Innovation Proposal

Dear Dr. Earley,

Our school has been making strides in innovative technology.  As long as I have been an employee at your school, you have really made an effort to improve, with the students’ best interest at heart. This year, we are guiding our students to independently navigate through their new online platform and Chromebooks.  I think that this a very important skill that will be of true value through their lives and prepare them for the future.

The world is ever changing, so why not prepare our students for the post-secondary life? Our students thrive with and crave technology.  Whenever it is integrated into the classroom, students are instantly engaged. Through active engagement, students can make meaningful connections and have a long lasting learning experience.  Is it not our goal to make a positive impact and develop a lifelong learner mindset? Aside from familiarizing students with technology that can help them in the future, it is also important to teach them important life skills like problem solving and reflecting.  I see it too often in classrooms when students encounter an obstacle and their first instinct is to quit. I want students to be able to think for themselves, reflect on past actions and figure out a solution. How can we incorporate all of these crucial life skills, to prepare students for the future? I believe the answer is simple, implementing ePortfolios that will help students to take ownership of their learning and enable them to reflect on and show their growth and development.  

I did not have an ePortfolio until this past year, when I had the opportunity to create one in my coursework in the Lamar University’s Digital Learning and Leading Master’s Program.  The ePortfolio that I have developed and continue to use and contribute to on a consistent basis, gives me a sense of ownership and pride. I hope to instill this same feeling in our students and to show them how reflecting on their learning experience cannot only deepen their learning, but it can also prepare them for the future.  I really felt like I was taking part in something that was relevant and meaningful to me. I am able to showcase not just what I learned, but how I learned.  I am able to reflect and grow from those reflections. The ePortfolio is not just an assignment, it is a representation of my learning. When someone asks what you’ve learned all year what would give a better depiction: a grade in a grade book or pieces of evidence which display your learning process?

In order to make this proposal come to life, I would like to pilot the use of ePortfolios in my classroom.  I would like to pilot the use of ePortfolios in my classroom. By doing this, I would be able to test out the ePortfolio and establish what works and what does not work in my classroom.  I will then share my experiences with other teachers, prior to implementing it in their classrooms, in order to assist planning process. All core academic teachers will be able to incorporate this into their classroom.  ePortfolios could be used in electives, such as drawing or photography. They could also be used by the guidance department, when developing resumes, cover letters, etc.. Students will be given account information in the beginning of next year. With the facilitation by teachers and the proper tools, students will be able to develop their own digital evidence of learning.

By exposing our students to ePortfolios, we are preparing them for their future.  Yes, we are introducing them to new technology and giving them the skills and tools to be able to create an ePortfolio, but it is more than that.  We are teaching them to problem solve and be independent thinkers. We are teaching them to reflect, which instills the highest form of learning. We are teaching them pride and ownership.  An ePortfolio is not just a few assignments that students upload to a platform, it is a tool to shape our students to become lifelong learners.

I appreciate your time and consideration.  I look forward to discussing my proposal on implementing ePortfolios in the high school.

Sincerely,

Tiffany Iannello

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