As we are getting closer to the end of the school year, I have been thinking a lot about the continuation of our Eportfolio project. Then I came upon this great video, that shows the power of media and sharing it over time:
It is amazing to think how really easy it is now, if planned for properly, it will be for students to actually be able to see their growth over years within our school. Taking pictures, videos, sharing writing, and so on, our kids will be able to create this digital scrapbook of their learning over a long time. Watching “Sophie” in the above video and seeing her grow throughout the years, is pretty powerful. It will be even more powerful when she is able to see it through her own eyes.
What I have really come to realize over this past year through this project, is that we really need to start honouring in school that learning is more like a “ray” than a “line segment”. A ray starts at one point (birth) and continues on infinitely. Line segments however, have a start and end. Obviously curriculums are built upon this idea, but we need to create more opportunities for students to just continue and build upon their learning from grade to grade. Of course we believe in the concept of lifelong learning in schools, but how often do we have students in K-12 able to continue on with projects or passions, for years? Do we create enough opportunities for students where they do not see themselves as working their way through the system?
I have often heard things similar to this in classrooms; “If you think grade 4 is hard, wait until you get to 5! That is when it really starts picking up.” Every year our students need to be challenged and kept in flow, not just in the tough grades (which can vary depending on who you ask), or else they will simply check out. I am really looking forward to seeing the ray continue on next year with our students, and hoping that we can do more to create these infinite opportunities for our students.