Sunday, March 27, 2011
This year the languages department of Matamata College has decided to start using Myportfolio for an eportfolio. So far we love our experience with Myportfolio.
Why did we chose Myportfolio ?
We decided to go with Myportfolio because it is supported by the Ministry, it is going to be free until at least the year 2013, it is packed with great features and it has secondary school's needs in mind. Above all what was important for me and my students was the fact that it is very user friendly.
Why chosing an eportfolio?
We think it is very important for students to reflect on their work while the work is getting created, especially for second language learners who need to see and be reminded how much they have actually learned so far instead of concentrating on the things they do not know. Thus they will gain confidence in their own capabilities.
Also using an eportfolio allows them to redraft their work in order to progress. This is something we, as language teachers, want our students to learn. In real life, when we create a piece of writing we take time, we redraft it or we even ask experts to have a look at it before publishing it. It is exactly what we want our students to do. From this year, language students are allowed to redraft their written work until they are satisfied with it. Thus using an eportfolio makes perfect sense.
Another reason for us to use an eportfolio is that it helps collaboration among our students. They can comment on their peer's work, they can create work together and publish it on a Group's page. They can as well subscribe to Topics and discuss with other students who are studying the same project.
We like as well the idea of continuity. It is crucial that students start to use an eportfolio in primary school and take their eportfolio with them when they go to College or even Tertiary Education. It is a reflection of all their work, their progress, almost like a CV.
Myportfolio and my class
I'd rather do one thing but do it well. So this year being our first year using Myportfolio, we decided to implement it to only one class. So only my Year 11 French and my colleague's Year 11 Japanese class are using Myportfolio. I was very happy to see that it took only one hour for my students to understand how Myportfolio works. They have embraced the idea of using an eportfolio very quickly and it is now part of our course. One of my student has even asked me that we start using our group's forum to communicate.
The only thing that went wrong is that some of my students have changed their username or last name, and then could not remember their "new" name :-) Now I know (thanks to Ronja Skandera) that there is a feature which does not allow students to change their name. So I will definitely use it next year with my next class :-)