GDS Class of 2013 Digital Portfolio Pilot Project

Hey Seniors (well, as of next week you will be)!

This is where we will start our work with your Digital Portfolios. We may eventually switch it over to the MyGDS platform, but I will let you know for sure.

The basic idea of this project is this: I want to help you create a digital archive of all the stuff that YOU consider to be your best and most meaningful work while you have been in high school. THEN I want to help you look back and reflect on all that you have done and figure out what it means to you. This is NOT ABOUT COLLEGE ADMISSIONS — this is about discovering who you are as a learner and as a person. If you want to participate please register and fill out this 2-question survey. There is no commitment — I just need to keep in touch with any of you who are interested.

cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by striatic

STEP 1: MEMORY LANE. Take some time this summer (YOUR LAST SUMMER IN HIGH SCHOOL!) to go back over everything you have saved. Some stuff you may have saved intentionally, but there is probably lots of stuff you haven’t really “saved” — you just haven’t deleted it or thrown it away yet. If you think you can handle it, try to look at it all. REMEMBER: this isn’t just about old tests and papers. Think beyond that: artwork, videos of games you played in, recordings of performances you have done, an amazing lab report, pictures from a dance or other school activity, reflections on community service — the more diverse a collection you have, the better. Also, if you don’t have a record of something that was particularly meaningful to you, just write a little bit about it and include that reflection in your portfolio.

STEP 2: CREAM OF THE CROP. As you look through all of your work, set aside those pieces that you think best exemplify who YOU are. If you aren’t sure how to do that, just save the things that cause you to pause and reflect when you consider them. Does it evoke a clear memory of how you used to be? Does it represent a watershed moment for you? Was it just one of the best memories you have? Anything that falls in this category is fair game for your portfolio.

STEP 3: DIGITIZE IT. You may find that most of what you want to save is already in digital format. If it isn’t already, it can probably be digitized easily. If you can’t figure out how to digitize something, ask me for help.

STEP 4: THEMES. Take a look at your collection and see what themes are emerging. You might be surprised! To get the most out of this experience, keep a running reflection of the process. There are no wrong answers or wrong ways to do this. Besides — it’s digital! You can reorganize it any time you want.

STEP 5: REFLECT. If you have been having fun so far, you are going to LOVE this part. Look at each of the pieces you have saved and write a little bit about it. It can be anything — why you chose it for your portfolio, how you felt when you first produced it, how you feel when you look at it now, what it says about you — anything.

STEP 6: ACT. After you do the first five steps, you will probably have an urge to DO SOMETHING. Write about what it is that your portfolio has inspired you to do. Talk to someone else about what your portfolio has inspired you to do. Share your portfolio with someone who has had a significant impact on you. Again, anything is possible here.

**PLEASE NOTE: These are just my thoughts on this process. I haven’t even done this entire process myself and I am still learning about it. I have just read a few websites and talked to a few people and I came up with this list based on what I think will be most helpful for you. There are lots of people who know a lot more about this than I do and I will certainly provide you with resources that they have created. I just want you to remember that this is for YOU and if no one else in the world ever sees it, that is just fine. =)

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