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ePaper or Plastic?

I want to use student portfolios in my classroom.  Actually, I have wanted to do this for a long time.  So what’s been stopping me?  Finding a space to keep them.   The idea of storing my students’ portfolios in my classroom is overwhelming. I have visions of overstuffed crates sitting on the floor. This is not my idea of a good system.  And then what happens to all those portfolios at the end of the year?  Do students really keep their work after the school year is over?

Obviously electronic portfolios are the way to go, but this means that students need to have access to computers to complete all of their work, or the time needs to be set aside to update and maintain the portfolio.  Since that isn’t always a possibility because we share computers and computer lab time at my school, once again, managing portfolios  becomes more than a bit messy.  So instead of using portfolios I’ve just been spinning my tires since I can’t seem to make a decision about the best way to manage them.

One thing I am certain of is that I want  portfolios to be more than just an afterthought or storage space for finished pieces of writing.  I believe that a piece of writing is never finished and I would like my students to learn that they can go back to work that has been graded and rethink it to improve what they have already done.  Because this is my philosophy, I’ve settled on “in-progress” portfolios as a method for my students to document their learning and track where they have improved.

Now that I’ve thought about it, maybe its better just to  start, to stop worrying about the logistics of portfolios and simply have my students store their work in their own notebooks until I solve the “administrative” dilemma.  Who knows, they might even have an idea for their own portfolios that I have never considered.  They usually do.

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Categories: capstone, education, technology
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