Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Blog as Portfolio

I have taken a hiatus from my blog because of other committments so I am behind in what I have been reading. I just read Will Richardson's post on assessing blogs. and then at The Blog of Proximal Development: Grading Conversations. I loved Konrad Glogowski's description of how his class functions
"grading blogs (especially at the elementary level) has to be a very holistic process that focuses not only on the quality of their work but also on the extent to which their work reflects the context in which they work. I think that student bloggers should be recognized for writing as part of a larger community of inquirers. Some of my most successful writers are those who are aware of what their friends are writing about and who participate in conversations with other bloggers in their class. This is an important part of knowledge- and community-building, especially when (as in my class) students investigate and write about related ideas."
I can understand the need to assess student work but I do not see a blog as a portfolio. Although it is a collection of work, the student is writing regularly on the blog and is not making a selection of the work to include as in a portfolio. A portfolio should contain work that is selected for a reason (to show growth, to illustrate understanding of a concept, to showcase particularly fine work). In addition, there should be some self-reflection on the pieces chosen. While I find blogs excellent for self-reflection - it is reflection about ideas, not necessarily about a piece of work. In addition, as Konrad points out, it is a place for community building.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Building Walls

In the past few days I have read posts by both David Warlick Network or Netblock, and Will Richardson, Schools not being schools. Both talked about the issue of walls preventing students from getting out to parts of the Internet. I know many of my colleagues face issues with their IT departments. When are we controlling too much so that we are putting up walls between our students and their learning?