WMU News

Electronic portfolio pro visits College of Education

Jan. 18, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Dr. Helen C. Barrett, an expert in educational technology, will talk with Western Michigan University faculty, staff and students about effective use of electronic portfolios from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Merze Tate Center, Room 3210 of Sangren Hall.

Barrett's visit will become the topic of a statewide teleconference from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m in which she will address how electronic portfolios represent a living history of teaching and learning. Several colleges, universities and school districts participating in the Michigan Consortium of Outstanding Achievement in Technology and Teaching program will participate in the teleconference.

Electronic portfolios, once the wave of the future, are fast-becoming standard fare for emerging educators. Gone are the days of manila folders and three-ring binders stuffed with papers representing a teacher's professional growth. Today, WMU College of Education students integrate audio, video, graphics and text to create portfolios that showcase their pre-service experiences, and provide a foundation for performance-based assessment.

Barrett, an assistant professor of educational technology at the University of Alaska Anchorage, is an international authority on electronic portfolios. From Singapore to San Diego, Barrett has presented research and conducted dozens of workshops on the topic, and she is the author of electronicportfolios.com, one of the Internet's most exhaustive collections of related online publications, definitive articles and hands-on tutorials.

Barrett's visit is sponsored in part by WMU's Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to Use Technology Project, a federally funded initiative aimed at making pre-service teachers proficient in the use of technology in the classroom.

Other colleges, universities and school districts participating in the Barrett teleconference are Grand Valley State University Lake Superior State University, Northwestern Michigan College, Saginaw Valley State University, Spring Arbor University, Spring Arbor-Petoskey, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Wayne State University as well as the Alpena, Kent and Washtenaw intermediate school districts.

For more information about the event, contact Dr. Robert Leneway, director of the Merze Tate Center for Technology and School Reform, at (269) 387-2053.

Media contact: Gail H. Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

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