We are very excited about this Google Apps and student e-portfolio initiative that will empower students to increase collaboration, develop technology and digital citizenship skills, and demonstrate and showcase their learning through creating personal learning e-portfolios. You can read in detail about the initiative below; however, we just wanted to qualify that this plan will be implemented in stages. We wanted to take the opportunity to make you aware of this project; however, prior to your child participating in this, you will recieve a paper copy explaining the initiative and letting you know that your child will be starting to create their own e-portfolio.
The Vision of Muir Lake School and Parkland School Division
Our students use technology to learn. Technology is essential to facilitate the creative problem solving, information fluency, critical thinking skills, and collaboration that we see in today’s world. While we want our students to be active contributors in our connected world, we also want them to be safe, legal, and responsible.
About The Parkland School Division Initiative
Based on the idea of “Collaborate. Create. Learn.” as created by the Future Planning Team, and the Alberta Education Competency Wheel, we believe it will be extremely beneficial to Parkland School Division to look at moving towards creating digital portfolios for all students. As seen in the project currently done by Forest Green School, it is imperative (other than hardware) to make use of the following cloud technologies:
In preparation, we have developed our new Muir Lake School blog which is a WordPress Multiple User site. This gives us the opportunity to not only communicate with our school community, but also have teachers and students create their own e-portfolios. Since our school hosts these websites, we are able to ensure they are only viewable by the groups that we choose. To start the project, student portfolios would only be accessible to Parkland School Division staff and students. Like the Muir Lake School blog, the purpose is not to be a discussion forum; instead, it is a way to showcase learning, celebrate success, and increase communication. You will be able to view your child’s e-portfolio as it is developed by logging in with their @psdblogs.ca account. Students and teachers will also have the option to make any pages or posts “private”, only viewable to those they choose. Although there would eventually be an opportunity to open these sites globally, we want to ensure that we are thoughtful in every step in the process. Student portfolios would not be opened up without parental consent. Furthermore, every student will participate in a lesson on digital citizenship prior to beginning their e-portfolio.
To best prepare our students for their future, we want to provide rich learning activities through this medium, as well as others. The more opportunities students have to share their learning, the more opportunities they have to be successful.
How We Plan To Use Technology
The integrated information technology program at Muir Lake School develops the literacy skills our students need in order to contribute in a connected world. We use technology to facilitate creativity and innovation. We use technology to support communication and collaboration. We use technology to extend research and develop information fluency. We want our students to have a sound understanding of technology operations and concepts. We believe technology can be transformative. We will create a safe online environment for all of our students.
About Student e-portfolios
A portfolio is a purposeful collection of student work samples, student self-assessments and goal statements that reflect student progress. Students generally choose the work samples to place in the portfolio, but the teacher may also recommend that specific work samples be included. Portfolios are powerful tools that allow students to see their academic progress from grade to grade. (Learn Alberta)
Our Hardware and Software
Our students can access the Internet via both wired and wireless connections throughout the school. We will also be adding WiFi to our building in the foreseeable future. SmartBoards within the school help to facilitate group viewing and discussions. Muir Lake students have access to a standard suite of software to support their learning needs, which will include Google Applications for Education and a WordPress Multiple User Platform. Through this environment, students have the opportunity to collaborate with one another, and further their own knowledge in a safe and effective way.
Muir Lake School Technology Expectations
As part of this initiative every student and parent is required to sign the Acceptable User Agreement in order to promote clear communication, expectations, and collaboration. Your child will receive a paper copy of the AUA prior to utilizing Google Apps or beginning their e-portfolio.
The Leader In Me On-line Guidelines
1. Be Proactive by being kind to others online.
2. Begin with the End in Mind by only using your first name, not giving out any personal information, including last name, birthday, address, phone number or school address.
3. Put First Things First by following school and house rules about the sites and time you are allowed on line.
4. Think Win-Win by playing games fairly and realizing I do not always have to be the winner of a game. I will be polite and use appropriate language when communicating on-line.
5. Seek First to Understand by making smart decisions about what to play and send online. I will ask a trusted adult if I have any questions to what is appropriate. I will remember not everything I see, hear or read on line is true.
6. Synergize by working collaboratively with others, taking turns and sharing the responsibilities.
7. Sharpen the Saw by taking a break from online activities to get plenty of sleep and to participate in physical activities.
“Proactive people make choices based on values. They think before they act. They recognize they can’t control everything that happens to them, but they can control what they do about it.” – Sean Covey
“To overcome peer pressure, you have got to care more about what you think of you than what your peers think of you.” – Sean Covey