I have been working with students in the Dearborn Magnet High School and teacher Laurie Locascio to begin creating their digital My Learning Plans on Mahara, Dearborn’s ePortfolio platform. Using the data and artifacts they have gathered over the past semesters, students have begun creating a polished, professional digital version of their MLPs. But most have already gone beyond the requirements of the My Learning Plan templates. In addition to uploading their course records, students have created a simple digital resume and uploaded pictures of activities in which they have participated. One student, Armani, decided to add pictures of a social activity in which he and his classmates participated with a group of students who are cognitively impaired. Another student, Alex, added volunteer experiences to her resume, including her Youth Activation Committee participation, as well as her experience working at a local soup kitchen.
Using Mahara for My Learning Plan opens up tremendous possibilities for students. With Mahara, students have the opportunity to not only digitize their MLP, but to begin growing their portfolio of some of their best work and products. With Mahara, students are in charge of how the information is displayed, as well as in control of when and to whom their ePortfolio is displayed. Students can also network with others, exchange peer feedback on their ePortfolio materials, and see samples of other students’ work with whom they are networked.
Bringing My Learning Plan to an ePortfolio platform enables students to begin to create a positive and professional digital presence, showcasing their educational history, skills, and activities. It also enables them to reflect on the quality of their work and recognize the legitimacy of the skills they’ve already acquired as students in the Dearborn Public Schools.