Making the Case for Digital Portfolios for both Students and Teachers

I found an interesting post in George Couros’ Blog where he discusses how both students and teachers can use a digital portfolio to improve their online image.  Here are some of the major points:

     *  He recommends a video representation of achieved learning.  This is results based!  Is it better to see a student demonstrate he can perform a task versus seeing it as a bullet comment on a resume?  I think he is right on this one.

     *  On line portfolio creation is NOT bragging, but learning openly.  This type of product allows people to challenge each other.  Couros’ words reminded me of Ben Franklin’s Junto’s group that gathered to openly defend their essays, which improved their overall finished products (click here for Ben Franklin’s Autobiography).

Couros believes activities like blogging are an important part of a teacher’s work.  It allows people to see what they are thinking about, and what is important to them.  It also challenges them to be better.

     *  Educators and leaders should have something valuable to say if you are in a leadership position in a school

I see some potential pitfalls here, though.  Sharing your work with a trusted group of colleagues is quite a different matter than sharing on the internet.  The importance of using caution when sharing some data might be important, particularly for students.

This would be particularly relevant when thinking about how students, who are more likely to share openly on the web, might fall prey to predators.  Teaching the precepts of good internet citizenship and safety has to happen BEFORE students create a digital footprint.

What do you thing about sharing things like presentations you have given on open forums like a blog?

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