Weebly it is!
After consultations with our director of technology and several English teachers over the last few weeks, we have decided to go with Weebly for our digital portfolio pilot program. I'm teaming up with our advanced composition teacher to standardize the adoption of digital portfolios across five English classes during this fall semester. She and I are planning to meet next Tuesday to design a template, collaborate on multimodal projects to include in the portfolio, and sequence instruction for pilot teachers and students. I hope to deliver my first training session on Weebly and how to integrate this platform into the composition curriculum sometime late next week, and I might use this session for Task 6. We're all very excited to see where this pilot goes, and if it's successful, we might even propose the inclusion of digital portfolios in additional classes outside the English department next year.
We chose Weebly for a number of reasons, including ease of management and portability (students can take accounts and portfolios with them after graduation), transferability of skills, and platform versatility. We plan to evaluate the pilot at the end of the semester (since our composition classes are only a semester long) and then again at the end of the school year. At that point we'll decide whether to stick with Weebly long term or to try another platform. Stay tuned for updates!
In other news, the media center has had a busy week. I taught research orientation to three 10th grade classes for their upcoming research paper projects. Our 10th graders write lengthy argumentative essays on hot button social issues topics, so I try to get them comfortable with a variety of databases we purchase specifically for such topics (Gale Opposing Viewpoints in Context and Facts on File Issues & Controversies) as well as our general research databases (EBSCOhost Explora, Questia School, and Gale Research in Context). We also got word that we might be making a few improvements to the media center over the Christmas break, so we're taking a hard look at our collection and finalizing an intensive weeding plan--we need to streamline our shelving to make room for more furniture. Nothing is certain quite yet, but we're hopeful and want to be prepared.