Thursday, 26 September 2013 17:07

EDUC 403 - Week 4 - Change

Internship Options

As discussed in class, here are some options for you:

  • Ramaqia School
    • Four students - already assigned
  • Early childhood
    • Up to four students
    • Work with the Y4 Early Childhood students on their eportfolios
    • 6 students to one of you
    • Next semester, you can do your research on an aspect of this or on something totally different
    • You can still go to your school for a few days.
  • Foundations students
    • Work with FND students on an aspect of the portfolio process or even on any topic in Educational technology.
    • Next seemester, you can still go to a school.
    • One or two can work at the college for their TP
      • last year we had two students complete their internship on campus.
  • Regular school placement
  • Ipad on Wheels
    • Up to 6 students
    • Transportation is an issue!
    • This semester you can prepare at the college and do something with the FND students


Lets finish our blog set up. For whatever journals and reflective writing you do this semester, and next for the matter, you will need to use a blog account. If you already use one, please continue to do so. If you do not, you will need to set one up. In week 3, I provided instructions for setting up an account in Blogger. 

Next, we will go back to the Mahara portfolio and add a link to the blog.

You will have some time to review your LinkedIn profile and add that to your Mahara site as well.

Change Management

One of the issues that you will face wherever you go to introduce new technologies is resistance to change. There is an entire field of study devoted to managing change: Change Management.

You can Google this topic and do some reading about it. The JISC site has some interesting resources as well that may help you with what you will face.

Consider the following (excerpted from JISC

"Change can be seen by some people as devaluing their previous experience which may explain why younger people, who have invested less time and effort in learning the old ways find it easier to adapt to the new."

An additional issue here is that when people like you, as a young person with little time invested in current processes, come alomng and suggest new methods, the 'old' people often feel that their methods are being diminished or criticized.

The following points, adapted from JISC, may help to encourage people to adopt new methods, or adapt established methods. It is important to note here that many people will express an attitude that questions the need for change. A response is that as educators, we always need to be open to new possibilities.

How can we:

  • involve people in the design of the change
  • demonstrate benefits from the change for all stakeholders
  • inspire confidence in the new context
  • demonstrate the big picture and how the change contributes to it
  • give support and time to adjust to the changes
  • explain the reasons for the change


As part of your essay due next week, you could try and consider some of these points in your writing.




Published in EDUC 403
Friday, 20 September 2013 20:28

EDT 2203 - Week 3 - Portfolio Learning

We will have a hectic week as we try to sort out a few issues and arrange some teaching practice.

Teaching Practice

First of all, while we agree that all of you will have a chance to go to a different type of teaching practice location including museums and companies, this year we have gotten off to a slow start and it is already week 3. We may be able to sort out a few non-school placements, but I expect that most of you will have to go to schools. At any rate, you will need a solid understanding of lesson planning and classroom management in order to work with people who are, in fact, teaching in a classroom.

Don't forget, you have 6 teaching practice sessions during your college career and they will be divided between a range of placements including primary, middle and high schools, colleges, museums and companies.

By the way, who wants to go to Ramaqia Primary school to do teacher training?

Portfolio Learning

You will become experts in portfolio learning and hopefully contribute greatly to my own research on this topic. Look at the homepage and lets spend some time to review the Prezi I have created to help describe the process.

We also need to conitnue with your preparations for your eportfolios. This week, we will look at your reflective blogs.

Discussion Board

Lets review the discussion board topic and see how you are doing with it.

Published in EDT 2203
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 16:40

Ramaqia School Portfolio Project - Step 1

Portfolio Learning Approach

The Portfolio Project team members are meeting next week to start discussions on the project parameters. These parameters include an understanding of the general concept of Portfolio Learning:

 lrs concept v8Figure 1: Portfolio Learning Approach

To review the various aspects of the approach, have a look at the Prezi embedded below.

Curation of Artefacts

One main process involved in this approach is the curation of artefacts. In fact, this project will start with the implementation of this process.

curateFigure 2: Curation of Artefacts

As practioners build their library of materials, they need to review and assess their work. The best or most representative work can be selected to showcase to various stakeholders including parents, administrators and Education Ministry officials. In many if not all schools in the UAE, teachers and administrators maintain portfolios in order to demonstrate competencies in various areas.

Reflective Journals and Discussion Forums

A second process which is prominent in many educational settings, and hopefully will become a standard practice for professionals is the reflective journal. The typical view of a reflective journal is inherited from a paper-based historical-relic type approach. It is this drowsy view that makes my colleagues' eyes glaze over when discussing reflective journals.

I propose a bold new approach (Leslie, 2012; 2013) that exposes the practioner's ideas to their colleagues' scrutiny. This can be achieved through a combination of journals (blogs) and discussion forums. Just as we collect and amass materials, lesson plans, handouts and other such profusions of files, we can collect entries to journals and discussion boards. 

My 4th year students have contributed to more than a dozen assessed forums just in the last two years. This does not include the daily texting, chats and personal forums in which they participate.

Table 1:
Qualitative Reflections

Qualitative reflection





Three phases of reflective thinking

• Technical

• Emotional

• Political

• Moral

• Efficient and effective teaching

• Personal interpretative framework:

• Professional self-image

• Subjective theory of teaching

• Looking back on past performance

• Awareness of essential aspects

• Creating alternative methods


The curated artefacts, including samples of reflective journals and discussion forums, can then be arranged and collated into demonstrations of competencies.  The next two tables outline the competencies expected at Ramaqia School:

Table 2:
Behavioral Competencies

Behavioral Competencies








Change Management



Employee Skill Development










Customer Service






Resources Management






Table 3:
Technical Competencies

Technical Competencies





Leadership Quality Management


School Regulations


Student Affairs


Educational Techniques / Methods


Specializations / Content Expertise


Planning & Implementation


Professional Development


Part of the research will be to determine how best to reflect these competencies in the specific skill sets, and then what types of evidence will be acceptable.

To be continued...


Published in Ramaqia Project
Friday, 13 September 2013 04:47

Portfolio Learning and Assessment

Portfolio as Process - Portfolio Learning Approach

I often discuss portfolio as a learning process. In fact, I promote the concept of a "Portfolio Learning Approach", or more simply "Portfolio Learning" (Leslie, 2012; Leslie, 2013) and will state that any dedicated practitioner must follow a portfolio approach to their practice in order to develop their skills and pursue lifelong learning. In this view of portfolio, the process emerges as the main and most important aspect of the portfolio.

Trevitt and Stocks (2012) discuss the importance of the process behind a portfolio:

“Because the experience of practice is inevitably fragmentary and partial, the very mechanism of devising and compiling a portfolio is intended as a means through which participants can begin to see and present a more integrated whole” (p. 254).

This statement is reminiscent of Freire (1996) and his comments about placing artefacts within the totality of the context from which they were collected. The collection of artefacts, reflecting on those artefacts, considering professional experiences in the classroom and out, provides the professional practitioner a means through which to make sense of all of their daily work and activities.

Portfolio Assessment

If a portfolio process has been "shaped by purposeful, open, and disciplined critical discourse and reflection” (Garrison & Vaughn, 2008, p. 14), then the resulting collection should provide multiple audiences with a means of assessing the professional development of professional and student practitioners.

One such audience could be the administration of a school. In this case, the stakeholders and interested parties may be interested in teaching comptencies:

Figure 1:
Competencies for the Learning Professional







Content Expert

Classroom manager



Lesson plans



parents & care-givers

Colleagues & school management


Letters & emails

Responses to directives



Lifelong learner



Independent learner

Reflective Practitioner

Journal Entries

Forum entries


Personal Learning Plan

Based on Meeus, Van Petegem, & Engels (2009, P. 402)

Trevitt and Stocks (2012) discuss the concept of 'authenticity' in portfolios. Converse to assumed requirements in assessment, they comment that subjectivity and not objectivity is a signifier of authenticity, stating that, “the candidate has grappled with and come to an understanding of his or her particular context" (p. 251).

Table 1.
Signifiers of Authenticity

Criteria for ‘authenticity’




Professional context


Insightful, reflective account of teaching context.

Often makes reference to one or more ‘critical incidents’

Descriptive account of teaching context.

Some situational reflection on challenges

Basic instrumental/ factual account.

Inadequate contextual details provided on issues being discussed

experience and practice

Integrated account which relates core concepts with specifics of own teaching practices.

Offers clear insights into how and why certain approaches work, and how this is known (evaluated).

Articulates how own practice has developed and/or how reading has influenced thinking, and/or practice.

Offers a rationale for why certain approaches are relevant

Little or no sense of development.

No integration of any ideas from wider reading.

Little or no attempt to implement any self-evaluation, or solicit feedback from others

Core concepts/

key ideas

Integrates relevant ideas and themes into account of own

situated practice.

Articulate across a range of teaching perspectives.

Likely to engage with the

literature in a sustained, thoughtful, or critical


Makes logical reference

to a core of relevant


Expanded awareness of the range of teaching


Uses relevant technical

terms as required

Poor or no use of sources

Conceptions of

teaching largely

confined to teacher focussed


using terms that examiner will be looking for.

Continuous Professional Learning (CPL)

Internalised sense of self, practice and agency.

Purpose of CPL explicitly


Goals are perceived as necessary, underpinning

professional practice.

Some interaction between self and purposes of CPL

Implicit sense of purpose in CPL

CPL goal show how objectives inform or shape practice.

Little or no concept of CPL.

Little sense of self, practice

and agency.

Sense of CPL as external


Coherence of writing style

Fluent, articulate, use of

specialist language

Explicit structure, cogently organised and expressed.

Process of argument and discovery.

Rigorous attention to detail in


Publishable standard (or contains elements which are).

Adequate grasp of key ideas, terminology, etc.

Logically and coherently


Adequate bibliographical


Oversimplification of

key ideas

Makes unjustified links

Fails to engage with key ideas and/or specialist language

Disjointed, unstructured,


Errors in bibliography.

Adapted from (Trevitt & Stocks, 2012, p. 252)


Freire, P. (1996). Pedagogy of the Opppresed. London: Penguin Books.

Garrison, D. R., & Vaughan, N. D. (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Leslie, P. (2012). Portfolio Approach to Learning: Application with Educational Technology Students. In S. Dowling (Ed.), Opening Up Learning (Vol. 1, pp. 153-162). Abu Dhabi: HCT Press. Retrieved February 8, 2012, from

Leslie, P. (2013). Communcities of Inquiry and Assessment: Graded Discussions. In S. Dowling (Ed.), Redefining Learning (Vol. 2, pp. 153-164). Abu Dhabi: HCT Press.

Meeus, W., Van Petegem, P., & Engels, N. (2009). Validity And Reliability Of Portfolio Assessment In Pre-Service Teacher Education. Assessment & Evaluation In Higher Education, 34(4), 401-413. Retrieved September 13, 2013, from

Trevitt, C., & Stocks, C. (2012). Signifying Authenticity In Academic Practice: A Framework For Better Understanding And Harnessing Portfolio Assessment. Assessment & Evaluation In Higher Education, 37(2), 245-257. Retrieved September 13, 2013, from

You will be starting research on, among other things, how to do research. As part of this course, you will begin to focus your attention on various aspects of your own practices to determine in which area(s) you should focus your attention.

This course will serve as a platform of sorts for your other courses. Through this course you will maintain your portfolio and journal entries.

First task:

  • You will need to start a new journal using a blog site of your choice. I prefer blogger simply because it is a Google Product, however you may choose any other blog site as long as it has an RSS feed.
  • You also need to start a cloud storage. In this case, I strongly urge you to use Google Drive.
  • Let me know when you have these two items completed.

Have a look at the Educause site for Next Generation Learning Challenges This site poses good questions about technology in Education. They will help you to think of good research topics. Specifically, think about these two questions:

  • How do we better engage young people in learning and demonstrate its relevance to "real life" and their future aspirations?
  • How do we personalize learning to simultaneously accelerate and deepen understanding and knowledge retention?

For your first journal entry, read this article (Disrupting ourselves: The Problem of Learning in Higher Education). Focus on the following sections:

  • The Recentered Curriculum
  • Participatory Culture
  • Team-Based Design
  • E-Portfolios and Systems Thinking



We will spend a few minutes to discuss a concept that I am researching and would like to hear your thoughts on. Look at this diagram:

 ai 4d

In contrast to the idea of Appreciative Inquiry, much organizational development focuses on the negative aspects of an organization, or of the individuals in that organization and then tend to try to 'fix' identified problems. 

Ap-pre’ci-ate, v., 1. Valuing; the act of recognizing the best in people or the world around us; affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; to perceive those things that give life (health, vitality, excellence) to living systems. 2. To increase in value, e.g., the economy has appreciated in value. Synonyms: value, prize, esteem, and honor.

In-quire’, v., 1. The act of exploration and discovery. 2. To ask questions; to be open to seeing new potentials and possibilities. Synonyms: discover, search, systematically explore, and study.

Cooperrider, David L. (Author). Appreciative Inquiry : A Positive Revolution in Change. Williston, VT, USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, (date). p 18.;ppg=18

Lets take a few minutes to go over this AI worksheet. How might it help you in your planning for your CMS?

  • You are required to go through your journals and other portfolio based evidence of past practices and try to find evidence of your strengths and weaknesses. What evidence do you find?
  • You might find the following concepts helpful in describing your experiences

Vocabularies of organisational deficit

  • Organisational stress
  • Job dissatisfaction
  • Turfism
  • Authoritarian management
  • Role conflict
  • Group think
  • Structural inflexibility
  • Bureaucratic red tape
  • Mistrust
  • Interpersonal incompetence

Vocabularies of human deficit

  • Depressed
  • Mid-life crisis
  • Extremely controlled
  • Obsessive-compulsive
  • Anti-social personality
  • Low self-esteem
  • Paranoid
  • Identity crisis
  • Post traumatic stress
  • Psychopathic
  • co-dependent
Published in EDUC 403
Tuesday, 25 June 2013 19:06

Excellence in Learning by Doing

Awarded certificate of Excellence in "Learning by Doing" Activities for work on the Ipad on Wheels Project.

Starting in the fall, I hope to run a pilot portfolio project with the Ramaqeia Boys School. The pilot will be based on the following diagram:

 portfolio lrs interaction v7

Figure 1 describes the portfolio learning process, in which the portfolio is viewed as a concept rather than an object. The portfolio learning process incorporates a learning resource system as an aggregator or portfolio tool.

The process starts when a learner (teacher or student) makes a professional decision to collect and curate their materials, ideas and artefacts. The learner selects their preferred libraries (e.g. Youtube, Google Drive, WordPress, Linkedin) based on their personal interests and on institutional requirements. Much of the learners’ efforts will be spent amongst the library tools. Given the need for some consistency to facilitate assessment and measurement, the portfolio tool should be provided by the institution.

The portfolio tool enables the learner to share various curations of their work with a range of audiences. Over time not only do the audiences change, but the needs of individual audiences also change. The portfolio tool allows the learner to simultaneously present different collections, change the composition of the specific collections to match expectations, and highlight their own development over time. In much the same way as a pop-art rendering of an image shows different views of the same person, the learner can show different glimpses of their persona to different audiences.

Throughout the process, the learner has numerous opportunities to share their ideas and artefacts with others for collaboration and feedback. These opportunities may be in the form of formal, guided discussions, both face-2-face and online, or informal sharing between colleagues. The results of these discussions and interactions then provide feedback and foster new ideas which the learner can then incorporate into their corpus of work. This is the essence of the portfolio learning process.

At various points during any given time period, learners may also be required to showcase predetermined selections of their work for a wide range of assessment and accreditation requirements. Feedback and direction from stakeholders and assessment also provides feedback and gives direction to the learner.


Friday, 24 May 2013 23:52

Portfolio Interview Questions

Questions for students:

  • Describe your opinion on your work in your portfolio over the last two years.
    • Has it been beneficial?
    • Do you feel that you know your classmates better as as result?
  • Describe how you think the portfolio process might be improved to serve your interests better?
  • Do you feel that it was in fact a social process?
  • Do you actually look at the portfolio just to see what is there?
  • Do you think the product is a useful thing to save?
  • Do you like the tool (SharePoint)?
    • What features do you think would be more useful?
    • Would you like to share ideas more readily through the portfolio site?
    • What other tools would / do you use for communicating other than texting or BBM-ing?

Mahara Site:

SharePoint (need HCT log-in):

Wednesday, 22 May 2013 08:17

Images from Taos-Tilburg

This image gallery will grow over time. It is really an experimental gallery page to test the gallery feature. However, it will remain here and continually add all images I may add to the Taos image library


Published in Showcase of Work
Monday, 06 May 2013 18:02

EDUC 409 - Portfolio Assessment

Your next assignments are:


10 % of your final grade for EDUC 409

port present 2013


portfolio self other



Your presentation must demonstrate the following:

  • Overview of the teaching placement location and setting including details of classes taught etc.
  • Clear accounting of numbers of classes taught, and other related duties
  • Discussion of how technology supported your internship. Discuss specific features and / or tools.
  • Discussion of your teaching philosophy using specific examples from your experience and research to support your beliefs.
  • Your jounral enties and daily reflections should highlight and record significant events that occured during your internship.


  • You should consider or mention the evidence of meeting / supporting the professional competencies (see this article).
  • You should refer to specific artefacts from your teaching practice.
  • You should refer to your internship journal entries


You may use any presentation tools. However, we will expect to see the evidence presented from the context of the portfolio.

The presentations will start on Sunday, with the schedule being arranged by the individual mentors.

  • You should NOT exceed 30 minutes, including questions. So, you should plan on 20 minutes or so of presentation. You KNOW we will ask questions!
  • (Most of) You will present to your mentor only.
  • You will have an audience of students that you will select.
    • You can only select one person from your school
    • You will select at least two others from different internship locations
    • The audience should help you by being prepared with some questions and a friendly face in the crowd.
  • The three of us (Mr. Matt, Dr. Simon and I) will moderate one student from each of our 'mentorships'.
    • This will be determined mainly by schedule but we are willing to entertain suggestions.



Due JUNE 13, WEEK 16.

Part one: Journal Entries - 10%
Part two: Portfolio - 20%

Part one:

Complete and submit five journal entries and four responses to your classmates related to your recent teaching practice.

Journal Entry 1- Due Date: End of 2nd Week of TP.

Briefly describe your teaching context. Outline one positive experience and one challenge you have had so far during teaching practice and reflect on these experiences. Your entry should be ~ 400 words.

Provide a title for your entry that tells the reader what the entry is about.

Journal Entry 2, 3, 4 – Due Date two days after each MCT visit

You will reflect on the feedback from your MCT and comment on the various aspects of the MCT feedback report. You should discuss and compare any differences between your impression of the visit and the MCT’s comments. Your comments should include ideas on how to improve on constructive criticism from the MCT.

Choose a title for your entry that tells the reader what the entry is about.

All Responses

Choose one posting to respond to and focus on outlining possible solutions to the problems discussed. You are encouraged to respond to a posting from a peer from another teaching placement.

Journal Entry 5 – Due Date: Week 14

The final entry should outline three professional learning goals.

These goals should be formulated from self-reflection and feedback from your mentors and peers on your past and present teaching. Each goal should address one or more of the teaching competencies; Planning for learning, Teaching Strategies, Classroom Management, Assessment & Monitoring, Communication Skills and Critical Reflection.

Describe how you plan to achieve your professional learning goals. You should consider what resources you may access to achieve each goal (for example, professional reading, feedback from mentors and peers, contacting and/or joining professional organizations).

As a follow-up assignment to the presentation of your portfolio, you will then consider all questions and feedback on your portfolio and incorporate those elements into your portfolio.

Part Two:

These are the sections that you should include within the portfolio:


An introductory home page to introduce yourself

  • Resume
    • Personal Details (Name, address, phone, email)
    • Education (list your degree & expected graduation date)
    • Teaching Practice Experience
    • Related Experience
    • Special Skills (e.g. IT, First Aid)
    • Professional Development Activities (seminars/workshops, given and attended)
  • Philosophy of Education


  • Working Collection
  • Curated Collection
    • Critically select, describe and justify this selection from your best: (see this article again).
      • Curriculum units,
      • Lesson plans,
      • Teaching Resources,
      • Examples of student work,
      • Analysis/Reflections of teaching.
      • Pictures of your classroom, activities, displays and videos
      • Reports and Observations
        • Awards, certificates etc.
      • Commitment to Professional Development
        • A reflection on some of your professional reading
        • An analysis of some classroom teaching strategies


Published in EDUC 409
Page 5 of 6