During the 2006-2007, I joined classroom teachers, Dr. Sheri Vasinda and Rosanna Leahy, to assist third and fourth grade students in creating reflective digital portfolios. These portfolios were designed based on a modified portfolio model for adults created by Kilbane and Milman. Students wrote learner's philosophy statements, selected artifacts that demonstrated their learning each six weeks and conducted reflective peer interviews which were digitally recorded and added to the portfolio. Further, students learned about web navigation and created their own navigation banner for use on their portfolios.
This work aligns with my educational philosophy statement as the teacher works as provocateur to elicit students' deep thinking. Further, students are seen as capable and worthy with their thinking made visible and posted publicly on the Internet.
In this work, students used a protocol to interview each other regarding their artifacts. This protocol became an important tool for students to use throughout the year. As students would present work to each other during the year, we found that other students would begin using the inteview protocol questions without prompting. Essentially, the reflective work done to create these portfolios offered students a language with which they could not only self-evaluate their learning, but also a language with which they could talk to another student about his/her work. Finally, we found that students became more reflective as the year progressed. I have also further modified the Kilbane and Milman model to use with undergraduate, preservice teachers in the CECS 4100 - Computers in the Classroom course I taught at the University of North Texas. (Click here and here to view examples of undergraduate portfolios.) So far, this work has generated four conference presentations and one published journal article.