So far I have been reflecting on the web site, and the site/blog as a portfolio. You may wonder why so many reflections – and one more… Reflection on the e-portfolio is part of the “capstone project” i.e. final project for my M.A. in Education. I have to admit that I like reflecting on lots of things that are going on, but this post will be a specific summary of my thoughts about this e-portfolio web site.
My portfolio (this web site) is centered around technology and understanding various concepts in mathematics. I wanted to make mathematics teaching and learning more modern, as one of my students noted in the evidence of effectiveness -video. An example of more modern teaching methods: we used laptops in the classroom, I presented with prezi web application and built a web site that establishes communication with the students using the language of technology they are familiar with. Technology helps also illustrate the practicality of abstract mathematical concepts, in case of powers of 10 video embedded in the prezi.
It is evident from my portfolio that I appreciate standards, but I want to teach in a more advanced way than the traditional industrial model of teaching. I would like to take teaching methods even more advanced than is evident in this portfolio. For example, I would like to use more the concept of “learning is fixed, time is flexible” compared to the currently prevalent “time is fixed and learning is flexible”. I stand for this because I believe we all should thrive to the maximum. Everyone finds some things fast to do, and some things slow. Using this principle, we can make the learning process more thorough, more positive and consequently make a nation of smarter, self-motivated people that take responsibility for their learning.
Some of the accomplishments evident from my portfolio highlighting my strenghts and what I can do:
- I can teach to standards
- I can structure well planned curriculum
- I can research and present clear lesson plans
- I can deliver content in clear, interesting and creative ways
- I can use technology to enhance learning experience
- I am a much liked and competent teacher who gets the job done and students learn in my class. Proof.
Based on these accomplishments, I’d like to develop this web site portfolio further to contain many educational programs and support material for classes I teach. I would like to grow faster in creating a production which is generally called a classroom. It involves skills to quickly research, plan and present material with real-time social interaction with the students, involving them in the process. I’d like there to be a place for my students to communicate with me and other students online, outside the classroom to allow them to collaboratively express their learning and be more involved overall. There is also social media that I’d like to get involved in when I have students that are active there. These are some things I’d like to take my growth to in respect to the content of this e-portfolio.
The main weakness in this portfolio is the graphic design. I’d like to put more attention on that for the next facelift(technical term) of this web site. As far as the content goes, this portfolio is currently limited to the material taught during the M.A. Educational Innovation studies.
One weakness that results is that I haven’t covered everything I’d like in this portfolio. Innovations from rotating university are covered only by a prezi, and there could be many articles on the topic. There are many papers on Neurophysiology, psychilogy, development, American Education, and differentiation that are not included on this site.
Another weakness that resulted is that I can explore teaching methods only in the framework of current educational system. If I had more freedom, I would explore and implement more out of the box educational approaches such as online tools to make learning extremely flexible and learning style modality friendly.
Third weakness is that I could work on the level of the system only. My personal interest would be to explore how to make excellent educational systems into outstanding and beyond. The innovations presented in this portfolio are still working on the level of the current American educational system and the tools to get to the next level are very different than on the level I would like to work in, according to the McKinsey report.
Thus the clear direction to develop in over time is in expanding the knowledge base, going beyond the innovations currently presented and focus on improving already high performing schools and districts and educational systems.