October 25, 2012

Big Shifts

Filed under: Uncategorized — by kschreckengost @ 1:39 am

In Will Richardson’s Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom, he lists ten big fundamental shifts occurring in education.  They are as follows:

  1. Open Content
  2. Many Teachers and 24/7 Learning
  3. The Social, Collaborative Construction of Meaningful Knowledge
  4. Teaching in Conversation, Not Lecture
  5. Know “Where” Learning
  6. Readers are No Longer Just Readers
  7. The Web as Notebook (or Portfolio)
  8. Writing is No Longer Limited to Text
  9. Mastery is the Product, Not the Text
  10. Contribution, Not Completion, as the Ultimate Goal

One shift that I’d like to discuss today is number 7, “The Web as Notebook (or Portfolio).” The concept of this shift is that as the web continues to become a prominent place to gather information, the effectiveness of using pen and paper to capture the information becomes less relevant (Richardson, 2010). Online, a student’s portfolio has the opportunity to become alive, so to speak, due to the ability to take advantage of photography, podcasting, screencasting, etc.

This is an exciting concept for me as a Private Tutor under PA Homeschool Law. Starting at the compulsory age of 8, documentation is required by law. As an educator with an active teaching certificate, it is up to me to document the portfolios of my children. Up until this point, I have been keeping written documentation of everything we complete, but I can’t help but think that I need to take the plunge into the “Big Shift” that is occurring and start to make my children’s portfolios electronic. Instead of taking a photograph of a completed science project or including a written copy of a well written poem, why not make a video with my child explaining what they have completed or a podcast of them reading the poem?

In a society where gaining an edge may be the key to success, I’d like to take my children to the next level. I’d like to show colleges that when my children started school, they were actively involved in the technological world around them. When my first child graduates in eight years, I want colleges to recognize that these technologies were being utilized by my children before they were a standard. It’s exciting to think that I have the chance to be a part of this “Big Shift.” I sit here now, feeling somewhat content and thankful.



  1. I love this! It is so inspiring–as a parent, I think it would be great for my daughter to have something that she can have (that doesn’t take up so much space). For example, each year she has so many projects and creative pieces that she spent so much time on; she would like to keep them all. If we did that, we would have no room. Creating a portfolio for her would be a fantastic idea. Right now my husband takes pictures for her so that she had them, but why can’t she videotape herself or create a podcast explaining some of the projects? Obviously we don’t have to submit anything since she isn’t home-schooled, but it is something that she would really appreciate down the road. Awesome idea, Kelly!

    Comment by jennhund — October 25, 2012 @ 1:52 am |Reply

  2. Kelly,

    I like your idea of creating a portfolio for your children. That certainly would, as you pointed out, be a way for colleges (and potential employers) to get a glimpse of what they have accomplished to-date.

    Have you thought about what vehicle you might use to do this?

    We have to do a portfolio every three years. Typically, people create a 3-ring binder with ‘artifacts’ (examples) of things they have done that document their work over the time period. It may look similar to what you are doing now.

    I didn’t want to use a binder, so instead I used Google Sites. It is easy to create a website with this tool, which also happens to be free. I created a page for each of the 8 standards, scanned any paper artifacts that I had, and then uploaded them to the web page. I made links to other examples of my work. I didn’t have any graphics to upload, but that could have been easily done, in addition to posting videos to YouTube (privately) and linking them to the pages. It’s a lot like working in the Wiki. I only shared the link to one person, my supervisor, so it is private (others can’t search for it and find it).

    Just a thought.


    Comment by cjudas — October 27, 2012 @ 4:29 am |Reply

    • Thanks so much Claire for the ideas and suggestions. I really appreciate them and will certainly look at how they may work for our portfolios. Thanks!

      Kelly Schreckengost, M.S., CCC-SLP Physician’s Promise at Speedmont Farm 548 East Brady Rd. Kittanning, PA 16201 724-548-1230

      Comment by kschreckengost — October 27, 2012 @ 7:42 am |Reply

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