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Experienced Principals’ Development – EPD@UACEL

The seminar held on the 27th October had as its focus the way in which student ePortfolios connect learning, students and families / whanau.

There are many models for ePortfolios. A large number of these are simply electronic records of student achievement. In my view these ePortfolios are useful in showing achievement, and also in showing achievement against a set of standards, but do little to improve learning and little in terms of making real meaningful connections between the home and the school.

During this session I was looking to share the way in which ePortfolios at Bucklands Beach Intermediate help develop ‘confident, connected, actively involved, life-long learners.’ The intention was to show how ePortfolios can make connections in areas BES* has shown do make the greatest difference to student achievement. I invited a group of students to present with me so that they could share work from their current ePortfolios, demonstrating links from process through to finished product. They were able to provide evidence of key competency achievements and show how their ePortfolios make connections through to family/whanau.

When one looks at the BES research, Chapter 7, Creating educationally powerful connections with family, whanau, and communities, it is evident the ePortfolio can help facilitate these connections. Being web based, the ePortfolio can bring the home and the school together in a manner not possible through other strategies. It can support learning in areas research shows makes the greatest difference.

The students were able to tangibly show this through work which has devolved from their normal class programme. They could show the way in which links between the school and family/whanau are facilitated through the ePortfolio. There is nothing like Student Voice to really show what learning is about. The ePortfolio can show this so well. It can show the process of learning as well as the finished product. It is during the process where learning takes place. The product is simply an outcome of that learning.

Should you wish to read more you may find a couple of papers in the Downloads section of this site helpful. You will find that in the side bar under Categories. The first two papers relate to ePortfolios. An earlier paper, Learning to Learn in the 21st Century may also be of interest. This tracks my early work and development in this area and discusses the Learning to Learn Model developed in an effort to better explain my thinking.

If you find anything helpful it is always good to hear back. Happy reading!

*BES School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying What Works and Why. Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration (BES)

Viviane Robinson, Margie Hohepa, and Claire Lloyd.
University of Auckland 2009

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