Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Book proposal revised

A good productive day or more with my co-author on our book proposal. We have a pretty good outline. Now we need to find the right publisher. Just a short summary of our book:
This book is a guide for all those who seek to make wise decisions about electronic portfolios. We seek to help teachers, administrators, policymakers, software designers— recognize their assumptions about the nature of portfolios, consider the implications of their portfolio decisions, and confront the dilemmas associated with their choices about portfolio purpose, audience, technology, and the use of the device for high-stakes assessment. This book will look at how these new technologies and accountability mandates have impacted the portfolio development process.

Electronic portfolios are now riding a wave of popularity, bringing both exciting and disturbing changes to the process. These emerging technologies show signs of changing the very nature of the portfolio concept. The commercial marketplace has produced technological products that are being sold to administrators based on institutions’ short-term accountability mandates, often without regard to the potential to support the lifelong learning needs of students. Will learners experience the power of the portfolio process as a learning tool, or will the institutional adoption of electronic portfolios to meet high stakes accountability mandates supplant the needs of learners? Will we lose the power of the portfolio as a story of learning to the use of the portfolio as a way to check off a long list of standards? Or will the power of the technology help learners tell the story of their learning in ways not possible on paper?

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