By using web-based,or electronic portfolios, there are endless possibilities when creating one. Prior to developing my own web-based portfolio in class, I had never been exposed to Google sites, nor have I ever made an electronic portfolio. I really enjoyed this new process of learning to use a web-based program to develop a professional portfolio, which will showcase my work throughout the course. Not only is this program great for graduate level students as well as teachers, but I thought about ways I could use Google sites with the 3rd grade students I'm currently with. I imagined how successful it would be to make a class Google site, which could be accessed by parents or guardians outside of school. If I were to introduce Google sites to the students, I would first make a sample site for them to explore. I would ask students questions like, "What stands out to you? What is your favorite part about the site? Do you find the site helpful?" I first would want to hear students feedback regarding the site, and if it would be beneficial in the long run. Google sites used in the classroom can be great for the following reasons: parents can go onto the site and see what their child missed for that day if they were absent, parents can find links to homework, or valuable resources, teachers can post any up coming information parents should be aware of, and it is an overall great tool for teacher to parent, or teacher to student communication. Not only can the site be used by parents, but students can have access as well. I observed a Google site during my student teaching experience that had things such as teacher to student podcasts, interactive homework assignments online, printouts, and other fun educational games. This teacher did a great job posting a message on her site every week, and made sure that it was beneficial for her students and the parents. I would love to someday be able to utilize this tool to the fullest. I believe that if teachers spend time to develop a well thought out Google site, it can be extremely worthwhile for students and parents.
Web-based portfolios, or newsletters can change the way information is presented to students and parents. For the future, I would most definitely want to make a newsletter to submit every other week. I think using a web-based portfolio to publish a newsletter can help the communication between teachers and parents. I have already been able to see some great teacher newsletters. Parents always have questions to ask teachers, and need clarification about certain things, but with a newsletter or web-based portfolio, parents have all of the information they need about curriculum, weekly events, and notifications. The 3rd grade teacher I am currently with has said he loves the newsletter, and parents seem to love it as well. Parents are informed every other week about what their child is doing in class, what is there to come, and some fun things to look forward to. I am eager to start a newsletter during teaching, because I can't wait to have the same results as the current classroom I'm with does. However, there can be some downfalls to using these technology programs. Some students may not have computers at home, or parents may not be able to check online for information. If this is the case, we as teachers can always make the needed accommodations for those types of situations.