Updated: Feb 5, 2019
After a K-12 education, the majority of students have only a diploma to show what they did in all those years, yet we know that they accomplished many achievements and believe that they should be able to show it.
Imagine giving students a choice and ownership in preserving what they have learned by giving them a voice that reflects their authentic learning during those years.
The result would be having tangible proof of their accomplishments that leads towards higher education, and/or employment opportunities by creating an ePortfolio.
This "why", "how", and "what" is the basic groundwork for implementing ePortfolios within my school district. The most important aspect of the three is, "why". When something new is introduced, we get the what and how, seldom the why. If you look at successes of the past, the Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King Jr., Apple, they owe their success to one think, they believed in why they were doing what they did as well as those around them(Grenny, Patterson, Maxfield, McMillan & Switzer, 2013). Why we do things, successful or not, is always the question. If your successful, they want to know the secret to your success. If you were not successful, they want to teach you the errors of your ways. The reality is that both are beneficial to learning and necessary. In order to be successful, you have to listen to your heart. You might argue that in order to be successful, you must have knowledge, a plan and the means to make it happen. Your heart or your gut feeling have no place in success they will say. If you want to influence people, have the facts to back your presentation but the reality is that if you want to influence people to your way of thinking, it has to be real, sincere and that path is through the heart. You know instinctively if something presented is real or just rhetoric. We can send if the presenter is just following a script or if they truly believe what they are being told. How can we trust the presenter? It comes down to this, " Trust comes from being a part of a culture or organization with a common set of values and beliefs" (Sinek, pg 110).
So, how do I plan on making this earth shattering innovation? I look back at my military career. Anyone who served in the military understands the, "I love me wall". Its the wall in our house where we display our plaques, awards, pictures, and in my case, my retired shadow box. I showcase my military achievements for guests to see. Therein lies the problem. Only guests I allow into my "lair" as my wife calls it, sees these artifacts. Students in school do the same thing at home. They showcase their achievements in their bedrooms or their parents den where only guests can see them. What if they could showcase it to the world, to potential colleges or employers? What if as they progressed their education, they could look back and reflect on their growth, as a person as well as their education? That is my proposal to my district. My district lauds being a district of innovation, I intend to determine just how much I will rock the status quo.
If you made it this far, please leave me comment on your thoughts.
Genny, J., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., Patterson, K.,Switzer, A. (2013). Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change. New York,NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Sinek, S. (2011). Start with why. New York, NY: Penguin Group.