Posts Tagged ‘evo2009pdi’

Building an e-portfolio

Posted: February 8, 2009 in EVO 2009
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One of the reasons I was interested in both the Multiliteracies and Digifolios EVO sessions was the idea of creating a better digital portfolio.  And now in the Multiliteracies session, I should be doing just that.  Of course, I have been so absent from both sessions that I have missed the prep work that would have better prepared me to do this.  But I want to explore the topic a little anyway.

My current e-portfolio can be found here.  It has not changed much since I first put it up.  It has been updated, of course, but the basic look and feel has stayed the same.  I look at what Vance has said is the closest thing he has to an e-portfolio, and it seems very similar to mine.    But then I look at his friendfeed “portfolio” and I see something much more dynamic. The dynamic version is much closer to what I think I wanted for my portfolio.  But, of course, I am not Vance Stevens, so mine would have to look a whole lot different (read that as smaller and less impressive!).  But I am not sure how to go about making the transition from a more formal to a less formal type of portfolio.

I think maybe the answer for me is to begin to experiment with other “venues” for my portfolio.  So that is the project I set for myself for the coming week.  Let’s see if I accomplish it any better than I have any of the “official” EVO projects!


Favorite tool

Posted: February 1, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have been terrible about participating in this session. I could go through the long litany of excuses, but that wouldn’t be too productive. I would rather try to respond when and where I can, participate to the best of my ability and not feel too guilty about what I don’t get done. (I am an oldest child, you may remember!)

I really think that my favorite tool at the moment at least has to be a wordpress blog. I know: pretty boring! But I have really been working with wordpress blogs lately, and I am really amazed with what you can do. I am currently setting up an ezine for our local writing project site — a place where we can publish our writing easily. I have been able to set it up, I think, so the new issue will appear on the front page and then move to the archives once it is replaced by a new issue.

I also have my portfolio, such as it is, on wordpress. I find it a very easy way to keep track of things.

And, of course, I have my personal blogs and now my student blogs on wordpress. Students find wordpress easy to use, and my current students seem to be taking to blogging better than any previous group has.

Blogging is still my main online activity. I expect it always will be. And as wordpress continues to grow and develop, I am sure that I will find more uses for it.

My technology story

Posted: January 20, 2009 in EVO 2009

For the Digifolios session, I am supposed to be telling you my technology story, how I got started using technology.  So here it is!

Several years ago my boss asked me if the ESL instructors were using any technology in classes other than the software in the computer lab.  I was embarrassed to have to tell him that we weren’t.  At the time — probably 2003 — I wasn’t even aware of what technology existed to be used.  So I began investigating.

My first tool was the online classroom Nicenet.  The college where I was teaching did not use any kind of course management system at the time, so Nicenet was a real find.  My students posted their assignments, had discussions, commented on each others’ work.  They were not very computer savvy then, but they felt very comfortable on Nicenet. We used it for probably two years, until the college began using Moodle.

Then came the 2005 EVO sessions.  I did the one on blogging.  That was one of the scariest but also most life-altering educational experiences I have had.  I fell in love with blogging and have been at it now for nearly four years.

Of course, with all the talk about blogging with students, I was determined that my students were going to blog.  My early attempts were far from successful.  I couldn’t figure out how to use blogs other than just someplace to post writing assignments.  Eventually, though, I did.  Darren Kuropatwa was the inspiration for me there.

After that, I discovered WebQuests — also thanks to an EVO session.  I developed a number of different WebQuests that I have used with my students.  These have been a lot of fun to develop, and my students have enjoyed completing them.

After many false starts, I finally persevered with a wiki until I figured out how to make them work.  Since then, I have incorporated wikis into my teaching and into my professional development.

But the more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn!  I don’t think I will ever know it all or even use all that I know about with my classes, but I really enjoy the process of trying out the different tools and adopting the ones that seem to work for me and my teaching style.

So even though this may look like the end of my technology story, it is really just the beginning!


Posted: January 18, 2009 in EVO 2009

The other EVO session I am doing is one on Digifolios.  That has been nice because I ran across an old friend from grad school there.  We started by forming ourselves into groups by birth order.  It was an interesting experience; I don’t usually pay much attention to stuff like that.  I have fallen behind already, though!  I am supposed to be telling the story of my initial use of learning technology.  That is easy; I know exactly when and where and why it happened.  The challenge will be to find a way to tell the story creatively.  Guess I should stop writing here and get to work!