Your Edufolio is all set up… but now what? 

Your online teacher portfolio has a lot of potential but it’s not always easy to know where to start.  We want you to get the best out of your Edufolio, the whole point of it is to save you time with admin and let you focus on reflections and what they tell you about your practice!  We figured that. if you’re looking for ideas, inspiration or some confidence to get going we should help you out!

In the tabs below, you’ll find some some tips and ideas to inspire you as you work at each career stage. Each tab, represents a different point on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers career ladder and contains ideas about what others are doing (and doing well) with their Edufolio.

Which ever level you’re at (or curious about) all you need to do is click the label and have a read.  There’s some pretty engaging ideas in their.  We’ve even had some fabulous subscribers give us permission to link you directly to their Edufolio so that you can have a look.  You might even find some encouragement to believe you really are ready to prove yourself at a new career stage. What are you waiting for?

Click on a title below to explore:

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Visit Richard's Edufolio

 

Here’s how some of our pre-service subscribers are using Edufolios:

  • To reflect on experiences during practicum and keep those reflections as evidence against the standards at graduate level.
  • To upload uni assignments which demonstrate key standards and then write short reflections on how they feel that assignment meets them.
  • To see where the gaps are in their evidence – The tag cloud on the side shows you what evidence you’ve got. The bigger the word tag the more you’ve written about it.
  • To add evidence of meeting the graduate standards and to reflect on what that shows against the learning theories they’ve studied.
  • As a way to showcase themselves to principals with a job on offer.
  • As a place to develop a strong professional digital footprint.
  • As a place to complete assignments where you’re required to keep a ‘blog’

How and Why they’re Doing it…?

Did you know that, as a result of recent changes made by AITSL  to the ways in which Initial Teacher Educators (That’s you!) are to be assessed, there are some key areas that you’ll need to evidence before you can graduate as a teacher?  Of course, you’ll need to show that you have met all of the graduate standards (and its 37 Focus Areas) and in doing, so you’ll need to provide evidence of  “reflection of classroom teaching practice including the elements of planning, teaching, assessing” (“Accreditation Of ITE Programs In Australia page 14″).

Edufolios is designed to help you to focus your evidence through reflection and meet those criteria really easily.  You can add your evidence to a post, reflect on it, select the standard(s) and focus area(s) you think it covers and then get on with writing your thoughts about how it meets the standards you have selected. It’s this reflection that will stand you in good stead for evidencing that you have met the requirements of your course.  For example, you could share a lesson plan by uploading it into your media library, adding a link to it in your post and then reflect on it to demonstrate what you’ve been learning at uni.  That one lesson plan might give you an opportunity to evidence lots of focus areas in one go.  If you’ve spent time making sure you’re demonstrating your understanding of differentiation (1.5), you’ve added elements of well placed, ethically managed technologies (4.5, 2.6),
used a variety of teaching pedagogies (1.2, 2.1, 3.3) to meet student needs and demonstrated a great understanding of the curriculum (2.1) and how to place content in to the context of your learners (2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.3) …..well…. you can see how many of those focus areas you can talk about (if you want to).

animatedstandardsguideIf, like most of us, you’re still getting to know those standards (and what on earth they mean), then you’ll be very pleased to find the standards guide is on the side and ready to help!  As you add your evidence to your page you can use it to work out exactly what evidence it might show. In fact, it might even inspire you to set yourself some goals? Perhaps, when you created that plan you hadn’t fully understood the fact that you could also have differentiated the outcomes?  How might that affect outcomes for future students? (now… you’re starting to think Proficient)

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Visit Kat's Edufolio

Here’s how some of our early-career subscribers are using Edufolios:

  • To reflect on classroom experiences and keep those reflections as evidence against the standards at proficient level
  • To upload examples of marking, lesson planning, certificates for PD, photographs and anything that starts a reflection that might demonstrate key standards.
  • To see where the gaps are in their evidence– The tag cloud on the side shows you what evidence you’ve got – the larger the word appears the more you’ve written about it.
  • As a way to showcase themselves to principals with a future job on offer
  • As a place to develop a strong professional digital footprint and show they are a continual learner.
  • As a way to keep tabs on the number of hours they’ve completed for their PD requirements

How and Why they’re doing it…

You’ve graduated! Congratulations on receiving your provisional registration and welcome to the profession! Now, it’s time to gather a certain number of teaching hours and to evidence that you can meet the proficient standards described by AITSL.  When you’re ready, you’re going to need to be able to show an evaluator several pieces of evidence (with reflections) that demonstrate that you have met them.  Now, the very minimum you’re going to need to do is meet at least one focus area in each of the seven standards.  Edufolios is designed to help you to do that really easily.  We’ve set up all the standards and the focus areas for you.  They’re all ready to go.

addevidenceWhen you want to start a piece of evidence you start a new post, upload any supporting documents (like your lesson plans, an annotated piece of marking, feedback from a colleague etc.) to your media library and you’re read to go.  Before I start to reflect, I begin by considering which standards my evidence covers.  Remember that one piece of evidence can cover lots of standards and focus areas. If, like most of us, you don’t know the standards off by heart, you’ll find the guide there waiting to remove the stress of making a decision.  Select your standard(s) by ticking them in the categories list.  Now, you need to select the focus area you’re demonstrating at the proficient level – again, these are all spelled out for you in the standards guide.  Start typing “prof” into the tags box and the 27 focus areas will pop up – we’ve done that bit for you too.  Now just choose away! Once you’ve selected them, you can focus on the reflection part.  In the body of the post you can start exploring and explaining what your evidence shows.  At proficient level, it’s about how you have made choices by yourself, or with colleagial support and what the impact of those choices were.

When you’re done, don’t forget that any reflective writing piece can count towards your Professional development hours too.  Fill in the PD record found underneath where you’ve been writing and you can keep a record of that in the same place!

When you’re ready to show an evaluator what you’ve been up to for the last 200 hours (or so) of teaching you can invite them to your site.  They can either choose to click on a focus area – shown in the tag cloud on your front page – or on a standard – found at the top of the page.  Now, you might have chosen to make your evidence public or private. If it’s the latter, you simply need to provide them with a password  and they’ll be able to view your content for 2 hours before having to enter it again. Either way, your evidence is ready to roll and, hopefully, by using the standards guide to scaffold your reflection, you’ve already begun to deepen your understanding of your practice.  Any evidence of highly accomplished popping up?

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Visit Markeeta's Edufolio

 

Here’s how some of our Highly Accomplished subscribers are using Edufolios:

  • To reflect on classroom experiences and keep those reflections as evidence against the standards at the Highly Accomplished level.
  • To upload examples of marking, lesson planning, certificates for PD, photographs and anything that starts a reflection that might demonstrate key standards.
  • To see where the gaps are in their folio – The tag cloud on the side shows you what evidence you’ve got – the larger the word appears the more you’ve written about it.
  • As a place to develop a strong professional digital footprint and show they are a continual learner.
  • As a way to keep tabs on the number of hours they’ve completed for their PD requirements.

How and Why they’re doing it…

You “routinely work independently and collaboratively to improve their own practice and the practice of colleagues” (“Highly Accomplished | Australian Institute For Teaching And School Leadership“), Edufolios is the perfect place to reflect on those experiences.  Many of our highly accomplished subscribers are beginning to get used to the standards and their focus areas.  Instead, they might need a little encouragement to be brave and ‘label’ themselves as somewhere beyond proficient.  At this stage, you’re probably using the standards guide by clicking on the link at the bottom of the brief list to get more details.

The posts you write now include examples of how they’ve contributed to the learning of others. In some cases, that’s as simple as commenting on a post in a colleagues own Edufolio or it might be reflections on your role as mentor.   The posts they write about their classroom experiences discuss the choices you’ve made and how they are improving outcomes for their students.  They might even include reflections on some recent research you’ve undertaken (in a masters or a working party) to address a particular student’s particular learning need.  As such, the reflective part of your Edufolios becomes more important.   Highly accomplished subscribers are thinkers and reflectors.

anibycareerstageWhen they’re ready to show an assessor their strengths they can simply share the web address of their Edufolio.  The assessor can then choose to click on a focus area at the Highly Accomplished level ( these  are shown in the tag cloud on your front page) and get straight to the evidence they need.  Of course, you’ve  got complete control over the privacy of each separate piece of evidence you choose to provide.  Is it public or private? If it’s the latter, you just need to provide the assessor with a password  so that they can view the content. Either way, you’ve been gathering evidence over time, it’s not been stressful because it’s all part of reflective process.  When it’s called for, the evidence (with it’s reflections) is ready to roll and you are in control.

Of course,you’re also keeping a track of any PD hours they undertake and collecting their certificates, notes, tweets and other evidence of learning.  Every post you write, as evidence for Highly Accomplished, counts as hours of professional development, as well as all those posts for the separate course you attend.  Everything is being tracked for you via the professional development widget on the dashboard.  More time for getting on with the business of teaching and learning ?

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Here’s how some of our Lead subscribers are using Edufolios:

  • Using the comments on posts to mentor and support other teachers
  • To share links between colleagues as a way of sharing good practice and developing whole school strategies and policies
  • To reflect on classroom experiences and keep those reflections as evidence against the standards at Lead level.
  • As a way to keep tabs on the number of hours they’ve completed for their PD requirements.
  • To upload examples of marking, lesson planning, certificates for PD, photographs and anything that starts a reflection that might demonstrate key standards.
  • To see where the gaps are in their folio – The tag cloud on the side shows you what evidence you’ve got – the larger the word appears the more you’ve written about it.

How and Why they’re doing it…

Lead teachers “demonstrate consistent and innovative teaching practice over time…[and] initiate and lead activities that focus on improving educational opportunities for all students” (“Lead| Australian Institute For Teaching And School Leadership“). Edufolios is the perfect place to reflect on those experiences, it’s also the perfect place to lead initiatives that involve teacher development.  As well as gathering evidence for themselves, lead teachers will probably be using the comments section on their colleagues Edufolios to help develop the practice of others. Lead educators ” promote creative, innovative thinking among colleagues.” and inspire them to develop their skills.   We’ve even seen Lead teachers use Edufolios to track their colleagues sense of agency in their learning and to evaluate the impact of the professional development opportunities they provided through reviewing the reflections and practice that came as a result of it.

The evidence they provide of their own practice come from a level of leadership.  What they reflect upon demonstrates that they are able to create systemic development within the school or the school system.  They will be discussing initiatives they have put in place and the impacts that they have had on both their colleagues and their students.

When they’re ready to show an assessor their strengths they can simply share the web address of their edufolio.  The assessor can then choose to click on a focus area at the Lead level ( these  are shown in the tag cloud on your front page) and get straight to the evidence they need.  Of course, the teacher has got complete control over the privacy of each separate piece of evidence they choose to provide.  They have trbregcomplete control over what’s public or private. If it’s the latter, they’ve provided the assessor with a password  so that they can view the content. Either way, they’ve been gathering evidence over time, it’s not been stressful because it’s all part of reflective process.  When it’s called for, the evidence (with it’s reflections) is ready to roll.
Of course, these subscribers are also keeping a track of any PD hours they undertake and collecting their certificates, notes, tweets and other evidence of learning.  Every post they write as evidence for Lead counts as hours of professional development! Everything is being tracked for them via the professional development widget on the dashboard.  More time for getting on with the business of teaching and learning ?

Got any tips to share?

Did we miss anything? We’re absolutely certain that there isn’t room in this post for us to write down everything that you’re all up to with your Edufolios! In the spirit of our community, we’d love it if you’d share your ideas too.  Comment below if you’ve got other ways in which you’ve used your Edufolio… at any career stage! You might be responsible for removing someone’s frustrating writer’s block!

Love what you’re reading but don’t have an Edufolio?  Don’t worry! There’s always room on the server for a new one!

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