Publication Outline

Rationale(not required for ISTE submission but I wanted to share why I decided on this topic): I have the opportunity to assist with writing curriculum for the first ePortfolio course within my high school geared specifically for our special education student population. Preparing our students for their post-secondary lives is an important part of our jobs as special education teachers. We need to ensure that our students have obtained the information and functional skills in order to be successful in their post-secondary plans. Eportfolios will simplify the process of completing the transition activities, and also add value to students’ personal growth as emerging functional adults. An ongoing ePortfolio will allow students to take ownership of their post-secondary development and will be able to continue to build upon them in the future.

TopicePortfolios to Prepare Special Education Students for Post-Secondary Transition

Innovation Plan Connection: Last year I developed an innovation plan for the implementation of ePortfolios within my school building. Since then, I have honed in on the specifics of my plan, received administrative approval, and have begun developing the ePortfolio course for my students and the special education department in my building. As a part of my development, I plan to continue to review evidence and additional resources to support my innovation plan.

Breakdown – How does it work?

  • Classes will meet face to face anywhere from 1-5 class periods during the week
  • Course instruction is given in class, but also recorded and posted online using the school’s learning management system – Canvas
  • Assignments, discussion posts, videos, course content, etc. are all accessible on Canvas

What are the benefits: 

  • Flexible scheduling – students would be able to take more classes at a time since all course materials would be online to access
  • Flexible scheduling – for students who work or have internships, they have the flexibility to do these activities without being in school for the full day
  • Students can work on assignments during times of the day that work best for them, which may be at night after working in the afternoon/evening, or in the morning prior to coming to school
  • Students have access to more digital tools and learning opportunities
  • Students will use web-based accounts which offer free platforms to house their work
  • Students would reflect on their personal and educational development
  • Students would be able to house their post-secondary research and plans in one place
  • Students would be able to utilize their ePortfolios after graduating

Possible Obstacles – What are the drawbacks?

  • Students who struggle to manage their time properly can easily fall behind
  • Students who do not have access to Internet or digital tools at home face barriers to taking the course
  • Students who have struggles with learning/processing information, may have difficulty completing work independently

Lessons Learned: Students need a break from the typical classroom environment. Implementing ePortfolios will not only prepare the students for their post-secondary paths, but it will also allow them to showcase their independence and determine their paths at their individual pace.

Resources:

ISTE submission requirements: https://id.iste.org/membership/submission-guidelines/blog-submission-guidelines