Thursday, January 08, 2009

ePortfolios and Web 2.0

I'm sitting in the OSPI conference (state of Washington's Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, not the Open Source Portfolio Initiative) at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, in a session on "School 2.0: Leading, learning and living in a flat world." The content is not new (to me) but it seems to be new to a lot of the participants. This is a conference for all of the teachers in the state. In this session, due to the weather in the Northwest (floods and avalanches), one of the presenters was stuck in a hotel about 90 miles away, but participating on Skype and using a presentation on GoogleDocs. I know, I've used Skype for years and have blogged about some of my online conferences (mostly from my home, where I have great connection speed). The presenters at the session have struggled with low bandwidth in the convention center. This session was a real-world example of the challenges of using Web 2.0 in the classroom: adequate bandwidth for sharing video. I know why in my presentations I only show videos that I have stored on my own hard drive.

I am hoping that Obama's proposal to upgrade schools for the information age will include not only more hardware and increased bandwidth, but also professional development for teachers. I am preparing for an ISTE Webinar on February 18, entitled "ePortfolios and Web 2.0" with this description:
This webinar will focus on using Web 2.0 tools, freely available on the Internet, to create student-centered electronic portfolios. Learn how the use of a portfolio can be a powerful tool to support both learning and assessment, making learning visible across the curriculum. We will look at how to use blogs, wikis and online productivity tools to create interactive portfolios.

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