Portfolio School


Portfolio School actively engages students in intellectual inquiry and creative design. Immersed in collaborative, interdisciplinary project-based learning, high quality academics, and thoughtful self-reflection, Portfolio students delve into the sciences and humanities, literature and math, technology and the arts, not just as memorizers, but as thinkers and creators.

In Portfolio School’s website, there is a Project-based Learning video which reminds me of the two papers I read before: Brown, A. L., & Campione, J. C. (1996). Psychological theory and the design of innovative learning environments: On procedures, principles, and systems and

Bruckman, A. (2000). Situated Support for Learning: Storm’s Weekend with Rachael

I am especially fascinated by the magic happened over the weekend in MOOSE. Reading Bruckman’s 2000 paper is like reading a beautiful story. Isn’t Storm and Rachel lucky to meet each other? The project they built are fun and the description they write are amazing. I have read some research about how online Massive Player Game (Minecraft, Quest Atlantis) can be used for learning. But none of the paper touched me so deeply as this one. 

After I finish reading the paper, I realize that it is too good to be replicated 100%, which is mentioned by the author too. This paper does not intend to be something that can be generalizable but is a in depth record of a unique case. In reality, it is pretty be hard to find a person “with whom the learner has a positive personal relationship, ubiquitously available, richly connected to other sources of support, and richly connected to everyday activities.” 

However, this paper still has generalizable parts that can be taken away and be useful in many settings.

Above all, Storm’s multiple sources of learning is enlightening. In the paper, Storm learned from the system’s tutorial, her own trail and error, other’s project, and support from peers. In 2017, we should effectively utilize different learning source. 

Secondly, when designing learning systems, we should try to adopt the “HTML leaning model on WWW” by making the source of knowledge sound friendly, ubiquitously available, richly connected to other sources of support, and richly connected to routine activities.


I think great teachers, researchers, together with the development of technology can help us design better learning communities, which can probably one-day transform education drastically (like what MOOC is trying to do).

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