Excited for the year ahead (and the progress of the perfect portfolio)!

My last post in (GASP!) May was all about our school’s journey to finding the perfect blog platform to host our student blog portfolios. After encountering some hiccups and roadblocks along they way, we’ve finally nailed down a student portfolio platform that I have really high hopes for.

I am fortunate to work for a school division that is so progressive in terms of encouraging the integration of tech tools in the classroom, as well as providing the support to back their encouragement of using the tools. The 21st Century Learning Specialists in our division are truly gifted at what they do and we are very lucky to have them. A hardworking team has created a fully customizable blog platform called School Blogs for all of the schools in our division to use. While it is still in its infancy, the potential for greatness has already begun to shine through.

Today at our PL Day, I was joined by one of the Learning Specialists from our division to introduce this blogging platform to our staff. The room was abuzz with excitement, interest to learn more, questions in order to solve glitches and problems, and a little bit of confusion mixed in for good measure – but the super huge important touchstone that I took away was that everybody TRIED! They all wanted to give it a go. Even if it was foreign to them, even if they didn’t consider themselves ‘tech-savvy’, they all tried. I was like a proud momma hen watching the eggs that have been incubating for the last few months finally begin to hatch open.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that in order to learn a tech tool (or most things in our life, actually), you just have to PLAY. You don’t need someone to teach you most things. Just by playing around and figuring things out on your own, the results become that much more rewarding. And the playtime that I witnessed today during our PL Day was so exciting! We’ve created a staff blog page where people can post questions and answers to problems that they encounter, test different features of the blog out and share Ah-Ha! moments. We’ve also created individual teacher blogs that each teacher can use as their sandbox to play in or use in their class with their students. Once teachers are comfortable and familiar with the platform, we will add on the next layer and get each student in our school up and running with their own portfolio.

I feel like we’ve hit the ground running, but we’re off to a good start!