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How to Use E-Portfolios (by Işıl Boy)

Why E-Portfolios?

Barrett (2004) defines e-portfolios as “digital stories of deep learning”. Working on the e-portfolios improves students’ learning, and fosters their learner autonomy so that they can feel responsibility for their own learning. Besides, e-portfolios are “inherently motivational” as discussed by Barker (2005). Students do lots of work, like writing essays and keeping vocabulary notebooks. Nonetheless, all their work is separate, and we as teachers can utilize the e-portfolio as a collective tool for collaborative learning (Figure 1), and encourage our students to prepare ‘learning e-portfolios’ which are described as a “classroom-by-classroom phenomenon” by Helen Barrett (2011). I believe e-portfolios should not be developed to assess students like a test but to help them improve their learning. Furthermore, Barrett (2004) holds the view that adding technology to portfolios makes it collaborative and  e-portfolios should promote collaboration. (more…)

Teaching High School in Croatia (by Arjana Blazic)

To teach is to touch a life forever.

I have been trying to enhance my teaching with the new technologies since 1997 when I created my first web page while attending a seminar on New Technologies in Modern Language Teaching in Finland. But everything I did over those twelve years was nothing compared to what I have been doing since I joined Twitter and built my PLN in April 2009.

Today my students and I use technology to connect with students and teachers from all over the world. We tweet, we ning, we skype, we glog, we wiki, we blog … we learn, we understand, we respect. (more…)

21 days, 5 cities, 1000 teachers, and 20 computers

In February, I talked with approximately 1000 teachers in Fukuoka, Okayama, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo as part of the OUP Teaching Workshop Series. Workshop titles were assigned to fit an acronym. I was the “I” in K.I.D.S.—Interactive Ideas for Keeping your English Classes Relevant for the 21st century. The challenge for me was how to make technology tools relevant for teachers who don’t have computers in their classrooms. (more…)