Students will be more marketable with Web portfolios

Sean Joseph

Web portfolios and internal investments were top priorities yesterday at the College and Graduate School of Education’s priorities and strategic positioning presentation.

The most important aspect of a Web-based portfolio is that students can post their work online to an authentic audience all over the world, said David Dalton, who is in charge of the portfolio network. These portfolios also teach students about building Web sites and the technology of the 21st century.

Students’ Web portfolios will show their future employers the skills they obtained in college, Dalton said.

“It is important for students to engage in portfolio thinking,” Dalton said. “Their work doesn’t show up in a transcript or in an interview the way it shows up in a portfolio.”

Currently, the system has more than 4,300 users consisting of past and present education students, Dalton said. The system currently has 40,000 student projects, which Dalton said is just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, other colleges at the university will be invited to use the network for their students’ portfolios.

“Other universities are buying $35,000 computer programs or setting up entire offices to accomplish what we are doing internally,” said David England, dean of the College and Graduate School of Education.

Four new core education courses will replace the current inquiry courses students take. They will include Educational Technology, Educational Psychology, Introduction to Exceptionalities and Education in a Democratic Society, England said.

The college will also follow new federal guidelines for special education teachers, which means implementing summer workshops, among other things.

The college will be responsible and responsive while turning challenges into opportunities, England said.

“We have to explore opportunities for new funding models to allow us to utilize the resources we generate,” England said.

By relying on resources the college already has and budgeting money wisely, the college will provide seed money for new centers and collaborative endeavors, England said.

Among other things, the college plans to compensate counseling supervisors and hire four current high school faculty as teachers-in-residence, England said.

Contact safety reporter Sean Joseph at [email protected].