Friday, July 24, 2009
Conversation with Teacher Educator
We also talked about confidentality and the ability to password-protect individual entries or the entire site. I like the ability to document learning over time in tagged blog entries and then construct pages around specific themes (outcomes/goals/standards). I just wish WP would automatically generate permanent pages with aggregated entries based on tags... but that is a topic for another day.
When asked about how they are managing the data aggregation, he said they are using the gradebook function of the college's CMS to collect faculty evaluation data. We are planning to meet next month to talk about their process.
This discussion reminds me of the discussion held at the NCEPR meeting earlier this week. When talking about technology challenges, more than one person mentioned "rigid" systems, either home-grown or commercial. Once again, the needs of institutions for data aggregation often overshadows the importance of student choice and voice, especially in how the visual presentation truly represents the learner's own vision and creativity. This Teacher Ed program has figured out how to balance the needs of the institution with the needs of their teacher
candidates... who just might want to replicate the process with their own students... with tools that are free and available in schools.
Follow-up: The teacher educator, David Wicks of Seattle Pacific University, gave me permission to share his FAQs about WordPress and his blog entry where he discussed their decision to adopt WordPress, a process he calls bPortfolios (b is for blog).
Thanks for your feedback on our bPortfolio project. We are encouraged by students' early work. I like your ideas about how to make private posts in WordPress. We will implement this by having each student choose a password to use whenever they make a post private. The password will be shared with faculty through the grade book of the LMS. Students can create/change their password by taking a one-question quiz in the LMS. All faculty will have access to the grade book, and can look at the quiz results to see a student's portfolio post password.
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