Implementation of the Strategic Plan Annual Report 1998-99

Strategy Number: 4. We will utilize local and global resources (people, places and technologies) to involve all students in experiential learning opportunities enabling them to achieve the strategic results.

Action Plan number: 6. To establish an Intranet that will promote internal communication and encourage a paperless environment.

Reporter: Celeste M. Scholz, Middle School ESL

DESCRIPTION:

What did you specifically do to address or implement this aspect of the strategic plan?

While attending a summer school course concerning the integration of technology in the classroom, I became intrigued with the idea of the creation and use of on-line portfolios for students and teachers. University students post their papers on their website as an easy way to share them with classmates. At the end of their university experience, they have a collection of their most valuable work.

Research in the past years shows the value of portfolios where excellent work is selected and saved as a demonstration of individual experiences and skills over a period of time. Frequently, the storage and accessibility of paper portfolios is difficult to manage in a school setting. With on-line portfolios these issues disappear as the medium is electronic and can be accessed globally through the internet or locally through the intranet.

My first step was to create an on-line portfolio of my own work. I decided that by doing this myself I could come to terms with all aspects of this task which students may experience. I made two decisions regarding this process. First, I decided to use Netscape Composer (a program found embedded in Netscape Communicator) to assist me in webpage authoring as it is downloaded free from the Internet for both Mac and PC. I've found that students find it easiest to use software in school that is available to them at home so they can continue their work at any time. Secondly, I chose to post my on-line portfolio on an Internet server that offers unlimited free webspace. Because our community is very mobile, I wanted to ensure accessibility after a person's connection with ISKL ends. Please feel free to visit my on-line portfolio at http://members.xoom.com/c_scholz/index.html . This portfolio represents about 5 months of work.

As as part of their requirement for Gr 8 science I have assisted ESL students in creating a webpage that documents their experience on Malaysia Week. By meeting with small groups of teachers, I have shared my ideas and html files to help them get started on their own on-line portfolio. The ESL students in my classes are working on documents that could be included in their own on-line portfolio which I hope to begin working on before the end of the year and continue next year.

Next steps you plan to take to continue to work on this aspect of the plan, if any?

I will continue talking about the on-line portfolio idea with teachers and students and working in small groups to help them create their own on-line portfolios. I feel the idea has a lot of potential if adopted across grade levels and discipline areas. For example, Grade 5 students have created their on-line portfolios that could be continued in Middle School.

Concluding statement reflecting your experience in connecting this aspect of the plan with the four strategic results.

On-line portfolios could document a student's involvement in an Individual Learning Plan and could assist in their communicating their experiences to audiences of their choice. The work included in the on-line portfolios would demonstrate a student's ability to reason critically and think creatively. By posting their portfolios on the internet and intranet the students are using the global and local resource available to them.
 
Celeste M. Scholz
Career Experience
Professional Development
Presentations & Publications