Middle School librarian helps students create online portfolios
Posted on 10/01/2019
Michele Carmode helps a group of students create eBinders.

Poplar Bluff Middle School students are creating eBinders, or online portfolios, designed to preserve their best work so they can reflect on what they have learned throughout their educational careers and ultimately utilize on college applications. 

The project is being spearheaded by Media Specialist Michele Carmode, who has served in the repurposed librarian position for grades 4-6 since the 2017/18 school year. She has made arrangements to collaborate with instructional coaches at Junior and Senior High so students can continue submitting their learning artifacts in participating classes. 

“It is a way to organize a collection of work, a place to reflect on the learning processes, and finally it is a recollection of what students learned for purposes of sharing or studying,” explained Carmode, upon helping a test group of students create templates and personalize their digital Trapper Keepers on Google Chromebooks last week. 

In order to make the knowledge visible and be considered an artifact, an object must be lasting, durable and materially present, for example: a photo taken during an activity, a Google Slide presentation, video, essay or work from another application such as Booksnaps or Flipgrip, Carmode continued. “The creation and display of these artifacts allow students opportunities for engagement, revision and feedback, all hallmarks of quality learning design,” she said. 

For sixth grade teacher Krissey Whitlock, her favorite aspect about signing up her class is that the internal websites can be used to track progress during student-led parent-teacher conferences. “Students will be able to take ownership of their own growth much faster,” she said. Artifacts uploaded, guided by instructors, will include a reflection piece either written out, as an infographic, or in video format. 

Carmode recently became the first Google for Education Certified Trainer in Poplar Bluff among only a few in the region, she reported. With a tenure that spans over two decades in public education, Carmode earned her master’s degree in technology and education from the University of Missouri at Columbia. 

She is the “real deal” and an asset to the entire district, according to Middle School Principal Dr. Brad Ownings, who led the effort to evolve his librarian post to meet the needs of Generation Z. “There are tons of articles about how librarians have turned into curators of books, and we need to move on to digital literacy, technology integration and makerspaces,” Owings stated. 


Cutline: Media Specialist Michele Carmode helps a group of students create eBinder templates to collect educational artifact submissions on Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the Middle School Media Center.

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