Teaching With Electronic Portfolios to Develop 21st Century Literacies

Elizabeth Meyer, Philip Abrami
2013 LEARNing Landscapes |   unpublished
265 T oday the grade four students were working on a group science project: the design of an "Insulating Machine." To prepare for this lesson using electronic portfolios, the teacher had taken digital photos of the machines each group had already built and saved them on a USB key. A technology consultant was working with the teacher in class this day, so the consultant spent time with each group showing the students how to download the image files, and then upload them to the correct location
more » ... correct location in their ePortfolio. As the students waited for their turns with the USB key, they worked in groups inputting the text describing this project in their ePortfolios. One person was working in their portfolio and once the data was fully entered they were able to "share" the artifact with their group members for inclusion in their own ePortfolios. Before creating their insulating machines, the students completed paper-and-pencil planning sheets that included: a description of the assignment, the group's goals, and specific strategies they had planned to use to successfully satisfy ABSTRACT This article introduces an electronic portfolio, ePEARL, and how it has been used in classrooms to promote 21st century literacies. Using NCTE's 21st Century Literacies framework, the authors provide examples of student work and classroom assignments to demonstrate how an electronic portfolio can support teachers integrating this framework and developing these skills in pedagogically meaningful ways.