Google,  pegeeks,  Sportfolio,  Student Reflection,  Teacher Reflection,  Technology in PE

Sportfolios – student driven using Google Drive apps.

putting things in a row isn't bad either

Sportfolios are a PE version of a student portfolio.  They enable students to take their work with them from PE which has always been somewhat tricky.  Andy Vasily shares that they are about sharing work: student, peer, teacher and after seeing some in action, I have decided to invest some research into Sportfolios to see what they are about. I have some initial reservations and also some positive ideas in ways which they could and may work with my students this year.

I am concerned about how much we can load on our students.  I was in Australia for the July break and had a chance to go through my many boxes that live in my parents house.  I wanted to make room and recycle the many books and things that I no longer need or have used in the last 10 years.  When I think about Sportfolios, and in fact any digital online or stored data, I begin to think about our digital footprint.  Will students need all of this stuff?  How many of my Middle or High school docs did I keep and why did I keep them?  If we are going to be using iDevices and recording and analysing video, do I really need to keep them or are they a piece of work that was perfect for the class or unit but can now be deleted – rather than archived for later?  These are the questions that I am grappling with.

Sportfolios need to have their own mandate and purpose for my students this year.  We need to decide how they will be used (initially) and discuss why we will use them.  I believe this discussion will then drive and help students to decide which work stays and which is deleted.  I want them to be proud of their PE work, but that doesn’t always mean we need to retain work.

Mr Blake Kampen, Mr Matt Pomeroy Adam Howell and Naomi Hartl are leading the #PEGeeks  when it comes to discussions on this topic.  As I am in a Google apps school, I am going to work on using Google Drive rather than other options out there.  I know that Blake likes to advocate for Evernote, and I can see why as well – but I will go with what my students can already manage and feel comfortable with.  Nathan Horne has made some good videos about using Google Drive to add to Sportfolios, his focus is on adding work to his own made Sportfolios, which is awesome for ES students, but I think for MS and HS will be about students making choices – the logistics are where I need to make some choices now – how do I set this up like so that students can own what is in their folder, not me.

So with this in mind I will now talk to my new PE Department and start with one or two grade levels and begin the quest in using Sportfolios to share, save and have access to PE content and user made work that I hope my students will be proud of and that they can choose to keep or delete at the end of the academic year.  The difference for me is that this is about student work rather than my choice of work for them.  I am keen to connect with others who also do this.

I would be interested to hear from others about their Sportfolio work and how they use it and also if they are going digital and how that works for them.  If you are using Google docs, please share your ideas and resources so that we can learn from each other.

Image: putting things in a row isn’t bad either licensed by Kasaa CC BY NC


  • mhamada

    Hello Lynn, thank you for sharing your trials with Sportfolios. I am still in experimental phase as I feel this needs to fit somewhat into what the whole ES is doing. The MS HS at our school are all Google Drive, so this makes sense and with our G7’s now with iPads they can easily save into GD. However, our ES is more tricky as I feel I am the facilitator of this and it is very time consuming. I have been chatting with Jarrod Robinson about Vidalyze and also Blake Kampen about using Evernote (but I think for our school GD is better). Vidalyze would offer options to save straight into GD and allow quick editing and saving rather than more time consuming work. you can also use QuickCast to save into your GD accounts and have students edit video on their computers too. You can also take photos of their paper work or whiteboard reflections and quickly save these – again the trick for me is how to save time and to continue to focus on Student Learning – not administration or tech madness. I think the goal needs to be: Student Learning – and then to decide what you want in the Sportfolio that showcases the learning from your class – not necessarily something from every unit or every video – the key I believe is to have a careful criterion for choosing what you will put in there (as a school) so that you can build on that in PE. I would enjoy talking about this more with you if you have the time.

  • Lynn Burrows

    Hi Mel,
    Last year I set a goal to try out Sportfoiios with my 5th graders (10 year olds). But for multiple reasons scrapped the plan. Now my goal is again to try out Sportfolios with my 4th and 5th graders. Because you also teach elementary and used Google Drive, I would love to chat with you about what all you learned, hopefully I can learn from your learning.

  • mhamada

    Eduard, I commend your effort. I would be keen to hear how it goes. I haven’t done a full sportfolio with students yet, I ask them to blog, but as this culture builds I will include this work. I know that it is more prevalent in the PYP or ES at our school, and I know that most of our digital work is kept on individual blogs, and so is found and showcased as it should be. Come back and share how it goes please, it will add fuel to my Sportfolio quest.

  • Eduard Sabaté

    Hi Mel, since I met Andy’s blog and later your blog too I’ve searched a lot of Sporfolio topic. Last year I tried to do it with my Ss, but at the end I didn’t do it. Maybe I had a little fear to take off the final exam at the end of the each quarter or to much work if I did it.
    The last summer I convinced myself I’d do it and I’m doing it. I learnt a lot from your reflections and blog and you guided me a lot with your videos you made to your Ss. And this year.. I’m doing the Sportfolio with ALL my students (I remember Matt Pomeroy saying that if you did some thing like this it’d be better do it with calm (I meam, only 1 course) but I haven’t heard his tips (damm it!!!)

    On the other hand it’s a great experience. I’d never done sonmething like this and I think it’s the best way the Ss can made a reflection about their learning and also the teacher can see if they are understanding what he explains.
    I’m using Google drive with Gclassfolders

  • mhamada

    Natasha, thanks for commenting. I agree that parents are a neat extra to share with and it would be great to see more of this. I have found in the past that parents are super keen in ES but as kids get to MS and especially HS, they tend to disappear a bit and the parents I have talked to say that digital work like blogs or portfolios are a neat way to share with their kids what is going on in the school lives.

  • mhamada

    Blake, thanks for sharing your ideas here! I agree that space is almost limitless when we go digital, but I see that as an issue. Instead of choosing our best photos to print or being precious with film cameras, we are now taking 1000’s of photos but now I have over 15000 photos, and what will I ever do with them or what will my own kids ever do with them one day? Instead of widening my footprint just because I can and I have the space, I am keen to make sure that I am aware of how much I have and where things are stored. How many apps or webapps am I signed up to and why? I want to try and streamline the Sportfolio process to choose meaningful work that shows learning for students rather than a collection of all work. I hope that makes sense. And yes, they have to own it and we have to spend some time looking after it together or it will get out of control and I don’t have the time or resources for the number of student sportfolios that I am going to be looking after…. thanks again.

  • mhamada

    Andy, thank you for taking the time to share your excellent wisdom on Sportfolios. I have done the pencil and paper version of collecting work and giving it a PE flavor when I taught PYP many years back, and I have been working on digital keeping of work for my MYP students, but never really classified it to being a Sportfolio. I do see the amazing value in pencil/paper work, especially in conditions that require getting down and messy with kids and where resources may be limited but as we look to more digital work, I can see the value in the photos, video and screencasting that students can do with cool apps like Explain Everything, Coach’s Eye and also the ease of Google Docs to archive these and share them with your choice of people. I hope that my adventure here will enable student learning that is optimal from the G5-G12 as the reason and motivation behind Sportfolios changes I feel as kids get older. I hope to tap into your inspiration again as I work on this project.

  • Natasha

    They could also provide a way to communicate learning in PE with parent. A tool for connecting to their child’s learning.

  • Blake

    Hey Mel,
    Firstly, congrats on taking the plunge into sportfolios, and using GD is a great choice given your school is GAfE.
    Just wanted to comment on keeping or deleting artefacts in student portfolios. My view is this. Unlike the boxes at your parents house, the students dont have the space issues as thier sportfolios are digital. If the artefacts aren’t worth keeping, are they worth adding? My hope is students can look back in yr 12 and see right in front of them their progress in PE throughout the years.
    I totally agree with you in that students should be the owners and creators of their folios. For them to be managable, we as teachers dont have the time to organise and add artefacts to 200+ folders.
    Good luck introducing them in your department! Another great post.

  • andy vasily

    Hey Mel. I think that what you are doing is great, in terms on reflecting how Sportfolios would benefit your students/program and considering alternative ways to make them more manageable and the process more efficient. Although this will be my 10 year putting Sportfolios into action, I am always reflecting on how to refine the process. To me there is still great pedagogical value in pencil and paper assessment. However, having said this, I am always looking for ways to merge the analog and digital means of assessing, but will do so in the most authentic way possible. Will I drop pencil and paper completely? I am heavily leaning toward no on this one, but creating more genuine ways to digitally assess will have its growing role in my program. This is a certainty.

    The reality that teachers need to look at and heavily consider is the technological environment of their school. It they are in a school that has 1-1 laptops/ipads, they should consider themselves lucky and pursue integrating as much technology as possible in the process of assessing. Especially, if they also have a great tech team to support them. However, for those teachers, and I assume this would be the majority, tech does become an issue as they don’t have the same access, therefore need to consider what is best for them.

    Tech is playing more of a growing role at my school, therefore, I can begin to consider and evaluate more options which I am currently doing. I am super pumped because we are doing a test pilot program using mini-ipads on a 1-1 basis in grade 1. This will give me lots of opportunity to experiment, but I won’t do so at the expense of learning.

    One last thing I would like to mention in general is to never forget the treasures that are created with a child’s hand. In allowing my students to draw their understanding of what they have learned, conceptually, in PE, especially ESL children, I have seen some amazing assessment pieces and some very proud kids. This is possible digitally with new apps and recently created ones, but to me allowing them opportunity to do this with pencil and paper still yields great value. Good luck with things this year Mel. I am sure you and your new team will come up with a method that best suits your school at its students. Talk soon.

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