CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 31, 2003
Photo: Rebecca Anthony, director of the University of Iowa College of Education
Placement Office, and Ann Feldmann, executive director of human resources
for the Cedar Rapids School District, look over a version of the college's
ePortfolio that has been modified for the district's use.
Cedar Rapids School District Adopts UI Eportfolio Model
Cedar Rapids School District this semester is adopting a version of the University
of Iowa College of Education's ePortfolio web-based data repository to more
easily track its teachers' progress toward meeting new and tougher state licensure
The CRSD is the first organization outside the UI to use the ePorfolio model,
although the Iowa City School District is considering adopting the model as
Developed by Rebecca Anthony, director of the UI College of Education's Placement
Office, and John Achrazoglou, director of the college's Technology Center,
the ePortfolio consists of free web space provided by the college to all declared
education majors, a place where students can upload samples of their academic
work - called "artifacts" -- from lesson plans and research to digitized
photographs and audio and video files showing them working in schools as part
of their student-teaching experience. Templates help students organize the
materials so they can chart their progress toward meeting their academic requirements,
as well as state and federal standards for teacher certification.
Education majors scheduled to graduate in May will be the first able to also
use their ePortfolio websites as highly interactive showcases of their work
as they apply for teaching positions around the country. Educators throughout
their careers could use an ePortfolio as a professional development tool.
Anthony and Achrazoglou have long seen the potential for organizations outside
the university benefiting from the ePorfolio model. When Ann Feldmann, executive
director of human resources for the CRSD, heard Anthony talk about ePortfolios
last year at a meeting of the Conference for Career Center Professionals she
Feldmann says the CRSD's decision to adopt ePortfolio was fueled by a new
teacher licensing documentation and evaluation process required of Iowa teachers
and administrators, largely because of the federal No Child Left Behind Act's
call for greater accountability among schools. By the end of this academic
year, districts must be prepared to demonstrate that they are meeting the
Storing all the data in paper files would be a cumbersome task and the information
contained in them difficult to assess by busy administrators. With the web-based
system, the information will be just a mouse-click away.
"We are very excited about this partnership with the College of Education,"
Feldmann said. "It is another example of how the university and K-12
schools can work together for all learners and professionals. I have been
familiar for some time with the cutting edge use of technology by UI education
students, and this work brings the experience and ideas of the university
to the doorstep of our teachers and principals."
With Anthony and Achrazoglou serving as consultants -- at no cost to the
school district -- the CRSD has spent the past few months modifying the ePortfolio
templates for its own use. Feldmann said final touches are being put on the
web-based interface. Once that's done, possibly by this summer, all first-year
teachers will be trained how to upload their information and then serve as
mentors for other teachers.
The web space will be used to store lesson plans and other written, graphic,
photographed or videotaped evidence that demonstrates they are meeting state
standards, information that can then be viewed by school and district administrators.
Some of the standards that have to be met under the new rules include:
* Demonstrates ability to enhance academic performance and support for implementation
of the school district's student achievement goals.
* Demonstrates competence in content knowledge appropriate to the teaching
* Demonstrates competence in planning and preparing for instruction.
* Demonstrates competence in classroom management.
To satisfy the requirement that the teacher demonstrate competence in content
knowledge, the teacher might put on her webpage a Quicktime video of her explaining
to a group of students how to interpret data on a line plot, as well as a
list of questions the teacher uses to ensure that students are adequately
grasping the material covered in the class.
"Collaborating with the Cedar Rapids team has allowed the UI College
of Education to strengthen school-to-work relationships, foster professional
conversations, and enhance and advance teachers' career development,"
Anthony said. "This technology-based framework is accessible, easily
negotiated, and is a compelling multidimensional tool that demonstrates the
dynamics and complexities of good teaching practices. We invite all Iowa schools
to use this model as a demonstration instrument and as a powerful means of
documenting compliance with Iowa licensure requirements."
Copies of a recent white paper on the UI ePortfolio project can be ordered
by contacting Anthony at (319) 335-5353, or via mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
A PDF version of the white paper is also available online at http://www.education.uiowa.edu/eportfolio/whitepaper.pdf.
Founded in 1872, the University of Iowa College of Education was the nation's
first permanent college-level department of education. Since then the College
has gained an international reputation of excellence in fields as diverse
as rehabilitation counseling, testing and measurement, and language and literacy.
It is home to the Iowa Testing Programs, developer of the widely used Iowa
Tests of Basic Skills; to the Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International
Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development; and to such top-ranked
programs as Rehabilitation Counseling, Counseling Psychology, Educational
Psychology, Elementary Teacher Education, Secondary Teacher Education, and
English Education and Literacy.
PHOTOS/GRAPHICS: A mock-up page of the Cedar Rapids School District ePortfolio
page can be viewed online at http://www.education.uiowa.edu/CR842/.
OTHER INFORMATION: Information about the new state standards can be found
at both http://www.sai-iowa.org/teachingstds.html