Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mind Flip

June 5th. Last day. And as hard as I am working to stay in the present, to give my current students my best until the very last day, once in awhile, my mind wanders into next year and imagines how things could be.

So I've got a notebook that goes everywhere with me where I can jot down those ideas that appear to me at odd times (like 3:00am). It helps. I write them down in as much detail as I can and then get back to what I'm supposed to be doing.

For example, next year we will be a 1 to 1 school district. Every student, yes even the kindergartners, will have access to a device. K-5 will have ipads and 6-12 will have 11 inch MacBook Airs. This is a HUGE commitment by our district and I want to use them effectively, not just a toy in the classroom.

In creative writing, we use computers every day now, but next year I have a few ideas since students will always have their computer. I want them to have digital portfolios and blogs. I've been thinking about this for awhile now. I love Blogger, but am not sure I want to use it for a portfolio. Weebly is a free website creator that also has a blog feature. I'm leaning in that direction right now. It seems like it might be more versatile for what I envision. Students could blog a few times a week. They could share published pieces on their site. We could create writing idea pages, mechanics help pages. They could even have a draft page if they wanted.

But, I'm just not sure. Anyone out there have digital portfolios? What do you use?


  1. Wow - that is awesome. I think my district will be there soon, so I will enjoy hearing about your journey and how the 1:1 is implemented. I can't wait to come back here later to read the rest of the comments. I wonder what is available for digital portfolios...

  2. It's so natural to think what next when finishing up the year. In our school we started 1-1 I-Pad, and some grades tried Keynote as a portfolio. The same teachers are thinking of switching to Google sites for portfolios. Keynote looked good, didn't require internet connection, but was accessible only on I=Pad. Google sites is available on any computer at any location with internet connection, and can be shared with nobody or with anybody. I am still looking and reading reviews of different possibilities. Part of me really likes a touchable portfolio.

    1. Terje,
      When we went google school, I tried google sites. I find it very cumbersome, although it is also an option. I may let kids have a choice. It would be easy for them to get a google site since they have gmail, etc through school

  3. I'll be interested to hear what others are using, as I'd like to start using digital portfolios next year too. I'm like you, I find myself reflecting all the time and thinking about what I want to do differently next year. I like your idea of carrying a notebook around. :)

  4. What a great opportunity for your students! Sorry I can't be of any help, but I love reading about your thinking.

  5. Wow! How great for everyone to have their own device. I'm still working with 2 computers in the classroom. My students used kidblogs this year. Loved it. I blogged about it today. http://reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com

  6. I've been using Edublogs with my 8th grade students, and I know teachers who use it in younger grades as well. There are both free and paid versions. I find it worth it to subscribe to the paid versions (about $15 a month) because it gives more cool features and better control of student blogs. Edublogs has great support (any question I've emailed has been answered and problem fixed in less than one day). They also have blogging challenges for teachers and students that teach blogging skills and offer opportunities to connect with other bloggers in education. You can check out my blog here. My student blogs are still linked on the side if you want to see what they have done with them. I'm afraid I don't have resources to share with you, but I am totally stealing this idea and sharing it with my new 7th grade team that is working to integrate social studies, science, and language arts. Our 7th grade social studies curriculum also focuses on world cultures and history. http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/2013/05/21/swarm/

  7. New paths! Sounds like an exciting year!
    I have made a "found poem"of SOL post titles today and your title is in my poem!

  8. Deb, I have to admit I am a bit envious. No iPads or personal laptops for my students yet. I am curious to see what you end up using for your portfolios.

  9. I find blogging on my i-pad to be cumbersome so I will be curious to find out what you land on. I do use different journaling apps - Noteability is my current favorite - and easily send stuff off of it from place to place.