Wednesday, May 29, 2013

E-Portfolios (My Poject in Building Teaching Skills through Interactive Web)

   Building Teaching Skills through the Interactive Web
                     Project Report –E-PORTFILIOS
Name:   Vinayadharraju Prathikantam                                                       Country:   India               
Table of contents

1. Background
2.Course goals
3. Issue or problem that started your project
4. Initial solution and expected response
5. Response and reflection
6. Changes made
7. Conclusion
8. Resources

Students’ description/settings
 I teach at a distance village called ZPHS Mannemplli in Andhra Pradesh in India, all my students studied in their regional language i.e. Telugu up to 2006. In 2007 our state Government introduced English Medium in the Government sector from 6th class onwards, my target class is in class 9 &10 , they studied in their regional language up to class 5 and joined in class 6 English medium in our school in the year 2007.The class strength is 15 ( 10 are girls and 5 are boys) in 10th class 14 in 9th class, during my teaching I made them to prepare some projects for example preparing dictionary of their class and writing reports (Based on process oriented approach) when they submit their reports 1st,2nd,3rd and final drafts or projects on paper or sometimes on drawing sheets, I am not able to preserve them properly  and my students are  from deprived families, they don’t have their own dictionaries because of that their writings contains number of spelling mistakes and Grammatical errors, recently our state Government introduced CCE (Continuous and comprehensive evaluation system) in order to award grades I need to preserve all their assignments.
Class-room setting and technology support
Our school consist of computer lab with 11computers, five monitor are connected to one CPU. Students access the computer lab 3 classes (each class 45 mints) in a week.
Slow internet connection speed up to 60 to70 kbs.
Don’t have any projectors.
My own laptop to use it in class-room.
2. Course goals:

To overcome these issues I want to maintain off line E-portfolios (if possible I want to make them online in future to encourage the blended learning) this is my project.

E-portfolios strengthen the meta cognition process and promotes higher order thinking.  Students are able to review the learning process (making sense), self-assess, select, reflect, connect knowledge (tacit and explicit) and experiences, and move on (transition) to the next learning steps and levels.  The learning is authentic.  Students integrate, analyze, and synthesize what they have learned in an orderly, organized format and the learning process becomes student-centered.  Students develop autonomous learning behaviors and learning becomes an integral part of life…lifelong learning.

What are the student needs?
Students need to learn some computer skills Email, Creating Blog post, working with Word documents and basic knowledge in English to participate or do the assigned task.
Students should learn collaboratively to improve their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
A Blog is Not Just a Blog
A single classroom blog may exist for many reasons. It might be for…
  • personal reflection on teaching and learning
  • communication between you, parents, students, and the world
  • exhibition of student work
  • recommendation of resources to other teachers
Student blogs also vary. You may encourage or require student blogs for…
  • ongoing reflection on lessons, work, or projects
  • portfolios of work for parents, friends, and the world
  • students’ exploration of interests or passions

Describe anything else that is significant or relevant about the course that related to your project
To maintain students’ assignment I need an online platform like Blogger to keep it for more than a year and show the evidences to students’ performance.
To enhance the students writing skills using Blogs.
To provide an opportunity for students to evaluate their students work i.e. Peer evaluation.
To familiarize the students the use of ICT in the class-room.
To enhance the students speaking skills we can record their presentations and show them for self-evaluation.
To check the systemic constrains to implement or use of technology in class-room

3. Issue or problem that started your project

1. Problem: Difficult to preserve the students' class room work like projects and assignments for long time till the end of academic do so I want make them online.
Tools: Blogger, Drop Box, E-mail, Kid blogs.
2. Problem: There are no.of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in student’s writings it’s difficult for me to correct each and every students work so to check themselves I ask them to type them in word documents and use dictionary installed in our school system.
Tools: word documents, Offline dictionary, Spell check.
3. Problem: Introduction of New Evaluation system i.e.CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) in our state.
 All teachers are struggling to do this and maintenance of Portfolios.
4. Initial solution and expected response
(Describe what you thought would happen (this may be quite different from what actually happened).

The different blogging approaches used

While there is a wide range of reasons why educators use blogs; there are four main blogging approaches taken when educators use blogs with students.
These are:
  1. Class blog only – the educator publishes all the posts on the class blog and the students may respond by leaving comments.
  2. Class blog only – the educator and students both publish posts on the class blog.
  3. Student blogs only – each student has their own individual blog and there is no class blog.
  4. Class blog and student blogs – the educator publishes all the posts on the class blog and each student has their own individual blog.
I created a blog and ask the students to create their e-mails so that they can learn how to write emails. After that I sent them an invitation to share the blog, I created so that it will become collaborative blog.

Then I posted the assignments to our class blog and ask them to complete the assignment with in stipulated time i.e. four weeks from 1st February, 2013 to 28th Feb, 2013.

If internet is not available they will do the work and do it in our school computer so they can access the assignments offline through Drop box tool even if they don’t get any chance to use internet and post to our class blog I can access their work on my laptop using the same tool i.e... Drop box.

5. Response and reflection

 Syllabus (Time-line)

Out comes
Speaking: Introduction, Creating E-mail Ids.
Get familiar with the E-mails
Writing –Letters: Job  Application
Understands the format of Job application.
Reading: Extensive reading
Reads Supplementary reads for comprehension.
Grammar: Parts of Speech
Understands the concept of Parts of Speech

My students are very much motivated and asking me to provide lab whenever they find leisure time.

Other teacher in my school are very curious about my project they to want to be a part of this work.
After completing one or two tasks students are able identify the spelling and grammatical errors with the help of work document spell check option and started monitoring their friend’s writings.

6. Changes made
Describe what you tried, when, and where. Make sure you explain how what you tried is different from what you have done before.
To create the E-Portfolios the first assignment I have given is to create their Emails I thought that it will take one day to complete the task but once we started doing this the first problem that we faced it date of births my students are of 14-15 years age Google never allow the young learns to create Emails than I told the students to enhance their age after that mobile verification codes troubled us, my students don’t have any mobiles then I told them to enter my mobile number it worked for four or five times then I take help of my colleagues in our school to receive verification codes, finally we have completed the first task of creating      E-mails.

Next I thought of creating portfolios off line so I ask the students to create folders with their name then ask them to read the assignment task in my folder to complete the task but actually what happened everyday students are using different computers so it become difficult for them to continue with the yesterday’s task.

In our school 5 computer screens are connected to one CPU and another 5 computer screens are connected with other CPU so it’s tough for me to post the assignment twice in both the systems and students are confused to find their folder.

To overcome this problem I used the tool Drop Box (offline and online drive). I have installed Drop Box application in my school computers, my laptop and on my Mobile.

Now they can find their folders and files on any computer they can continue their task without any interruption and I can upload my assignment and task even from my home and from my mobile and even they are available online

Next task is to create a class Blog I have created this Blog and send an invitation to students to join my blog all my students are new to technology use, they struggled much to open their inbox to accept my invitation to contribute to our class blog. Here I faced one problem that is some of our students profiles are invisible and got a message that “unknown”

When I tried to solve this problem our school system are stopped working only five out of Eleven systems are working and my students are going to appear for their pre-final examinations from 14th of this month if I find time I will continue with my project tasks but I am afraid whether they were able to do all my tasks or not.

To overcome this problem I have made some changes to my project that there is no time limit to complete the task, they have to finish three tasks out of four with in four weeks’ time, But due to systemic constrains like Examinations, system failures and slow internet connection, students are not able complete their given tasks in time.

After two weeks time I realized that Blogger is not an easy tool for kids so I shifted to new tool called here kids can join the blog without mail IDs. It’s easy for teacher to post the assignment to all the students at a time.

To use new tool Kid blog I have chosen another class i.e. class 9 students I asked them to create their profiles in kid blog and helped them to take profile pictures using my laptop and uploaded to their blogs.

This is the activity or lesson that I used in my class with one computer.

 9th class students of age between 13-14 years studying in regional language in rural India.
ABCD Objective:
After watching the story of ” The greatest Treasure ” in their class using computer (Condition), students (Audience) participate in discuss with their friends comprehend the theme (Behavior) to complete activities given at the end of the lesson to get A grade above 7 points (Degree).
Speaking: 1. Suggest a different title for this story. Why do you think that this would make a good title? (Individual activity)

Think Questions:
Write possible question and answer them. (Group activity)
What is the main idea of this story? What details from the text support the main idea?
Write 5 words from the story and use them in your own sentences.
Write 10 sentences summarizing the story. (Video lesson using ANVILL Tool)

After teaching the lesson I recorded the presentations of my students and posted to their blogs. Here is the link:
Students also posted some writing work to their blogs.

7. Conclusion

This project has improved my perception of language teaching, my students are highly motivated with the use of technology in their class room, after listening or watching their own presentations they got confidence and started to speak in English with their friends and began to write on their own.

After writing in word document they are able to correct their own spelling and grammar mistakes with the help of spell check option and referring to the off line dictionary available in our school computer.

Another major change I observed in my class is students are more active and very friendly with the teacher and started asking questions. My class environment has changed from autocratic to democratic class and teacher centered to student centered.

Whoever wants to implement this project in your class, they must consider the follow instructions:
  • Never use full names for students.
  • Use only their first name or a pseudo name and apply this rule to their username, blog URLs, any photos (including file names), documents, comments.
  • Educate their family e.g. encourage family to leave comments such as mum or dad.
  • Must have high speed internet.
  • Should possess at least one computer for each student.
  • Minimum skills in typing.
  • Good maintains of computer lab with advanced anti-virus program.

8. Resources (To maintain online E-Portfolios) (To create class Blog for collaborative learning) (For creating mails and searching information) (For power points) (To create rubrics) (My class Blog for class 9) (ANVILL to create E-Lessons to Maintain Portfolios) (A wall you put anything you want on it, anywhere. Simple, yet powerful! Use it in class-room to take up discussions)