Project as a Digital Portfolio

Background first
We (PDHPE) were given an extra period this year in Year 9 as an opportunity to pursue a “Project”. The “Project” concept was designed to exploit the opportunities that the DER laptops has provided us.

We (PDHPE) spent first semester playing with ideas and training staff in the software and potential ideas for the project. We liked the idea of Project Based Learning (PBL), and tried to make our piece more like this concept than not. Our lack of training in PBL probably means it is probably more not like PBL, but we were definitely influenced by that thinking.

Since Easter, the Year 9 students have been finding there way around the devices and are now confident enough to launch into most of the software and techniques needed for the project. With some help from classroom teachers (and hopefully some organic peer tutoring), the products that are the end result of this initiative should be exciting and broad in their range.

The final question – what to actually set as the project theme – was a question answered by my PLN on Twitter. This Wallwisher wall collected many responses to the question, and after a faculty meeting one idea was used to develop the theme.

Deployment was the next issue. Moodle was the natural platform, but a simpler method came to light – email. Every student has a DET email account. The project was sent as an attachment to every student in Year 9. All they had to do was download the portfolio to their DET laptop harddrive and away they went. (The only hiccup was that when we launched the portfolio project at a common time, the DET Enterprise Portal was down for 30 minutes, resulting in some ad-libbing until the kids could access their email)

And the result – check it out here. You’ve got the staff version, with some suggested teaching notes as well.

As a first attempt at something like this, it won’t be perfect, but my staff are committed to implementing, evaluating and ultimately renewing the project in the future.

If you get a chance, have a look and comment back here on what you think of it. Apologies to @deangroom and other PBL advocates – it’s not PBL , but it was the best fit starting point for us.

And as always, take it with you, play with it, change it and make it your own if you like it.

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4 thoughts on “Project as a Digital Portfolio”

  1. Looks great! It would be interesting to see how the staff and pupils react to this. Perhaps students and staff could write a blog or tweet about their experiences…would work great as an action research project….sorry my researcher head seems to have taken over…good luck and keep us informed.

  2. I like the look of it. It’s got me thinking of experimenting with my year 8s at the end of this year as a replacement for a unit that hasn’t been working as well as I would have liked.

  3. Hi Jonesy,
    I got onto your website through Jay. Love your work. I had a look at all the links and just wanted to ask you a question about it. Have you guys read all the info on PBL and then applied the concept to one subject (i.e. PE)?
    As I read all the PBL stuff it was obviously a group of teachers across a whole range of subjects getting together and planning it. Going down that line would be a massive change for the way our school teaches, one that I would love to investigate but know that it will take time and a considerable amount of change management.
    Just curious, is this why you guys chose the one subject as opposed to the PBL model of all subjects?

    • Hi Dave,
      Thanks for the comment and the question. As I mentioned in the post, I’m intrigued by PBL and what it can offer. You’re right about the scope of a “full monty” PBL approach – my school isn’t ready for that in it’s present form either. We are in the very early stages of investigating COGS (or Connected Outcomes Groups – check out here ) but no collective feeling for it has happened yet. I took the line that no-one would know what could happen in a PBL/COG environment without someone having a go at a different sort of project – a Stage 6 PIP (Personal Interest Project) in Stage 5, so to speak. So I set up what you see here. My faculty were OK with trying it out as well, and we were given an extra period to play with in Year 9 for this purpose.
      By no means is it PBL or even a COG for the reasons you mentioned, but my hope is that the kids produce some exciting work from our little project that convinces the school that this is a way to go forward.


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