Digital Portfolio Building Lessons

What I have learned in three months of graduate school?  That I have so much more to learn.  I have barely tapped the surface of everything that is available and I hope I never stop learning.  I began my learning journey by creating my own personal reflection video to share about my past, present, and future journey with technology.  I’m slowly learning what it means to be involved with technology in education and how much the world of technology has grown.  I have to remember that I shouldn’t be forcing technology into the classroom environment, but allowing technology to be present and available so the students develop their creativity in learning.

This year I am teaching a Spanish Course where I had the students use a digital tool for assessment and provide me feedback on the use of technology.  It was a fun and engaging exercise so I decided to do a second lesson where the students can work independently to do a book report with a comic book strip app.

Then we evaluated how much education is changing, what we think needs to change and how technology plays a role in those changes through our Learning Manifesto.

What I have learned is how important having a professional learning community or network of peers that can share what has worked, how to find new avenues of approaching desired goals and possible new digital tools. There are so many resources available and hopefully my site can be a resource to home schoolers and others that are approaching developing their digital portfolio for the first time or even just about learning what is available for educators.

These videos and resources are but a beginner’s first approaches and hopefully I will learn to tailor and refine each of these reflections, tools and manifestos to reflect the growth I hope to gain in my future coursework.

 

Learning from Community

I find that although I didn’t think I belonged to a learning community, I do conduct research for different tools and support for teaching Spanish to my home school students. I like to find new activities, games, and resources for my classroom but I didn’t realize that the use of some of these sites were actually considered learning communities.

I found some interesting articles and resources on Pinterest.  This was a pin from a home school parent that actually shares on her blog various teaching tools including many online apps and I found an interesting set of tools for my Spanish program.

http://paradisepraises.com/free-online-programs-for-learning-spanish/

Here I found not only a bunch of resources like handouts and activities, but also actual free programs and workbooks.  I can’t say that I added or collaborated much with her or added any wealth of information to her resources but because I do share these “pins” it allows for others to find these resources for their needs as well.

I also just recently joined ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education, through their website, facebook and twitter.  I recently enjoyed an article about a Student Led Genius Bar that they shared on their website.  This really was exciting to see how students are taking their knowledge and learning by applying their expertise with a real-world learning application.  Students are given the opportunity to gain technology experience, develop a mastery of not just simple computing skills, but an understanding of underlying concepts of hardware, software and connectivity.

Again, ISTE was something I just started looking into but the fees are preventing me from really getting connected with a professional group.  But I have used this site for gaining a wealth of information.  I am clearly on a huge learning curve when it comes to using technology in the classroom so I am merely what others might call “lurking” on most sites as I continue to learn and gain confidence in the knowledge that I’m obtaining from all these different learning communities.

There are so many other opportunities to share with other like-minded individuals.  I find that even in our classroom discussion boards I find a wealth of information and I don’t feel that my lack of knowledge hinders my contributions to the community.  We each have our own strengths and experiences that makes our learning experiences unique and engaging.  I so appreciated a classmates post about making a list of resources so much that I’ve started my own list.  Each of us are approaching our classrooms or work environments using whatever resources have been provided by our employers/administrators and it’s been very informative to hear how each of us makes use of those resources.

I hope to gain insightful wisdom from joining a professional learning network and perhaps be able to share some of my own experiences, struggles and successes to others who are finding themselves in similar situation.  I hope to actually search out more homeschool technology groups.  I ran across a website the other day in my research that talked about using iPads for teaching; http://www.homeschooltablet.com/.

There are very few in my homeschool community that would choose to use technology in this way, but I think that we need to become more aware of the resources available through technology and to find new ways of expanding our students knowledge and experience.

I am hoping to find other opportunities or communities like The Homeschool Tablet where I can actually connect with other individuals that homeschool that are willing to explore using technology in education.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to contribute to any one particular community except through Facebook and Pinterest but I do share my knowledge personally with my homeschool community in the hopes of getting more families to be willing to learn and use technology.

Homeschool Teachers Lounge:

Pearland Homeschool Moms:

Pearland HomeSchool Moms

Unfortunately, most of these sites are not active communities that have a lot of participation but I do hear from parents who are looking for information about homeschooling, resources for teaching and other information that I do share with from time to time.  I also work for a homeschool group and am their website coordinator, providing basic maintenance on the website, and sharing information through this site.

Pearland Homeschool Alliance: http://www.phsapearland.com

Even though I don’t have a lot of experience with professional learning communities I do see a great value in communicating with others.  I am looking to see how I can share even a portion of the information I’ve learned on this blog for others to learn and share with as well.