My Students' Work - Samples of how planning turns into outcomes
  • What Students Say - About their work and the process of learning
  • My Service Project - Learning that serves my community
  • Expertise I Wish to Share - What I can offer other teachers
  • What I Need - Skills and resources I seek from others
  • Reflections - My life as a learner, teacher, and world citizen
  • Picture of My Classroom - A photo that tells a story
  • Resume / References / Letters of Recommendation - Support for my future in teaching

In this course, you will be guided through the process of including each of these elements in your E-Portfolio. Once a section is complete, you will be able to post it electronically.

To view the site for your electronic Teaching Portfolio, click here.

How to Begin

Go to your disk or hard drive where you have saved all of your assignments, and open up the document that contains your written work for Course 1 Assignment 10. This is where we will begin.

You will now take the written pieces out of the assignment-template that you originally typed them into and place your words only in 3 new Word documents that you will create. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open a new, blank Word document and name it "Professional Statement." Go to your original document where you typed your response to "Course 1 Assignment 10 - Part One: Professional Statement" and highlight the text you wrote. "Copy it" and "paste" your words into the newly-created Word document called "Professional Statement."
  2. Do the same copy and paste for "Course 1 Assignment 10 - Part Two: Reflection" by creating a separate, new blank document and call it "Reflection." Copy and paste your original words from Part Two into this new document.
  3. Open another new, blank document and name it "The Imagined Classroom." Copy and paste your words for "Course 1 Assignment 10 - Part Three" into this new document.
  4. When you are done, you will have 3 new documents called: 1) Professional Statement; 2) Reflection; and 3) The Imagined Classroom. Each document will contain the words you wrote when you first completed this assignment.
  5. Now that you have completed Courses 1-4 and have broader perspective, go back and revise these 3 pieces to include any new thoughts or ideas. Answering the questions in "Part Two" (the new document called "Reflection"), especially, might hold new meaning for you. Make whatever changes you wish to these 3 new Word documents and save your changes.
  6. When you are done revising these 3 documents, send them to your mentor.
  7. When your mentor says you're "Ready" to continue, follow the instructions to post these documents to your E-Portfolio.

Posting Your Work

You are now ready to post your first 3 documents into your electronic Teaching Portfolio (E-Portfolio). Here is an overview of what you will be doing:

  • Posting your "Professional Statement" document into the "Professional Statement" section of your E-Portfolio.
  • Posting your "Reflection" document into the "Reflection" section of your E-Portfolio.
  • Posting your "The Imagined Classroom" document into "The Imagined Classroom" section of your E-Portfolio.

First, read the instructions below. Then click on the word "here" on the bottom of this page to access the E-Portfolio.

Steps to Posting Documents in your Electronic Teaching Portfolio (E-Portfolio):

  1. You are already registered for your E-portfolio. Use the same "username" and "password" that you've used for the Certificate of Teaching Mastery to "log on" to your E-Portfolio.
  2. Your "Name," "Country" and "Email" should appear in the top three lines on that page. Please review it for accuracy. If any of the information is incorrect, you can change it by typing in the correct information and then click on the "Submit" button to the right. Wait until you see the words "Successfully Uploaded" appear in red at the top of the page, then proceed with the next step.
  3. Scroll down to the "Professional Statement" section.
  4. In the "Document to Post" section under it, click "Browse " in order to look for the file you want to post. Once you've found the file, click on it. You will know that you have done this correctly if the file name appears in the box to the left of the word "Browse".
  5. If you choose the wrong file, simply delete the file name by backspacing over the file name that appears in the box to the left of the word "Browse."
  6. When you're ready to post your file, click the "Submit" button. (Important: Wait until you see the words "Successfully Uploaded" appear in red at the top of the page, then proceed with the next step.)
  7. Go to the "Reflection" section and follow steps 4-6 (from above).
  8. Scroll down to the "The Imagined Classroom" section and follow steps 4-6 (from above).
  9. Log out by clicking the "Log out" button on the upper right hand side of the page.
  10. To see the information and files you just posted as it appears to the public, go to the opening page of your E-Portfolio. Instead of logging on as a "User," look at the bottom of the opening page of the E-Portfolio under "View Portfolios." Choose your name in the "By Teacher Name" section, and press "Go."

Now that you've read the instructions, to post documents, click here

Questions

The importance of questioning has been emphasized throughout the Certificate of Teaching Mastery. In Course 1, you were introduced to the "Question Wall," and thereafter, you have added questions to this "Question Wall" in the WebBoard area.

The next part of your E-Portfolio has to do with questions you've created, and questions you can generate now. Here's what to do:

  1. Open a new, blank Word document and at the top of the page, write the title: "My Questions." Look at your learning circle's Question Wall now and write down the questions you posted to the wall.
  2. Under the list of questions you just typed, write the title: "Questions that Interest Me" and write any questions from the wall that anyone else may have posted that hold some interest for you now.
  3. Under the questions you just typed, write the title: "New Questions" and write any new questions that come to mind as you are reading former questions from the Question Wall. You might also look through past assignments and reflections to stimulate any new questions that come to mind about educational theory, practice, etc.
  4. Read the questions you have listed in all of the 3 sections above and write 4-5 sentences about what you notice about the questions.
  5. Send this "Questions" document to your mentor.
  6. When your mentor says you are "Ready" to continue, follow the instructions in the previous "Posting Your Work" section and add this document to your E-Portfolio into the "Questions" section.

To access your E-Portfolio, click here.

Bringing New Thinking into Classroom Practice

The title for Course 1 is "Education for the New Millennium." Its sub-title is "Bringing New Thinking in Education into Classroom Practice."

For the next part of your E-Portfolio, think not only about Course 1, but about all of the courses you have completed thus far - 1, 2, 3, and 4. What evidence can you provide that shows that you have, indeed, brought "new thinking in education into your classroom practice?" You might choose a lesson plan, an activity you did with your class, and a reflection as a sample to give evidence. You might include one of the assignments you completed for the Certificate of Teaching Mastery or some other example to demonstrate the following:

  1. What new thinking in education you addressed, and
  2. How you brought that new thinkiing into your classroom

If you use previous writings from assignments in any of the courses, be sure to create a new, blank Word document, and call it "Bringing New Thinking into Classroom Practice" and save your old work in this new document. Be sure to explain 1) and 2) from above. To do this, you might need to add a written Reflection to the assignment, anecdote, or evidence that you provide.

Be sure to send your document to your mentor and when your mentor says you're "Ready" to continue, follow the instructions in the "Posting Your Work" section and add this document to your E-Portfolio into the "Bringing New Thinking into Classroom Practice" section.

To access your E-Portfolio, click here.

Highlights from Certificate of Teaching Mastery

For the next section of your E-Portfolio, "Highlights from Certificate of Teaching Mastery," choose 3 examples of your work:

  1. My Best Work - It could be any assignment in Courses 1-4 that you are deeply proud of and you wish to showcase.
  2. My Most Challenging Work - An assignment or activity that was difficult for you, but you stayed with it and worked through it.
  3. My Most Growth-Oriented Work - An assignment or activity that shows you in the process of growing.

In addition to showing each of the above, write 4-5 sentences for each example explaining why you chose that example for that category - 1) Best Work, 2) Most Challenging, and 3) Most Growth-Oriented.

Create a new, blank Word document for this part of your Teaching Portfoloio and name the document "Highlights from Certificate of Teaching Mastery." Put your 3 examples with the 3 reflections in this document.

Send the document to your mentor. When your mentor says you're "Ready" to continue, follow the instructions in the "Posting Your Work" section and add this document to your E-Portfolio in the "Highlights from Certificate of Teaching Mastery" section.

To access your E-Portfolio, click here.

Samples of Your Students' Work

  1. Choose any 3 samples of your students' work to include in your E-Portfolio.
  2. Write 4-5 sentences for each of the samples you choose - describe the assignment and tell why you chose to include this sample in your Teaching Portfolio. What does it show? What story does it tell? Why is this important to include?
  3. Send the students' work with your reflections to your mentor. When your mentor says you're ready, post the students' works with your reflections in the "Samples of Student Work" section of your E- Portfolio. To do that, read the instructions in the "Posting Your Work" section of this course.

Remember:

It is entirely your responsibility to gain verifiable permission from the students, authorities of your school, and permission of the parents before posting students' work.

To access your E-Portfolio, click here.

Student Voices

For this part of your E- Portfolio, you are trying to capture a variety of student voices to help convey a sense of your students - how they think about their own learning; how they think about some of the activities and projects you have done with them; how they think about school, their friends, their home life, their relationship with you; how they see themselves in relationship to their community and their place in the world.

  1. You can use reflective writings students may have already completed after their collaborative-learning, global-collaboration, or service-learning projects, or any other activities or lessons for which you have asked them to reflect upon their experiences and their learning. OR... You can ask them to write something now. You might even wish to have your students write "The Imagined Classroom in the year 2010" to see what they create, what they envision for the future of education.
  2. You can approach the "Student Voices" section of your E-Portfolio however you wish. The only criteria is that here it's purely the students' voices and you need to include at least 5 different voices. You can use a mixture of short quotes, paragraphs from student writings, or even pages of their writing.
  3. Be sure to place all of your students' work in the same new Word document that you create and save that document as "Student Voices."
  4. Send the document to your mentor. When your mentor says you're "Ready" to continue, follow the instructions in the "Posting Your Work" section and add this document to your E-Portfolio in the "Student Voices" section.

Remember:

It is entirely your responsibility to gain verifiable permission from the students, authorities of your school, and permission of the parents before posting students' work.

To access your E-Portfolio, click here.

More to Come

Later in the course you will create a Résumé, gather the names and contact information for 3 References and get Letters of Recommendation. You will also add the sections in your E-Portfolio called "Expertise I Wish to Share" and "What I Need." You may also wish to add a photo of your classroom and put that photo in the "Picture of My Classroom" section of your portfolio. You will be guided through creating and posting these items later on in Part Four of this course called "Launching Your Teaching Portfolio."

For now, let's go to the Special Topics in Part Two that will point the way to your designing and implementing a Service Project in Part Three of this course.

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