Rliberni's Blog – Radical language

June 14, 2011

What advantages could be gained by using criteria other than age to group kids in classes?

#Edchat 06 – 08 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Pam Wesely (@pamwesely) for this summary on what turned out to be a very interesting chat. There were many ideas and many reservations too which all made for a very thought-provoking discussion. Pam has captured all of this to great effect in this summary. Thank you Pam for a great roundup of the ideas and themes and a thoughtful commentary on the topic. Find out more about Pam in her bio at the end of the post.

The participants in this #edchat talk all heartily agreed that grouping kids by criteria other than age has been under explored in current educational practices.  We were able to identify an array of positives to grouping by things other than age, often focusing on the ability to individualize instruction and encourage peer-to-peer mentoring and cooperation more effectively.
    Beyond this response to the initial prompt, participants in this #edchat discussion addressed several other related topics, notably: WHAT CRITERIA the alternate groupings would have, WHAT SCOPE the alternate groupings would have, WHICH LEVELS of students are grouped by age (and which should be), and WHY we currently group students by age.  As I tend to be more conservative in the #edchat discussions, I was pleased to see participants even offer reasons why this grouping does make sense in some cases.  
    Upon reflection, I see lots of areas where educators can expand on this discussion, notably in including and considering other stakeholders in education; developing the notion of groupings that vary throughout one child’s day; and considering the ways that peer mentoring can become more a part of classroom practice.

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • Decisions about promotion that completely disregarded age (as @LHoog eloquently put it, putting the «child genius who’s 8 with 14-year-olds”) was not seen as preferable.  Participants still felt for the most part that age (or developmental level) needed to be considered in grouping students.
  • Participants shared personal experiences about observing older and younger students working together – both well and not-so-well.
  • Types of alternate grouping suggested included interest/project grouping, ability grouping, mastery grouping, achievement grouping, and grouping in peer-mentor relationships.
  • Perhaps the most common rhetorical flourishes critiquing age grouping were references to non-school-based contexts – the idea that «ages are mixed up in X context, why do we force such an unnatural grouping in schools!» with X context being playgrounds, adult workplaces, sports teams, etc.
  • Where some participants thought that avoiding age grouping would help students find like-minded allies of any age, others argued that the academically adept but socially underdeveloped would suffer if advancement were based on academic criteria.  
  • An important point of contention that emerged at the end of the discussion involved how, exactly, teachers would decide how students would advance to the next level, if not somehow by age.

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

 @nancyrubin: Group stronger academic students with those that need a little more help for peer mentoring opportunities.
@MertonTech: The biggest issue is that academic maturity and social maturity are not always the same.
@USCTeacher: Many factors could be used to categorize students: age, gender, economic standing, performance – how are we to determine what is fair or works?
@tomwhitby: If age was not an issue, social promotion or non-promotion would not be one either.
@darcymullin: Multi-aged groupings (or other methods) also force us to look at our pedagogy and re-think what and how we deliver instruction.
@QZLPatriotHawk: This is not a one-size-fits-all debate. I believe you have to look at the students as individuals. Schooling is so much more than about academics.
@CTuckerEnglish: Maturity can be an issue, but there’s value in having older kids lead, support & guide younger students.
@rliberni: I think the older kids also learn from the younger ones – re-igniting their curiosity.
@JasonFlom: I think there need to be opportunities for ages to mix, regularly, but social development is so key early on.
@ShellTerrell: I’d like to see parents, students, & teachers collaborate in placing the student.
@karimderrick: We should also not group by subject….but instead by project! How great would that be!!
@tomwhitby: Ability should be a part of it but too much emphasis on any component will affect the result. Balance is the key.

@coreydahlevent: Is the question about age or ability, or is it about TEACHERS allowing or NOT allowing extended learning?
@karimderrick: Mixed-age groups would ultimately be more natural – same age groups is a product of factory schooling.
@Sam_EnglishEd: In mentoring group, 17-yr-old to me: “I don’t want to be with these little KIDS.” These KIDS were 14-15. Complaint often heard.
@BrandiJClark: Focus on the learning, not the sifting and sorting.
@malcolmbellamy: We mature at different rates, and not according to the year we were born.
@mrmadden77: I’m still concerned with ability grouping – worried that focus will become too much about curriculum, not enough about the child.

@JohnMikulski: For ability grouping to be successful, there has to be fluid movement from one group to next when student shows improvement.
@JasonFlom: “Fluid movement” for a teacher is one thing. “Fluid movement” for students in social groups is another.

To follow the complete discussion see here  
For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

As ever, there were some great links shared:

@NextGenLC:  What’s been your experiences with programs like this? “Some schools grouping students by skill, not grade level” http://ow.ly/5caH4  #edchat
@NextGenLC:  @pamwesely This #edchat has me thinking about Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ argument about cutoff dates for kindergarten http://ow.ly/5cbf0

@NextGenLC: @brandiheinz Me too. Just found this post about the “Outliers” argument: http://ow.ly/5cbqX  #edchat

@allisonletts: the Changing Ed Paradigms Video by @sirkenrobinson http://ow.ly/5bgEa  #edchat

@davidwees: Here’s a study about pros and cons of older/younger sibling pairs. Some good stuff, some not so good. http://bit.ly/iHBGZ1  #edchat

@nancyrubin: Collaborative Learning: Group and Teams in the Classroom http://t.co/yAndKbk   #edchat

@karimderrick: Assess perf in proj orientated groups NOT using criteria – but comparative judgement http://bit.ly/dP6O8E  Bye, bye stand tests #edchat

@darcymullin: @JasonFlom check out this awesome school in Aus. Very cool http://bit.ly/lefZ72  #edchat

@pamwesely: @rliberni That’s true after I tweeted that I remembered this great film abt a 1-rm school – Etre et Avoir http://imdb.to/8r71Rt  #edchat

@ToughLoveforX: @WendyGorton @ShellTerrell Crowdsourcing Authority in the Classroom http://ilnk.me/8d36  by @catinstack

@mister_jim: #edchat sorry, a bit behind but aren’t we missing the point? Teachers enable learning situations. Shouldn’… (cont) http://deck.ly/~kiq6j

@irasocol: http://www.fsd.k12.ca.us/menus/k8/addmat.pdf   #edchat the K-8 advantage

@irasocol: Philadelphia K-8 analysis http://www.csos.jhu.edu/new/Comparing%20Achievement.pdf  #edchat

@johnpassantino:  Students progress at own pace: Adams County District Standards-based Education model http://bit.ly/lO5ut3  #edchat

@tomwhitby: My latest Post dealing with Filters, Bans & AUP’s: “How do we fit the policy to the need?” http://nblo.gs/iM77n   #Edchat


Pam Wesely is an Assistant Professor of Foreign Language and English as a Second Language Education at the University of Iowa. She teaches teachers and people who want to research education.  Her research interests include K-12 student, teacher, and parent beliefs about foreign language education.  She also harbors a growing interest in how teachers use Web 2.0 tools to connect and teach their students.  She is a former middle school French teacher and Concordia Language Villages counselor/administrator.  You can see her professional website at: http://sites.google.com/site/pamelawesely

New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 1,000 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

June 13, 2011

Starting out in ELT

The room was dark. It was hot and humid. A mix of climate and fear made it impossible to keep cool. Soon it would be time to begin. The gentle days were over, the days of acclimatisation, of bonding, of learning the language and playing the tourist. This now, today was the reason I had come here, the reason I had made the decision to leave family and friends and travel half way around the world. This was the start, the first day of many days. It was time to step forward and make a difference.

 The tables were ranged on rows with two people at each table. I made my way down to the front where a large black board stood on an easel. I turned and looked at the smiling faces, eager, expectant. My heart raced and my mouth felt dry. Here were the university’s finest. Lecturers and senior lecturers all poised to begin the final hurdle that lay between them and their Masters and PhD courses in the US, UK and Australia – the English language exam. They were medics, dentists, engineers, mathematicians,  all experienced and dedicated and I was here to make their academic dreams become a reality. I was 21 with my degree in Music and English linguistic studies barely 3 months old and my 1-month teacher training course having been spent largely around the tourist sites of Edinburgh (the weather during my training course had been so good that none of the students had turned up to class).

I took a very deep breath, handed out copies of Kernel Lessons Intermediate and opened the first page. This was it, the first lesson! Would I leave them begging for more or running for the hills?

We began. the Kernel Lessons book came with a piece of A4 green card which was used to cover the writing on the right hand page so the students could discuss the cartoon pictures on the left – this was technology 1977 style! We moved slowly through the pictures, removed the green cards to look at the reading passages and then talked about their own daily routines. Things seemed to be going fine.

Time to use the blackboard. As I turned to pick up the chalk I tripped over the waste-paper basket and did a little impromptu dance. My pride dented, but with no obvious harm done, I took a piece of chalk and began to write. The chalk disintegrated. I took a second piece and a third. By about the sixth piece of chalk I was able to scribble a few words on to the board – these were duly copied down. As I returned the chalk to the box I noticed something moving inside. I shook the box and a small whitish cockroach scuttled out and flew off into the corner of the room. I gasped, they laughed. I laughed, they smiled. Our journey had begun.

It may not have been the dynamic start to a career (which has now spanned almost 34 years) that I might have hoped for, but I still remember that first lesson; how I felt, what went wrong and also what seemed to work. Our first steps are often faltering and tentative, but given good support we can blossom and grow and our learning  journey can be a blueprint for those of our students.

My first group of students seemed intimidating to me given their relative ages and status, but I was lucky, they too were teachers and they understood how I was feeling and with their support I was able to create a bond which ensured that everything would work out well. Having good support is very important at the beginning of a new career. Being a teacher puts you very much in the limelight and ‘on stage’ it is not always a comfortable place to be. You need people to turn to for advice and moral support.

Being mentored by a more experienced teacher has great value. They will often have faced the same issues and problems. They can share their own journey, which will have been similar and also see things with more of a bird’s-eye view. This advice and knowledge can be invaluable to a new teacher. I feel, however, that there is another dimension to stepping into a new career which is equally valuable and that is the support of people who are in the same boat. This solidarity helps us to see that we are not alone in facing new challenges, that others are experiencing the same doubts, apprehensions and also achievements. It is important to be able to celebrate the successes within our peer group and commiserate when things go awry.

Being part of a group with experienced mentors and other ‘new’ colleagues can certainly give us the very best safety net for the start of what, with such support, is guaranteed to be an amazing start to a wonderful career.

My own experience as mentor and mentee (I am currently working with a mentor myself), requests from new teachers for mentoring help and my firm belief that we work/learn better as part of a group has led to my setting up my own online EFL/ESL teacher mentoring programme ™ELTMentor. The programme combines the best of web-based training with ‘hands-on’ advice and support from both experienced teachers and also the ELTmentor community itself. We are about to have our second session – sign up to join us.

June 8, 2011

Who’s in my PLN? My very enlightening interview

In May Brad Patterson threw down a challenge to members of our PLN (Professional Learning Network) – choose someone from your PLNand try to get to know them better. He provided us with 5 questions and we could add extras if we wanted. This has inspired a number of interesting posts which can all be seen on Brad’s blog.

Quite often with these challenges I realise they are out there and get geared up to participate just as they are coming to a close! Fortunately this one came across my radar quite early on, but it was Eva Büyüksimkeşyan asking to interview me that finally gave me the push I needed to get on board with this challenge!

My choice is Shaun Wilden. Shaun and I moderate #eltchat together (along with other members of this team; Barbara Sakamoto, Marisa Constantinides, and Shelly Terrell), we meet on various online events and have even met face to face at IATEFL but I realised that I don’t really know much about him at all other than he supports a football team in a rival county to mine and, I think, likes marmite (could be wrong there – it may have been a joke!)

He is a great member of my PLN always cheerful, very patient, a very hard worker and always seems to know how to do everything – especially tech-wise. As such we are very fortunate to have him on the #eltchat team. He also has a wicked sense of humour (more of this below)

I put Brad’s 5 questions to him and then added a couple extra.

So here it is! Everything you wanted to know about Shaun Wilden – and more!

1) If your students were to label you with 3 adjectives, what might they be?

Without a doubt they would say energetic (unless they knew the word hyperactive).  Ex-students have told me that they were exhausted at the end of lesson with me. I am forever moving about and can’t sit still.  I’d hope they would say funny, I do like to tell a joke and am very sarcastic, which most of my Czech students cottoned onto.  As a third one, I’d think they’d say crazy – if I can make a lesson out of something, I will.

2) What would we find in your refrigerator right now?

Hmm, let me think, top shelf will have yoghurts, berries and some home made jams and chutneys. Second shelf has lots different cheeses, eggs and probably some cold meat. Next is the wine rack, which is full of white wine chilling, and then finally there is some defrosting turkey mince, which I shall be using to make tonight’s dinner.

3) If you weren’t a teacher, what might your profession be?

I would to be a chef.  It’s my dream to have a small restaurant cooking good rustic food. I love cooking, it is my number one hobby and I’ve been told I’m quite good at it.  Since moving back to the UK a year ago, I have also started growing my own vegetables and would be more than happy to spend my days growing and then cooking food.

4) What do you find most difficult about the teaching profession, or What has been your most difficult class as a teacher?

I think one of the hardest things about our profession is it being taken seriously.  I still not sure that my family fully comprehend what I do or what I was doing for 20 years abroad and just the other day a UK TV programme used the TEFL industry as an example of way to see the world and have a fun (in a disparaging way – in fact our profession is fun but not in the ‘this is not a serious job ‘ way).  For such a vast industry things such as the fact it is poorly paid, and that it can treat teachers badly constantly amazes me.  Likewise, perhaps naively, I am astounded when teachers who have nothing more than a 4-week cert fail to see the need for developing themselves. 

5) What was the last book/movie you read/saw, and what have you seen/read way too many times?

I am not a great book or film person. I spend too much time online so read more blogs etc than books. I do have the odd book on the go on my ipad as I spend a fair amount travelling.  Currently I’m reading ‘Reelin’ in the Years: The Soundtrack of a Northern Life by Mark Radcliffe.’ He is a radio DJ and in this book he has chosen a song for every year of his life and writes about the memories of each year.  As an ex-dj the idea of a song for each year really appeals to me. As for films, I’d rather have a good dvd boxset. As a committed Whovian you’d probably find me watching old episodes of the series though you can never watch them too many times.

Extra questions

6) What are your top 3 tips for successful language learning?

I’ve probably said to my students on numerous occasions – ‘don’t worry about how you say just say it’ and I think that is an important factor in learning language. Taking a few risks builds confidence. Certainly in my experience of learning Czech (a very accurate language), I was put off on more than one occasion by the teacher’s correcting every little thing.  Secondly, be interested in your learning.  Far too many of my students learned English, well tried to learn, by coming to a once a week class expecting to learn everything by attending class once a week for forty weeks.  Those that did best, invested time outside to learn, be it watching something in English, finding times to study and so on. My most ‘successful’ student went from A2 to C2 in a couple of years by working out he could learn on his daily commute – he recorded our lessons and played them back in the car. Thirdly, have a good teacher, be it at the end of an email to help or in the classroom a good language teacher can inspire, guide and advise. As far as we have gone down the path of technology and self-study there is still no substitute for a good teacher.

7) What is your greatest memory?

My greatest memory – well this one’s a little tricky.  I’ll share with you the story I often use as a live listening. I’m not sure it qualifies as greatest memory but it’s one helluva story.  At university I learned to fire breathe (well it beats the geography degree I was supposed to be doing) and one night while at a house party in Athens (where I started my career), I met a juggler who was keen to learn to fire breathe.  ‘Oh I’ll show you’ and off we head to the balcony. Now when breathing fire you should always check the wind direction and never, ever use petrol, as it is too flammable. Being full of bravado (no I wasn’t drunk) I took a mouthful of the liquid the juggler had for his fire clubs, lit a club and went outside to breath it out and duly impress the crowd.  I ‘spit’ out the liquid in front of the flame and there is a whoosh – the whoosh being the sound of the petrol (for that is what it was) igniting and the wind blowing it back in my face.  Oh no ‘I’ve set fire’ to my hair I thought but no not quite – I had set fire to my face. Luckily I was surrounded by EFL teachers who always know what to do and one had some excellent burn cream. They smeared it all over my face and took me outside to get a taxi to the hospital (far quicker than waiting for an ambulance).  We saw lots of our Greek friends outside – it was carnival season and the cream looked like clown whitener so they thought I’d dressed up for carnival…anyway seven days in Greek intensive care followed but am glad to say all worked out well though of course it put an end to my super model days. Oh well modeling’s loss was EFL’s gain.

Thank you Shaun looks like we might be all visiting your restaurant one day sounds awesome!

June 7, 2011

What additions or changes can colleges make to better prepare teacher?

#Edchat 05 – 31 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

This #edchat topic was a very interesting one. There seemed to be many different experiences among the group. The summary has been expertly prepared by Michael Zimmer (@MZimmer557) and he has brought together all the threads into a great digest of all the thoughts. As he explains here our world today is somewhat different from the one many of us trained for. Thank you for a great post Michael. You can find out more about Michael in his bio at the end of the post.

Having missed the passed few #edchats because of other obligations, it appeared that I returned for a thought-provoking discussion about teacher education programs.  My personal experiences were mixed.  I had several good professors and several others who obviously were out of touch with what education was like in the 90’s and now in the 21st Century.  Education is constantly going through various reforms, especially lately, yet little emphasis in those reforms has focused on teacher education programs.  Are they working?  Most educators have heard the statistic that half of the new teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years.  If that is the case, then shouldn’t there be a focus on those that are preparing teachers for the workplace?  If teacher education programs are properly preparing students for the classroom this statistic would not be so staggering.   

    Another issue facing teacher education programs is preparing teachers to teach in the 21st century and prepare teachers to use educational technology.  In my personal experiences in teacher preparation there were two things that were constantly emphasized: My Philosophy of Education and Creating Lesson Plans, which is something over time that has had little impact on my actual teaching.  Beneficial classes would have been how to integrate and use technology with students.  Teacher education programs need to hire professors that are knowledgeable about this technology and how to use it.

    When I look back, it is interesting to me that my teacher education program was about 24-30 hours of course work, but my content area was 3-4 times as much.  If teaching is the primary goal at graduation from college, shouldn’t there be an equal amount of classes.  It is apparent that all that content knowledge won’t help teachers if they don’t get a quality education on how to be a great teacher.  During student teaching we would return to campus and meet with groups of other student teachers.  There was always stuff planned for us.  It would have been more beneficial for us to communicate with each other our experiences. 

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • More in class time with students and teachers.  There needs to be more interaction between college students in teacher education with teachers and students in the schools
  • More classes related to learning how to use technology as an engagement tool.
  • To much focus on methodology and theories and not enough focus on real world teaching
  • More mentoring among teachers and professors
  • More opportunities for teachers to get into the classroom while in the teacher education program
  • Professors need to go back to the classroom so they are not out of the loop on what is going on in the classroom
  • More focus on why they teach the content, not necessarily what they content is
  • Teacher preparation needs to include more about classroom management, dealing with parents, the extras duties that come with the job, special education, and school law
  • More emphasis on what it means to teach in the 21st century

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

With such a vibrant discussion, it’s almost impossible to do it justice in a summary, but I’ve picked out some of the comments that caught my eye.
@CTuckerEnglish: I felt really prepared for teaching, but not for teaching in an increasingly digital society.
@davidwees: Every teacher’s college should spend some time talking alternative education systems. (especially in the 21st century)
@maryannesacco: More time with practical in-class experiences with cooperating teacher–PT conferences, lesson planning, teacher pd meetings
@teachersnet: It can’t be repeated too often: pre-teaching programs must include more classroom management training
@stumpteacher: IMO teacher ed programs I have been in and worked with miss the boat. Teaching kids how to teach 30-50 years ago. Not current.
@iteach4change: teacher ed programs need more on tech, special needs, and politics/finance of education; also more on culturally responsive teaching
@davidwees: Teacher education systems should spend time focusing on building people who expect to learn continuously, rather than sporadically
@kegluskin I had many field placements in different grades &urban & suburban environments which helped me feel comfortable in all settings
@cybraryman1 Yes teachers should be prepared for all different types of learners
@ericjuli Teacher Ed programs should teach high school teachers to believe they teach kids first, not content
@Tina_Barr: More mentoring in the classroom as part of the college curriculum could prove effective
@davidwees: If our classrooms are supposed to be student centred, so too should our teacher colleges.
@tomwhitby: teacher prep might improve if cooperating teachers were trained as to what to do w/student teachers.
@ShellTerrell: Teacher Ed programs should have a course designed on effective communication w/ parents, admin, students! Not enough comm in edu
@davidwees: How many teacher colleges invite alumni back to talk about their experiences? Share their ideas?
@MZimmer557: Allow more teachers with Master’s in education and administration to teach the courses…not professors far removed from classroom
@Whtevri4c: Faculty should go back to the classroom for a semester every three years to stay current.
@tomwhitby: College classes can make good teachers. Great teachers are made from their own classes
@davidwees: Idea: 1 year of preparation followed by 1 year of teaching, followed by a summer (at least) back in teacher college.
@txlibraryguy: Tech skills, theory and practice are great, but young teachers need confidence and coping skills or they won’t stay in profession.
 @chrisemdin: Teacher prep is missing metacognitive reflection. Teachers must learn to think about how & why they teach the way they do

To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 

 As ever, there were some great links shared:




http://mbfxc.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/i-am-change /

http://wrightslaw.com /

– @mbfxc:  http://t.co/V1csZ63  #edchat

My name is Michael Zimmer (@MZimmer557) and I am currently a Technology Integration Specialist in a school district in Kentucky.  I will be returning to the classroom next school year to teach Social Studies and am looking forward to using and integrating several of the things I have learned since using Twitter professionally.  I also write the blog: The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness


New to Edchat?

If you have never participated in an #Edchat discussion, these take place twice a day every Tuesday on Twitter. Over 400 educators participate in this discussion by just adding #edchat to their tweets. For tips on participating in the discussion, please check out these posts!

More Edchat


If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

What do you think? Leave a comment!

June 6, 2011

What are the advantages or disadvantages of portfolio assessment

#Edchat 05 – 24 – 2011 – 18:00 CET 12 PM EST

Thank you to Geoff Krall for this wonderful summary of the chat on Porfolio assessment. As ever it was a lively discussion with lots of  ideas and information being shared (there were a lot of links on this topic!). Geoff has produced a great summary of the chat bringing together all the disperate threads and analysing well the merits of each of these. You can find out more about Geoff and his maths blog at the end of this post.

 The focus of this #edchat was centered around the use of student portfolios. While there was a general agreement about the usefulness of student portfolios, there were some great key questions concerning the purpose of a student portfolio: is a portfolio intended to show growth or demonstrate proficiency? Are they to be assessed summatively or formatively? What resources are available for E-Portfolios? Do student portfolios actually make a difference upon applying for post-secondary education or jobs? Who should assess the portfolios: teachers, students, outside evaluators or all/some of the above?

Here are some of the main themes from the discussion: 

  • What should the portfolio demonstrate: proficiency or development?
  • Selection of work to include in the portfolio
  • Social Media and Web 2.0 as portfolio tools (Blogs, Facebook, Google Sites, etc.)
  • Connections between portfolio and real world applications (job/higher ed).
  • Rubrics as a method of portfolio assessment

Here is a selection of some of the comments: 

@ Wmchamberlain: Portfolios need to include work chosen by students as well as teachers. I also think it shouldn’t just be “best work” either.
@ Anvonban: Portfolio assessments make for more authentic feedback, but it needs to be continual, or it’s just another summative assessment.
@pammcarr: Portfolios can show the growth of a student, grades really just show a snapshot of the student.

@drdouggreen:  All student projects should be in the portfolio for starters. Weeding can happen later.

@pammcarr: portfolios must also show how students can collaborate and problem solve.

@inquirebook: Portfolios can be messy, but so is real learning.

@inquirebook: Students also feel greater ownership of portfolios than of tests.

@ isteconnects: An e-portfolio will blow minds.

@drdouggreen: Your portfolio is your resume. It shows what you can do for me today.

@tellio: I would like to see a portfolio also represent a repertoire of skills and abilities not just things.

@isteconnects: Actually, resume shows what you have done, portfolio shows what you can do.

@tomwhitby: Colleges are shifting to portfolio assessment for graduation. It would speed up the process if they used it for admission as well.

@ malcolmbellamy: I would recommend fellow student feedback (possibly videoed) in e-folios.

@PCSTech: If I were an employer, I’d much rather see a portfolio of work rather than grades which tell me little.

@drdouggreen: I let my graduate students grade themselves. That takes grades off the table and gets the focus on learning.

@ mrkaiser208: An authentic portfolio is a student’s own work. I don’t think it can be more simple.

@zeitz: An Authentic Portfolio is one that reflects the work that a student or professional is doing or has completed.

@Teachpaperless: Portfolios should be assessed not just in terms of student’s own academic development, but in terms of the development between student & community.

@ChrisVacek: As an employer we require applicants for new web developer positions to submit an on-line e-portfolio of work.

@TeachPaperless: Authentic portfolios should engage the student in the life, questions, problems, and ideas of the community.

@malcolmbellamy: A portfolio should say to anyone looking “this is me and what I have learned.”


To follow the complete discussion see here 

For the stats on #edchat participation see here 


As ever, there were some great links shared:

@nancyrubin: Designing an ePortfolio Assignment http://t.co/JB9NXvb  #edchat

@derrallg: I usually share Helen Barrett’s website for portfolio resources http://bit.ly/5CeVQZ  #edchat

@ nancyrubin: Example of EPortfolio (Digital Portfolio) Rubric – http://ow.ly/51TqK  #edchat

@edtechworkshop: here is a post I wrote w/some intro thoughts about portfolios/obstacles, etc. http://bit.ly/iuLYvI

pamwesely: @davidwees #edchat UIowa has all preservice teachers do ePortfolios – believe it is a state requirement http://bit.ly/l9G5ZV

@sanmccarron:  My portfolio requirements continue to be a work in progress, after 10 yrs! http://skyearthwater.com/Chem/ChemPortfolio.html   #edchat

@padgets: #edchat we have used wikis but are changing to google sites next year – here is what it looks like http://tinyurl.com/42rrxpy

@cybraryman1: My Electronic Portfolios page: http://cybraryman.com/portfolios.html  #edchat

@pamwesely: National Board Certification for teachers has a portfolio aspect http://bit.ly/kmLBwJ  #edchat

@JJIEga: Looks like some #GA officials could have used a little insight from #edchat on this one: http://bit.ly/jfaaY0  #charterschools

@tomwhitby: Tech has provided a way to create, store and transmit porfolios as never before. / see http://epsilen.com  #edchat

@ISILBOY:  E-Portfolios for Learning http://bit.ly/a6PBf2  #edchat

@cliffmanning: #edchat may like http://t.co/pNFI0Mm  safe free portfolio and blogging platform for schools all over world

web20education: Gr8 tools and apps to make heard your visual presence around the #semanticweb #edtech20 #onlineportofolios #edchat http://t.co/gRswL51

@chris_reuter: #edchat checkout what my students are working on right now. online portfolios http://bit.ly/isCfU3

@cybraryman1: My Grading page (see: Grading vs. Assessment of Learning Outcomes..) : http://tinyurl.com/4nrqzll  #edchat

@edtechworkshop: @chris_reuter nice example! thanks. Here are our 8th graders’ portfolios http://bit.ly/jIdxIZ  (some are open/some blocked) #edchat

@ywsanchez Project-based learning: What it is & isn’t (RT @nancyrubin) | #edchat #ntchat http://ow.ly/50Uj3

@edtechworkshop: Here is a 5th grade portfolio http://bit.ly/iBR5p9  plan is to move to “blogfolios” next year #edchat

@drthomasho: Here’s case study on Epsilen e-portfolio http://www.centergrove.k12.in.us/centergrove/lib/centergrove/epsilencasestudy.pdf   #edchat

@nancyrubin: Notes on ePortfolios and Personalized Learning http://t.co/wBdA4Vy  #edchat

@juandoming: Designing an #ePortfolio Assignment http://t.co/Nek1KAF  vía @AddThis   #elearning #socialmedia #edtech #edchat #education #web20 #odite

@tomwhitby: Guide Provides #Teens w/Innovative Way To Take Ownership of Learning-Leave School http://bit.ly/jnAryY  #edchat @InnovativeEdu

@nancyrubin: Why isn’t there more E-Portfolio Development in K-12 schools? http://blog.helenbarrett.org/  #edchat

@derrallg: @cybraryman1 I usually share Helen Barrett’s website for portfolio resources http://bit.ly/5CeVQZ  #edchat

@jrichardson30: @cybraryman1 Seen some people use VT effectively for portfolio style stuff. Here’s an example-scroll dn http://tinyurl.com/3v4g43p  #edchat

@nancyrubin:  Personal Learning Environments – Creating User-Centric Learning Environments http://t.co/rnQwZKl  #edchat

@mrsgettys: @ShellTerrell district in Tucson http://bit.ly/kmz9YT  has created rubrics for assessing 21st century skills Featured in THEjournal. #edchat

@SECottrell:  World language teachers should look at Linguafolio http://bit.ly/6rged1  – online portfolio to follow students through the years #edchat

@Neil_Mehta: http://j.mp/kvvW9z  blog about use of portfolios in #meded #edchat

 @edtechworkshop: Here is my portfolio http://bit.ly/bXvluF  TOTAL work in progress!!!! #edchat

 @GWoodJCG: My dissertation on reflective portfolio use in HS science http://drgreenwood.wikispaces.com/  #edchat

@edtechworkshop: here is a post I wrote w/some intro thoughts about portfolios/obstacles, etc. http://bit.ly/iuLYvI  #edchat

@nancyrubin: Here is Dr. Barrett’s Electronic Portfolio Development Process: http://ow.ly/51TLH   #edchat

@nancyrubin: A Profoundly Disruptive Technology http://ow.ly/51TAs  http://aaeebl.org  #edchat

@nancyrubin: How can e-Portfolios Support 21st Century Learning? http://ow.ly/51TYW  #edchat

@nancyrubin: Ewan McIntosh – ePortfolios & Learning Management Systems: Setting our default to social http://t.co/fnUQdOZ  #edchat

Geoff Krall is a Math instructional coach for the New Technology Network of Schools, a network of schools that employ a 1:1 student-to-computer ratio, Project-Based Learning, and foster a small school culture. Geoff currently resides in Fort Collins, CO after getting his Master’s degree in Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. In addition to this work, he also facilitates a blog focused on Math instruction: Emergent Math. You can find him on twitter: @EmergentMath.

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If you’re new to hashtag discussions, then just show up on Twitter on any Tuesday and add just a few tweets on the topic with the hashtag #edchat. 

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