I think our Grade level school system is lacking continuity, especially as our digital world is changing the avenues in which we educate students. When I was younger, everything was done on paper so I could keep what i used from year to year and combine it with items from other years. I could easily refer to previous notes or assignments to help me with my current class. With many teachers using a variety of portfolio methods, I wonder how many of our students’ work is getting lost in cyberspace?
Imagine that Sam who is in Grade 4 creates powerpoints, documents, and artwork throughout the school year primarily using Google Docs (his teacher had class accounts set up for every student). Sam has a new teacher in Grade 5. The teacher uses a class blog and twitter account to share student assignments and learning. Sam develops a digital portfolio primarily using these tools. Grade 6: Sam’s new teacher doesn’t display student learning online and has students print or hand write all assignments. At the end of the year, Sam has a tangible portfolio. In Grade 7: Sam’s teacher sets up class accounts but the login and user name is different than the one he used in Grade 4…….
When our students look back on their experiences in school, will they be able to find the work that they did? What happens when their accounts expire or the tools they had used become obsolete?
Rather than working on a separate portfolio for each grade level, what if we viewed each student’s entire K-12 work as a portfolio? What would that look like? Would teachers be having more conversations about would they could do to maintain continuity for their students while still utilizing a variety of online tools as they become available?
I have a lot of questions and no solution. Would like to hear your thoughts on the topic!