As all educators look for a way to secure data from their students, teachers need to think of ways to capture their own data to support their instruction. It seems like an simple idea, but collecting data will be challenging for teachers that do not know how to. What data should I gather? How much do I need? When should I start and end the collection? Why is it important to gather?
First the idea that collecting data for grades only needs to be revised just a bit. Education needs to be a more well-rounded, real-life experience in order for students to thrive in a global economy. Yes we need students to remember certain facts and show ways of comprehension, but could grades only be based off of the paper and pencil assessment; absolutely not!
Second, we can look at Bloom's Taxonomy and how we need students to analyze, evaluate, or create to gain a deeper understanding for any content of study. This is where the search for thou portfolio comes into play. With all new technologies, gathering data and reflecting on ways to do this task is easier than ever. The need to gather writing samples, projects, math journals, pictures, problem solving steps, and more in a portfolio can show more than a quick snapshot of a written test. If schools could develop a way to have the portfolios travel with students could even get a bigger picture of how a student learns, thinks, and creates.
Now how would that be for real-life experience! Using project-based for learning which in turns changes the way students graduate, pick a college, and career. Education could be more then “Open your mind so I can pour the info in it.” Education could be “Lets work through ideas for find the best solution.”
Lastly the use of portfolios is not a new idea; however, I think the idea of real-life experiences is becoming a buzz word in education which makes the use of a portfolio ideal. Students, teachers, administrators and even parents should keep all student information in one place so when they graduate they have a link that demonstrate their growth as a student since kindergarten! I can see the commercial now by Google:) I better trademark my idea before it gets out!