Wednesday, December 7, 2011

e-Folios

I have to say how much I adore Weebly. It has a user friendly interface with a simple drag and drop working. I have been using it as my website host for about five years now without regret. I am able to include a variety of media while sharing what occurs in my classroom and engaging my students in content rich critical thinking. It also has been an amazing tool for my students to create their own websites that reflect their learning, or a portfolio (aka e-folio). So...it goes without saying that this decision is difficult. I am strongly considering switching the application my students use for their portfolio to Evernote. There are many reasons impacting this decision, none that have to do with Weebly.

One of the major decisions impacting this is how strongly I value reflection. An invaluable part of the learning process that helps learners grow because they are making decisions based on their own experiences. In order for reflection to be effective it needs to be ongoing as well as both private and public. While reflection is built in to every aspect of the day, I want more of that reflection to go beyond the classroom walls and to their parents. Knowing that I can only control what happens in my classroom, e-folios are a perfect way to do that.

But...because of technology issues (my school is fortunate to have more than most) doing so regularly is difficult. By the time the Netbooks turn on and every thing is logged in...ten to fifteen minutes have gone by. That is time we could have been better spent. With the Evernote app available on mobile devices, including the iPod and iPad this dramatically cuts down on boot up and log in time.

Because I want my students to be able to use evidence of their learning in various formats Evernote allows them to do this seamlessly. Weebly allows them to do this as well, but I have yet to find a way to share audio, video, or picture files with primary aged students that is simple and time efficient. Evernote will allow them to take pictures of their own work and record comments of their work in audio or text format. This provides a natural way to differentiate and meet the various needs of my learners.