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2012-2013 Patti Belowgloka: Digital Portfolio for Kindergarten using iPads and iPods

Digital Portfolio iPad/iPod Proposal

I have been actively implementing innovative technologies into my Kindergarten classroom over the last several years. I am excited about moving into the use of technology in the area of assessment by creating a history of learning and digital portfolios all at the same time. I am planning on creating digital portfolios for each child that will capture learning, observation and anecdotal evidence that can be used for feedback, assessment and sharing of student work among teachers, students and parents. The process of creating and maintaining a digital portfolio allows for personalized authentic learning for each child.

Digital portfolios can be a combination of audio, video, pictures, and note taking. Audio recordings of reading, counting, and oral language allow the teacher to measure improvement and gauge where more intervention or enrichment is needed. Photos can be taken of the process of learning as well as the product. Digital portfolios will be valuable in documenting assessment tasks that are play-based and age appropriate instead of being limited to paper and pencil activities. Reflections from students can be recorded instead of trying to scribe for each child. Hearing, in a child’s own voice, their learning is exciting for teachers and parents. Capturing an assessment opportunity becomes almost instantaneous by way of audio or capturing a picture/video where notes can be added later. Pictures of completed block, Lego, sand table and playdo creations can easily be captured visually and then audio or written notes to go with it can be added later to document the “story” behind the creation. Having the ability to instantaneously capture a recording of a child’s thoughts and oral language about a class activity is invaluable information for a Kindergarten teacher.

In order to effectively create digital portfolios for each child I am proposing the use of iPads and iPods. The iPads would be the main storage place for the portfolios where they can be added to as small groups are working. Initially the teacher would record, but eventually I would envision the children taking their groups iPad and capturing their work to share with the teacher and potentially their parents. This would allow for the combination of student driven input, such as recording how they feel about an activity, with teacher input. Students at this young age would begin to develop the skill of reflecting on their understanding of their learning.

For management and increased access to technology, I would propose a set of 5 iPads that could be designated to small groups of 4-5 students to share. The iPads would also be used for small group and partner activities throughout the day to enhance learning in all areas. The use of apps where students can save their progress can be used when an ipad is reserved for certain groups of children. Having iPads available within the classroom provides instantaneous access to information, reinforcement and enrichment as well as developing collaboration and cooperation.

Including iPods for each group would allow for differentiation and inclusion. The interface is similar to the iPad, but can be easier to handle for certain tasks or activities. Some children may find it more comfortable to record with the iPod or

capture pictures more accurately using the iPod instead of the iPad. The iPod helps to provide alternate tools for meeting a variety of needs. The iPods can also be embedded within the classroom as a tool for learning and reference. Ipods can be added to the listening center where children can independently access books that have been downloaded and then their thoughts about a story can be recorded afterwards. Emergent readers can record their reading where it can later be added to their digital portfolio. Emergent writers easily record their “story” that goes with a journal picture they have drawn and taken a picture of.

I am currently researching the potential of using “Evernote” to help in creating digital portfolios. Evernote has been actively and effectively used in many schools across Canada and the United States. It allows for easy syncing and the creation of notebooks for each child within a secured teacher account. Evernote also provides a secure way of sharing portfolios with parents through email. Parents do not have to have an Evernote account to view the portfolio. There is a free version and a Premium version for Evernote. The Premium version has the added feature of adding video notes, increased storage and the ability to share a notebook with another teacher.

The use of digital portfolios at the younger ages is valuable in creating a way of assessing hands on learning that is often play based and difficult to capture on paper. It is a wonderful way to share with parents what their child is learning at school in a meaningful way. I would be willing to share my findings and the process I go through in creating the portfolios with other teachers in my school and within the division. I would be willing to assist teachers in setting up portfolios in their classroom. Currently I am leading our Kindergarten teachers in researching the process of setting up digital portfolios. This project would be aligned with my Professional Learning Plan by allowing for sharing of research on using digital portfolios and working collaboratively with the Kindergarten team on implementing digital portfolios within our Kindergarten classrooms.

The proposed budget for this project is as follows:

5 iPad 3 16 GB

$519 each + GST=$2724.75

One/small group for main creation of portfolio

5 iPod Touch 16 GB (5 different colors for differentiating groups)

$299 each + GST= $1569.75

One/small group for recording and transfer of exemplars of learning

5 iPad Cases(5 diff colors)

Approx. $40 each=$200

Protection of iPads

5 iPod Cases(5 diff colors)

Approx. $40 each=$200

Protection of iPods

Evernote Premium

Approx. $50 (can possibly get educational rate)

Program/App for creating digital portfolios

1 GorillaYogi Stand

$40 each + GST=$42

Stable stand for recording video performances/stories

TOTAL

$4786.50

Thank you for your consideration of my proposal. Submitted By: Patti Beloglowka

Elbow Valley Elementary

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