Updated: Feb 5, 2019
In this section, we start to focus on engaging our peers and administrators to change how we teach and how much it needs to change. The hard part is influencing others to your way of thinking and make an honest attempt, not just nod their head, praise it and then continue to do the same old thing. My gut feeling is that I need to focus on my peers. There are many that I know influence their peers, many follow their lead without question. They are my prime target. They are the ones that make a difference. So first, my goal for CTE and Fine Arts teachers is:
- to get them to embrace ePortfolios as a tool to help students prepare for the future.
So how can I make this happen? It is so simple and yet so hard, it reminds me of a commercial many years ago where the slogan was "try it, you'll like it". That is what I need them to do. To experiment with ePortfolios themselves, to see the benefits and changes it can make in their lives. I know, I was very skeptical of it at first and now I experiment with it regularly. Would it look better this way, move this here or there. Get them to change their behavior about ePortfolios. To use this semester to create their own ePortfolios, meet regularly and then evaluate at the end of the semester, the pros and cons of the ePortfolio.
Next, I would focus on how we can utilize ePortfolios to assess student work. How can it provide more than a simple submitted assignment. Some would argue that they use Google Classroom and their students submit their work through there. I argue that when the classroom is deleted, so is all their work; whereas the work in their ePortfolios remains as long as the student desires it to remain. Sometimes I ask a student to explain their thoughts on the assignment, "just what were you thinking here?" What if when they post it on their ePortfolio, they can voice their thoughts with an audio voice over a short video explaining it.
I would also want to change on how they trust their students. "oh, you need to watch them like a hawk when they are on the internet", "how do know they aren't access inappropriate sites?". To quote Billy Joel (1986, track 3), "Its a matter of trust." A relationship needs to happen between teacher and student, to trust each other. It has to be built, it just doesn't magically pop up. They will go off task, they will listen to music and you have to allow it. You guide them back with nudges, not yelling, not putting them on the spot. Its the teachers behavior that need to change first, not the students. It has become the norm that teachers don't trust students to do the right thing. If we don't expect them to do the right thing, students will meet our expectations. We need to trust, guide and praise more than we condemn and ridicule. I need to trust more as well.
Joel, B. (1986). A matter of trust. The Bridge(album). New York, NY, Burbank Ca. Family Productions/Columbia Records.