Sunday, January 30, 2011

Passing on The Knowledge

If you want to become a taxi-cab driver in London you have to pass one of the most difficult tests in the world called The Knowledge. In it, you are tested on every street location in Greater London as well as the quickest way to get there including knowing which streets are one-way or pedestrian only.

Last Friday evening I joined one of Professor Doyle's secondary education classes to learn all about our new ePortflio process from the six pioneering students who had just gone through it. David, Katie, Andrea, Nathan, Marran, and Dan, met with professor Doyle and me to debrief and let us know what did and didn't work for them regarding their completion of their ePortfolios so that future students would have the wisdom of their experiences.

In a nutshell, which it certainly is not, the Licensure Portfolio is a Vermont State DOE requirement of all students seeking licensure to teach in Vermont and, ultimately, any other State. Traditionally it is a collection of papers that attest to, and document, the student's ability to teach at either the secondary or elementary level. It contains assignments from courses, field placements and, primarily, the student teaching experience. The portfolio is typically between three and six inches thick and presented in a 3-ring binder.
The ePortfolio allows the student to keep all of her/his documentation and evidence electronically on a website through Googledocs. This makes the material instantly accessible to anyone who has the password such as future employers who really want to get to know the candidate prior to the interview, or faculty who have to evaluate the portfolios. It also allows students to really develop their technology skills as they put together what amounts to a mammoth-sized project.

What David, Katie, Andrea, Nathan, Marran and Dan have started is The ePortfolio Knowledge. Next year another group of St. Mike's education majors will add to this Knowledge as they develop the process in new and unimagined ways. It was a great party too.

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