Academic journal article Journal of Technology and Teacher Education

Secondary Preservice Teachers' Development of Electronic Portfolios: An Examination of Perceptions

Academic journal article Journal of Technology and Teacher Education

Secondary Preservice Teachers' Development of Electronic Portfolios: An Examination of Perceptions

Article excerpt

National and state technology standards for students, teachers, and administrators, teacher certification program standards, and revisions of many states' computer course of studies have encouraged teacher educators to seek innovative techniques to prepare teachers to effectively use and to seamlessly integrate technology into content classrooms. This study examined the perceptions of preservice teachers who were required to develop an electronic portfolios as part of a preservice teacher education program. Most participants concluded that the electronic portfolio assessment was a more authentic method of assessment for their work. However, the preservice teachers did not seem to reflect upon the portfolio or the process. Recommendations are made for teacher education programs employing electronic portfolios.

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With the implementation of national technology standards such as National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Teachers, National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Students, and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), teacher educators must prepare teachers to effectively use and seamlessly integrate technology into content classrooms. Many teacher education programs are investigating ways to increase the preservice teachers' technological experiences through electronic portfolio assessment and implementation.

This study examined the implementation of electronic portfolios into a preservice teacher education program. The purposes of the electronic portfolio process for the preservice teachers were threefold: (a) to purposefully integrate technology into their instruction, (b) to reflect on their uses of technology during instruction, and (c) to create portraits of themselves as educators using a portfolio approach.

PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT

In the discussion of portfolio assessment, there have been two contexts given for portfolio use: portfolio assessment for student assessment and for teacher assessment. In the context of student assessment, an emphasis is placed on the process "in which a student and teacher collaborate in the ongoing documentation and reflection of work" (Mosenthal, Daniels, & Mekkelsen, 1993, p. 315). In regard to teacher assessment, the emphasis has been placed on the product where the portfolio represents "knowledge and competence" (Mosenthal et al., p. 315).

In classrooms, portfolio assessment involves a systematic collection and analysis of students' performances as indicators of students' development and learning (Farr & Tone, 1994; Valencia, 1990). This method of assessment is considered by some to be a more authentic measure of the teaching and learning that occurs in a classroom than standardized measures of achievement. More importantly, portfolio assessment, in contrast to other forms of assessment (e.g., standardized tests, informal assessment methods), fosters students' self-evaluations of their learning. Indeed, the process of collection, selection, and reflection are critical to this process (Kieffer & Faust, 1994).

Portfolio assessment in preservice education. Recently, portfolio assessment in preservice teacher education programs has become commonplace (Zeichner & Wray, 2001). Portfolios in teacher education programs have been used for a variety of purposes. These include: (a) the "learning portfolio" that is used by the preservice teacher throughout the preservice program, (b) the "credential portfolio" which requires the demonstration of a set of teaching standards by the preservice teachers, and (c) the "showcase portfolio," which allows preservice teachers to present themselves to prospective employers (Zeichner & Wray, 2001). One major issue that has emerged related to the different portfolio purposes is the conflict of purposes between teacher educators who tend to emphasize the learning and credential portfolios and preservice teachers who focus on the showcase portfolios. …

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