Dr. Helen Barrett

One-hour Keynote Address or Conference Presentations

Keynote Presentations

ePortfolios: Digital Stories of Deep Learning

This presentation will showcase the basic principles of Electronic Portfolios by linking two dynamic processes to promote deep learning: Portfolio Development and Digital Storytelling. If we are to help learners create portfolios that truly support Assessment For Learning (AFL) and follow the ten AFL principles, then we need to look at strategies that help learners find their own voice and tell the story of their own learning... strategies that foster learner self-motivation. A major challenge today with electronic portfolios is to maintain learner intrinisic motivation to willingly engage in the portfolio process. The use of multimedia tools is one strategy that involves and engages learners; another technology that is engaging young people today are weblogs (blogs) and wikis. Participants will see demonstrations of electronic portfolios as digital stories, formative assessment, and support for lifelong learning. [Maricopa Community Colleges Day of Dialogue on Electronic Portfolios, February 25, 2005 (1 MB PDF); ePortfolio Australia Conference, December 2004 (902K PDF); WebCT Conference, July 14, 2006 (743K PDF)]

Supporting Reflection in Electronic Portfolios: Blogs, Wikis and Digital Storytelling

This presentation will focus on the role of reflection in electronic portfolios and the tools for scaffolding reflection: blogs, wikis, digital stories and built-in forms. The presentation will cover a brief overview of the literature on reflection and learning (Schon, Dewey, Moon), including some new perspectives on storytelling as reflection on experience to improve learning (McDrury & Alterio), and the role of reflection in brain-based learning (Zull). [UBC e-Portfolio Conference: Reflection Is Not a Mirror, It's a Lens, November 19, 2004 (409K PDF)]

Digital Storytelling in e-Portfolios for Reflection and Deep Learning

The ancient art of storytelling can be a powerful tool for deep learning and reflection, Add today’s multimedia technology and you have a highly motivating project-based learning activity as well as a powerful artifact in an electronic portfolio. A digital story is a short digital video clip, usually told in first person narrative with the learner’s own voice, illustrated primarily with still images, and often with an added music track. In this presentation, participants will see examples of digital stories created by learners of all ages, learn about the principles of Digital Storytelling, and the variety of strategies that can be used with diverse learners, from kindergarten through graduate school and into retirement.[IRA Technology Institute, May 1, 2005 (356K PDF)]; [University of St. Thomas, September 24, 2005 (1.2 MB PDF)]; [ULearn05 Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, July 13, 2005 (847K PDF)]

(50 word description) The ancient art of storytelling is a powerful tool for deep learning and reflection, Add today’s multimedia technology and you have a highly motivating project-based learning activity as well as a powerful reflective artifact in an electronic portfolio. See examples of digital stories created by learners of all ages, K-adult.

Breakout Sessions

Digital Storytelling and Podcasting: Linking Technology, Narrative, and Personal Histories

Storytelling is a powerful tool for learning and reflection. Add today’s multimedia technology for project-based learning. See short videos created by students to tell family stories set in historical context.
* Learn about the process of digital storytelling to replace traditional report formats (paper, PowerPoint).
* Learn about the free software tools that can be used to develop digital stories and podcasts in classrooms.
* See some examples of digital family stories created with Middle School Language Arts students, either as personal narrative or as documenting family histories.
* Learn about online resources available to continue the study of digital storytelling and podcasting in the classroom.

Digital Storytelling (hands-on session)

In this hands-on session, participants will learn basic strategies for digital storytelling using a low-end digital video editing program for Macintosh or Windows XP. Beginning with a pre-recorded audio clip, participants will illustrate a very short digital story with digital still images, transitions, titles and special effects. The resulting short digital video clip can be posted to the Internet, pressed to a CD-ROM or DVD, transferred to videotape, or sent as an e-mail attachment. Following the hands-on activities, participants will discuss simple strategies to begin creating digital stories for themselves or with their students.

Competing Paradigms in Electronic Portfolios: Balancing “Portfolio-as-Test” with “Portfolio-as-Story”

What differentiates electronic portfolios and online assessment management systems? Balance institutional need for assessment and accreditation data with learners' needs for storytelling: using reflection on experience to improve learning. Review the differences between assessment OF learning and assessment FOR learning, including the characteristics of portfolios implemented for each purpose.

Design and Develop Standards-Based Electronic Portfolios using Common Software Tools

Is there a “zone of proximal development” when creating electronic portfolios using common software? In this session, participants will learn how to create a standards-based electronic portfolio, choosing from five levels of complexity (word processing; hypermedia/presentation software; Acrobat; HTML; or Director). Learn about five stages of electronic portfolio development.

Managing Complex Change

What are the factors that support or hinder the adoption of Electronic Portfolios? Discuss the issues involved with planning and implementing e-portfolios in your school or district. What are the decisions that need to be made about vision, skills, incentives, resources and action plans needed for successful integration?

Planning for Electronic Portfolios

Covers many issues involved in planning and implementing electronic portfolios for K-12 students, student teachers or professional educators. Learn how combining the multimedia and portfolio development processes contributes to more effective electronic portfolios. Share experiences about equipment and portfolio software that support a variety of goals, ages and skill levels.

Family Involvement in Electronic Portfolio Development in Elementary School

In many schools, students have more computer access in homes than in classrooms. How can families help build electronic portfolios that demonstrate growth over time? How can parents help their children use common multimedia software to create digital documentation of development, while addressing obsolescence of media and data formats?

Where is the "Portfolio" in Electronic Portfolios?

Do your students’ electronic portfolios reflect the stages of the portfolio development process (collection, selection, reflection, direction/projection) or do they just reflect the stages of multimedia development? Are they electronic portfolios, digital scrapbooks, or multimedia presentations? What’s the difference? Why does it matter? What elements and qualities make it a portfolio?

What is your e-Portfolio? a High-Stakes Test or a Story of Deep Learning?

Electronic portfolios can have multiple purposes: as assessment tools to document the attainment of standards (a positivist model--an assessment portfolio); as digital stories of deep learning (a constructivist model--a learning portfolio); and as digital resumes to highlight competence (a showcase model-- a marketing/employment portfolio). Review the differences between electronic portfolios and online assessment management systems, and consider the portfolio process as content management with reflection on learning represented in the stored artifacts. A recommended design will be outlined as three independent but interconnected systems: 1) an archive of learner work (the artifacts stored with captions/reflections); 2) an assessment management system to document achievement of standards; and 3) an authoring environment where learners can construct their own electronic portfolios and reflective, digital stories of deep learning. How can we encourage learners' intrinsic motivation to maintain an e-portfolio as a lifelong learning tool?

Design and Develop Standards-Based Electronic Portfolios

Combine multimedia skills with the portfolio development process to create a standards-based electronic portfolio using five levels of technology (word processing; databases or hypermedia/presentation software; Acrobat; HTML; Director) through five stages of electronic portfolio development (Purpose/audience and goals; the working portfolio; the reflective portfolio; the connected portfolio; the presentation portfolio).

Strengthen Professional Development with Electronic Teaching Portfolios

Creating electronic teaching portfolios can be powerful professional development, demonstrating achievement of national, state, or local standards.  The processes of multimedia development and portfolio development can be combined to maintain electronic teaching portfolios to support and document long-term professional growth.  Develop multimedia skills while demonstrating your teaching talents!


©2005, Helen C. Barrett, Ph.D. - Updated January 5, 2007