At my district, I have had several teachers show their interest in having students create ePortfolios to showcase their work. Some have asked if I would be willing to show them how to create an ePortfolio. In this class, we were to create a disruptive innovation proposal. I chose to implement ePortfolios in my district as a way to replace paper portfolios currently in use as well as introduce it in other areas to allow students to present their artifacts that can be assessed, and allow them to reflect as the years go by on their education. This may even become a stepping stone for employment. Here is my proposal:
From: Luis San Román
December 7, 2018
To: Dr. Kelly Kovacs
Director of Curriculum & Professional Development Department
Re: What do students have to show after graduating from SCUCISD?
Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City ISD has been committed and has invested deeply in technology to afford our students access to twenty-first century technology. Yet my question is after an educational experience at SCUCISD, what do they have to show after graduation: a diploma, a few honors, a letterman jacket, patches earned? The question will arise when applying to colleges and universities as well as technical schools and employment, what did you do in high school? As a former manager for AT&T/Lucent Technologies, I usually received blank stares as they had nothing to offer other than what they put on their application; their memories of high school were blank.
After receiving the new technology and spending a semester utilizing it, I reflected and came to the realization although we have all this new technology, we are still teaching the same old way. We are now simply showing PowerPoints, videos, etc., through an iPad or the computer, myself included. I would like to propose an innovative approach to disrupting this stagnation and truly give students a choice and a voice in how they learn this can be authenticated through assessment of their learning which in turn creates significant learning environments for the student as well as the teacher.
There are three stages to implementing this but my immediate proposal implements electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) for students to utilize from elementary through graduation with the expectation they will continue to utilize it through college and/or employment. As early as 2002, ePortfolios were implements for students at William Paterson University. Sadly, after three years, it was dropped and labeled a failed experiment as faculty not students adopted it in earnest as well as some technological issues. Subsequently, they developed a course to reintroduce teaching in a global technological world with minimal success. The finding many years later was that their approach was reversed; they should have implemented it first with the facility before introducing it to the students.
In phase one, I propose to facilitate professional development for faculty interested in implementing ePortfolios in the 2019-2020 school year. This disruptive innovation would start in the Spring 2019 semester, summer and SCUC University (SCUC-U), to provide professional development on implementing ePortfolios in the classrooms. I use the term disruptive innovation because utilizing ePortfolios disrupts the traditional portfolio presentations currently in use, much like Amazon disrupted shopping in the traditional in store method. Several high school curriculums already utilize paper portfolios in their programs. Shifting from paper to electronic is not just changing the venue, it is changing the mindset first of teachers to assess the work submitted in the ePortfolios. Not only could teachers assess the work, the students would have their work that they could reflect on and see their growth over the years. This same ePortfolio would be used after graduation to add to a resumé if not replace it in years to come.
Professional development would be presented to those teachers who volunteer to pioneer ePortfolios in SCUCISD. We could meet during professional development days, after school, the summer and SCUC-U. The assessment of their work will be through peer review and a rubric for their ePortfolios. I have casually mentioned to several teachers about the ePortfolio I have for graduate school and have expressed interest in using it for their students. My ePortfolio may be reviewed at https://luissanroman.com.
Phase two would be implementing it in the classroom through two possibilities: teachers introducing ePortfolios through a one semester course which junior high and high school students could sign up for, or teachers can introduce ePortfolios as part of the introduction at the beginning of their course. Phase two is the development phase for students. I envision it starting the fall of 2019 or the spring of 2020. I suspect this would fall under Career and Technology Education (CTE); however, this will impact Fine Arts, primarily in the Art classes where a paper portfolio is required as well as in Culinary and Digital Graphic Education.
Phase three would be implementing this throughout SCUCISD, from elementary to high school which could be begin within three years from now. The goal is that all teachers can introduce ePortfolios in every grade level. Today's students are introduced to technology at a very early age, enough so that one can envision starting ePortfolios in elementary grades. Imagine being able to reflect on your work over the 12 year period of public education.
I ask you to consider this proposal, with the hope it is intriguing enough we may discuss this proposal and the plan to train educators, trial development and eventually implement it throughout the district.
Luis San Román
Lamar University Graduate student
Stacy Serna, DAEP Principal
An, H. & Wilder, H. (2010). A bottom-up approach for implementing electronic portfolios in a teacher education program. Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, 26 (3), 84-91.
Chang, C.-C., & Wu, B,-H (2012). Is teacher assessment reliable or valid for high school students under a web-based portfolio environment?. Educational Technology & Society, 15 (4), 265-278.
Thibodeaux, T., Harapnuik, D. (2018). Choice, ownership and voice through authentic learning: COVA + CSLE. Retrieved from http://www.harapnuik.org/?page_id=7291.
Yang, M., Tai, M. & Lin, C.-P. (2016). The roles of e-portfolios in supporting productive learning. British Journal of Educational Technology 47 (6), 1276-1286.