With the success of using Evernote for conferences in the fall we are heading into the second round of conferences this year with the kids having more control over the preparation.
In November I had the students pick out three items that they wanted to share with their parents and then at the conference I helped type in their goals. This time I wanted the kids to have more control of the goal setting process in their portfolios. With that in mind I included a pre-conference planning time which included an opportunity to not only think and write about goals in the areas of Independence, Community Membership and Academic Fluencies (our schools base framework) but also time to actually input the goals into Evernote. In this way they are taking an additional level of responsibility for their own learning.
Whereas the Fall conference goal setting time was really driven by my questions, this time around they will be taking the lead with their parents and me by presenting the goals they are setting for the remaining months of school. As they are confident using Evernote this additional step didn’t cause much of a problem. What it does however is it puts them more fully in the driver seat around the work that they do at school, which is always my goal. Building deeper levels of independence for their own learning is a value that using online portfolios really supports. They thought about the goals, they wrote the goals (with my support), they typed the goals into their account and they will present the goals. At the conference there will be time to discuss and make changes (based on the feedback from parents and myself) but already they have time and personal energy invested into the process and this will help to support them be more successful.
Of course we did also have an opportunity to reflect on the last round of goals because each student did some reflection back in February. We will use this reflection as part of our conversation.
Below are several images of steps along the way, including the students working in the computer lab to prepare for the conference as well as an example of a planning sheet and a reflection sheet from the fall goals.