This week in my EDCI 336 class we got the opportunity to video conference with the principal of Edgehill Elementary School in Powell River, Ian Landy. Right away I noticed how passionate and enthusiastic he is about his job, particularly around the e-portoflio movement. Instead of a report card, the students at his school receive an electronic portfolio where students, parents, and teachers provide descriptive feedback in regards to children’s learning. This type of reporting method allows students to reach educational milestones at their own pace, where they do not have to be doing the same thing as someone else in their class to move forward. The focus is then taken off of grades and achievement for the year and instead is placed on how far the students can go. They fall in love with learning, rather than on memorizing facts and ideas to get good grades.
Ian answered many of our questions and I enjoyed being able to communicate with him via video conferencing. I can see how this would be a useful way to facilitate class discussion with other experts in the field. I hope I can use video conferencing in my own classroom and can see how using a webcam or Skype would be an alternative way to invite experts into an elementary classroom without them physically being there. It appeared to be quick and easy to set up and also eliminates the cost of travel to where your class might be.
After the video chat with Ian, I felt very energized and excited about assessment and the new possibilities of the future. For my edtech inquiry, I will be learning about FreshGrade, which is an e-portfolio platform that can be used to document student learning online. I am eager to experiment with FreshGrade throughout this course, as well with other platforms on my practicum. I hope to learn more about how to get parents on board with this new form of assessment and to encourage them to contribute to the process. I look forward to learning more about digital assessment methods as the course continues!