Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Dual Language Presentation

Today, I did a presentation as part of a panel on Electronic/Digital Portfolios in Latin America. I prepared the presentation in English. Thanks to Dra. María Elena Chan Núñez of Universidad de Guadalajara, the presentation was translated into Spanish. In Zoom, I presented in English and listened to the English translation of the other two presentations in Spanish. 

It was my first ePortfolio presentation since the pandemic began. I was beginning to wonder if the interest in ePortfolios was killed by the virus and remote learning! One of my regular newsletters, the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), published this 57th Occasional Paper, which discusses "the history, use, and attributes of high-impact ePortfolio practice at IUPUI, as well as the development of an ePortfolio taxonomy, and concludes with a case study from its Philanthropic Studies B.A. program." They also referenced a few new ePortfolio books for higher educators that are great contributions to the field:

  • Eynon, B., & Gambino, L. (2017). High-impact ePortfolio practice: A catalyst for student, faculty, and institutional learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC. 

  • Eynon, B., & Gambino, L. (2018). Catalyst in action: Case studies of high-impact ePortfolio practice. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.

  • Yancey, K.B., ed. (2019). ePortfolio-as-curriculum: Diverse models and practices. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Classic Google Sites going away (BOO!)

My Problem: I have been wrestling with my Classic Google Sites problem, along with my HTML editing-on-my-Mac problem (ever since my Dreamweaver software was no longer compatible with my version of MacOS... and then the open-source web page editor Compozer was discontinued). I have reached a point where I have a lot of decisions to make about my web presence, especially since I am officially retired. I want to continue making these resources available, but the WWW doesn't stand still and I'm not sure I have the energy to keep up. I am still maintaining my domain names and traditional web hosting platform, but it is becoming more difficult to balance the costs and benefits.

I am very irritated with Google, for abandoning (especially) many educational users. A major problem with electronic portfolios is the durability of platforms... forget about "ePortfolios for life" unless it is in raw HTML, which doesn't work for 99% of users. In my "online portfolio adventure" ( I started creating my online portfolio in 2004, and most of those versions are obsolete (either the service is shut down or I am unable to edit). There are some exceptions, but now my favorite, classic Google Sites, is going away.

I will work on converting some of my most important sites, and will need to make some decisions about my online strategy. If I were to continue my research, I think I would recommend a blogging platform (Blogger or WordPress/EduBlog) to manage "reflective journal" ePortfolios, recognizing that the Showcase ePortfolio is only temporary. One advantage of the open-source Mahara platform is that they incorporate the journal and the showcase in one tool... the disadvantage is the need for a server (or online service).

Questions I Have: Is there an "easy" way to convert Classic Google Sites and capture/maintain the navigation panes? I read that the new Sites does not convert tables. When Google "archives" my sites to my Google Drive in 2022, in what format will they be save? Raw HTML? Will the navigation structure be saved? Is there a third-party tool that will be more helpful than Google's built-in transition tool? I have a lot more questions, but I have just started my research.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Two computers, four decades in between!

Apple ][MacBook Pro

Forty years ago this week in 1981, I bought my first personal computer (an Apple ][, the motherboard now converted into a clock). Today, I use a year-old MacBook Pro (16 GB RAM, 1TB SSD). Over these four decades, I have witnessed major changes in personal computing: my first major learning experience was teaching myself VisiCalc which inspired my 1991 dissertation research on adult self-directed learning and Personal Computer competency. From my eight years in the Fairbanks School District, to the decade at the University of Alaska Anchorage, to my four years on a federal grant helping teacher educators implement electronic portfolios, and my research with high school students, I have witnessed massive change and participated in my own limited way.

From computer hardware/software, including Smartphones, to the Internet, to teaching/learning strategies, the last 40 years have had a profound impact on our personal and professional lives. During the last year, because of the pandemic, I celebrated Holiday meals with family on Zoom, witnessed my school-age grandchildren learning online with laptops (and a Chromebook) and both my adult granddaughters working with online universities to earn teaching credentials. Marking this 40th anniversary of my personal involvement in the information revolution has given me an opportunity to reflect on the larger societal changes in teaching/learning and everyday life. (My iPhone never leaves my side!)
Every ten years I have marked major changes in both my personal and professional life. What will the next ten years bring? Will my optimistic view prevail? Will we be able to address the dark side of the Web? Of AI? I have chosen to see the positive changes, but recognize the negative impacts as well. I pray that the common good succeeds.

Monday, September 02, 2019

Develop an ePortfolio System?

I received the following inquiry:
My wife and I homeschool our children and participate in a local school system and we're surprised to find that with the bit of research we've done, there seems to still no great tool for creating and managing eportfolios for our children! I ran across your website while doing some research and I'm wondering if you think differently? Is there a clear "winner" or great tool for keeping an electronic record of our kids' work that I'm just not seeing?I'm a software developer by day, so I'm tempted to build something myself!
My response:

Since I started studying ePortfolios in education in 1991, I have seen a whole variety of ePortfolio systems developed. Most of these systems were developed for higher education to address the requirements of Teacher Education accreditation, as well as High Impact Practices in Undergraduate Education. Some examples: Pebble Pad (developed in the U.K.), LiveText, Taskstream, and Tk20 which merged to become Watermark, and IMHO the most successful HiEd tool (today) is Digication. There is a robust open source ePortfolio system developed in New Zealand called Mahara. It was developed for both K-12 and higher education. Scholastic developed an ePortfolio system, based on their Timeline product. Others developed early versions of ePortfolios using HyperCard/HyperStudio (in the 90s, before Internet-based tools). Here is a page I published in 2012 that discusses the different categories of ePortfolio tools:

In the K-12 space, Seesaw seems to dominate the elementary school market. The schools that I worked with mostly use "common tools" to develop ePortfolios, especially blogging platforms that allow adding pages for showcasing work (Blogger, WordPress) and GSuite tools (formerly Google Apps): Google Docs/Sheets/Slides and Google Sites to organize a showcase portfolio. There are commercial add-ons to Google Apps that give teachers a dashboard to access and manage documents students include in their portfolios (i.e. Hapara). I could probably develop an ePortfolio using the Microsoft suite, but haven't had the need. In the last 15 years, I explored the use of a variety of tools to develop my own showcase portfolio using the same content: (you will notice that many of those systems are no longer available).

In my opinion, an ePortfolio should have maximum opportunity for customization and personalization. I have seen highly structured systems fail because they usually reflect the programmer's conception of what a portfolio is, rather than the learner's. It happened to the systems adopted by some of the states (which have been discontinued, such as Rhode Island, British Columbia).

There are a variety of processes that need to be incorporated into a portfolio system: 
- Purpose: what are your goals... what are you trying to achieve with an ePortfolio?
- Collection: developing and maintaining a digital archive of a student's work
- Reflection: reviewing and reflection at several levels - on individual pieces of work in a working portfolio (perfect for a blog), and on a collection of work, in a showcase portfolio (best showcased in a series of hyperlinked pages).
- Selection: Identifying specific pieces of work that demonstrate the outcomes/goals/standards that are being showcased in a portfolio
- Direction:  a form of reflection that allows learners to set learning goals, based on prior work
- Presentation: a showcase at the end of a term
- Feedback (ongoing) and/or Evaluation (end of term)

This page contains several versions of an article that I published that discusses how to balance the two major purposes for portfolios:
The working portfolio (sometimes called the workspace) allows a learner and teacher to facilitate day-to-day learning and collection of work - sort of like an ongoing learning record over time; and the showcase portfolio, which provides a snapshot of highlights of work at a particular point in time (end of term?). I also discuss three levels of portfolio development:
1. Collection/organization of digital work
2, Workspace portfolio
3. Showcase portfolio

The challenge in developing a single ePortfolio system is that learners have a wide level of technology skills, and what works with middle/high schoolers, probably won't work with students in early grades (and vice versa). I really haven't found a system that works across the K-12 system and into adulthood. The dream of a single ePortfolio for life is really too impractical. ePortfolios have become silos, created at a specific educational level and not continued after the student leaves. In the late 90s I experimented with Adobe Acrobat (and I'm still using it today for publishing artifacts), In 2004, I focused more on Internet-based tools. More recently, I have started to explore elements of social networking tools. Facebook has many elements that could be part of an ePortfolio system, including Timeline, Life Events, collection of videos, images. But the showcase really isn't there... an example of a tool developed for a different purpose. I did a TEDx Talk in 2010 at an International School in India that discussed "Blurring the Boundaries between ePortfolios and Social Networking":

In today's technology environment, the tools need to be accessible on a variety of mobile devices. I put together a diagram and paper asking, "Is the future of ePortfolios in your pocket?"
I call Reflection the "heart and soul" of an ePortfolio, and published this site:

I recommend you look at Mahara as an open-source system developed for education, because it meets a variety of my requirements (a blog/journal organized chronologically, a showcase tool or individual pages, and groups for collaborative learning, etc.). My favorite personal portfolio is the old Google Sites (haven't taken the time to convert to the new Sites). 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Interview from Conference in 2018

Part of interview at ATS2020 Conference in Brussels, February 2, 2018.
Briefly answering three questions:
  1. You have previously commented "Testing gives you a snapshot, portfolios give you a movie." Would you mind expanding what you meant by this?
  2. How might the use of ePortfolios provide opportunities to report progress on student learning or parents, other teachers, and students?
  3. What are the possible benefits for schools in articulating a vision statement for why they are using ePortfolios?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Pakistan presentation Day 2

This is my second presentation at the NUML faculty workshop.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Electronic Portfolios in Pakistan

I just finished the first of two electronic portfolio presentations for a group of educators at National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad, Pakistan. We used Skype for Business for my presentation, where I shared my screen with the audience. Here is my presentation, with links to the supporting website:

Intro pakistan2018 from Helen Barrett

Twitter comments :
  • @helenberrett "the grandmother" of @eportfolios live for Pakistan sessions #blteae project
  • Interested in eportfolios? then follow Helen Barrett here on twitter where her handle, appropriately enough is @eportfolios !
  • educational portfolio captures intellectual capital - it gathers over time what we have achieved, says Helen Barrett @eportfolios during our first live session on #eportfolios in Pakistan #bltpakistan
  • here is what students should consider in preparing their ePortfolios, What? so what? now what? says Helen Barrett @eportfolios  #eportfolios in Pakistan #bltpakistan
  • how do you ensure there is quality in an #eportfolios ? same as in assessing students work says Helen Barrett @eportfolios during our session on #eportfolios in Pakistan #bltpakistan
  • How to select relevant resources for @eportfolios? Read more  in   #blteae
  • multiple purposes for @eportfolios showcase, assessment and learning says Helen Barrett during her session on #eportfolios in Pakistan #bltpakistan
  • look at out attentive audience during @eportfolios presentation  #eportfolios in Pakistan #bltpakistan
  • Life long learning, meaning, critical reflection: "if student don't see it, it will be hard to be a reflective learner". @eportfolios
  • 'Portfolio is a laboratory where students construct meaning from their accumulated experiences' says Helen @eportfolios  #eportfolio #bltpakistan
  • Helen Barrett @eportfolios says eportfolios should allow choice and voice during her session on #eportfolios in Pakistan #bltpakistan
  • Voice in the portfolio: individual identity to make meaning. A digital story about deep learning @eportfolios #blteaepakistan
  • Great resource on #eportfolios mentioned by Helen @eportfolios just now …  #bltpakistan
  • developing an eportfolio is both a process and a product says Helen @eportfolios #eportfolios #bltpakistan
  • Helen @eportfolios talking about assessment and the difference between assessment for continuous improvement vs assessment for accountability #eportfolios #bltpakistan
  • use portfolios to document the mastery of students says Helen Barrett @eportfolios  #eportfolios in Pakistan #bltpakistan
  • Discovering @padlet as eportoflio tool?  #bltpakistan @BLTeae_  Discussion with @eportfolios

Thursday, May 03, 2018

GSuite & ePortfolios

I was recently asked: "What are your thoughts about using a Google Site (for education) as a way to keep a “running record” or a living resume for students within the public school system?" Here is my response:

For the last ten+ years, I have been an advocate for using Google Apps for Education (or GSuite as it is now called) to develop and maintain student ePortfolios. I have conducted hands-on workshops to support this process. For example: (A university in Mexico using ePortfolios to assess English Language skills in lieu of the TESOL) (an online course I developed for K-12 teachers to use Google tools for ePortfolios) (a generic resource site on using a variety of Google tools)

The literature on portfolio development identifies these portfolio processes: Collection, Selection, Reflection, Direction (Goal Setting), Presentation and Feedback/Assessment. Based of that literature, and my experience with technology, I have identified three levels of ePortfolio development, as articulated in these sites:
  • Level 1: Storage (Collection) using Google Drive (storing documents created with any one of the tools: Docs, Sheets, Slides or videos stored in Drive)
  • Level 2: Reflective Journal (Reflection/Direction) with a blogging tool such as Blogger (an ongoing learning journal used to reflect on growth over time, organized in chronological order)
  • Level 3: Showcase (Selection/Presentation) in Google Sites (a thematically-organized showcase of the highlights of a learners’ achievements)
There is also a fourth level (Feedback at Level 2 or Formative/Summative Assessment at Level 3) that involves teachers. 
NOTE: there is not one showcase, but really multiple showcases customized for different purposes and audiences: college application, employment, scholarships, high school graduation, etc. Here is a diagram that was part of research projects in the U.K.:

These processes can also be accomplished with other tools, such as Microsoft Office 365, or WordPress, or the Mahara open source ePortfolio system, developed by the Ministry of Education in New Zealand. I prefer GSuite because it is free to education, and has most of the tools needed for developing the artifacts (individual pieces of work) that are used to construct an online portfolio.

I recently presented a keynote address to a group of educators in Europe who conducted a research project across 11 European countries, on the implementation of ePortfolios to demonstrate what they called “transversal” skills (we call them 21st Century Skills) for middle school students:
Notice the title of my presentation: Know Thyself. For me, and the research that I have conducted over the last 25 years, the heart and soul of the portfolio process is Reflection, and what learners realize about themselves as they reflect on their growth over time. My presentations also emphasize how ePortfolios support these lifelong learning skills: 

About 7 or 8 years ago, I conducted a series of online courses that I called the REAL* ePortfolio Academy: *Reflection, Engagement, Assessment for Learning. I provided the Google Apps version of the course above). I also believe that, with most middle/high school and college students having super computers in their pockets, incorporating the use of mobile apps and tools are an important part of the process:

Here is a paper I wrote that was published by the British Columbia Ministry of Education on Balancing the Two Faces of ePortfolios: (notice the translation of the diagram into multiple languages, shared with me by educators from around the world.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Junior Cycle for Teachers (Ireland) Keynote Address

This was the second stop on my European trip. After a meeting with the members of the Junior Cycle for Teachers team, I modified my keynote from the Brussels conference to include elements of the ePortfolio planning process.

Friday, February 02, 2018

ATS2020 Final Conference in Brussels

This was the first stop on my European trip, to provide the keynote address to the Final Conference of the ATS2020 project, an international classroom pilot project involving 10 European countries, 250 schools, 1,000 teacher, and 10,000 students (aged 10 to 15 years) during the school year 2016-17. Below are some of the comments on Twitter.
  • It's a huge pleasure to listen to Hellen Barret the Godmother of eportfolio.
  • Delighted to hear Dr Helen Barrett speak of digital stories and the student voice in learning and the potential of ePortfolios to share and document these stories #ATS2020finalconference #ATS2020
  • Some lovely.. and powerful examples of using non-text ways of presenting work in ePortfolios by Helen Barrett.. Audio, image, video.. #ATS2020 We strongly encourage this at @MarinoInstitute
  • Reflective #learning is beautiful - and it is the first step on the path to #lifelonglearning #selfawareness @ats2020project #ats2020 @eportfolios
  • Working with ‪#ePortfolio - looking into cognitive processes Best presentation for ‪#ePortfolioNerds like me, ‪@AndreaGhoneim and the ‪#ATS2020 team! Hehe! ‪#ATS2020finalconference ‪#helenbarrett ‪@eportfolios‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • Telling a story means finding yourself. This is the power of
  • ‪#storytelling.    ‬
  • Such a moving story by Helen's daughter 
  • An #ePortfolio is not a folder you hold. It is something you work with. It is a mindset. It is storytelling.
  • #ATS2020 #ATS2020finalconference #edtech #erasmusplus
  • .@eportfolios: "The learning to learn" portfolio approach has been developed before the "e" in #ePortfolio. It's all about a pedagogical basis, before thinking about #edtech. #ATS2020 #ATS2020finalconference #edtech

Thursday, January 26, 2017

ePortfolio Hub from Ireland

eportfoliohub logo
I just received notice today about a new website in Ireland, which is part of a national program in ePortfolio development in that country.  According to their announcement:
As part of a National-Forum funded project, Dublin Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Tallaght, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Hibernia College are delighted to launch the ePortfolio Hub website, which offers a one-stop-shop for anyone interested in incorporating ePortfolios into their teaching or creating their own ePortfolio, including how-tos, templates, guides, presentations, videos and research findings. 
I participated in a conference last March in Dublin, and I recognize a lot of ideas from my keynote address, which I organized around these three questions:
The website contains a lot of videos and resources to either create a personal portfolio, or incorporate an ePortfolio into an academic program. 
The largest section of the website focuses on the How of creating ePortfolios, focusing on four steps (for individuals) or three steps (for programs):
The Plan section has great resources that provide checklists and resources that are similar to the Planning resource that I have incorporated into my online course. The Reflect section has an insightful video on Reflective Writing, and a very interesting page on Reflective Practice using Barbara Bassot’s ‘Metaphorical Mirrors’. The Present section includes videos on developing digital identity. The Assess section (for programs) includes a variety of sample rubrics for evaluating ePortfolios. There are also sample portfolios, samples of reflective writing, description of the variety of online tools available, and video tutorials for developing an ePortfolio using WordPress.

Overall, this is a great resource for higher education, with a lot of local videos from students and faculty to support the elements of ePortfolio development. I am impressed and proud to have been a small part of the process, beginning with the conference last March.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Current research on ePortfolios in schools

I received the following inquiry from a K-12 teacher:
I came across your work on portfolios, particularly using Google apps, and I was just wondering how recent your research is.  Specifically here: We are a school district looking to incorporate portfolios with our students (currently using what you would call “Tier 1”).
My response:

Thanks for your inquiry. You didn’t mention what grade level you want to implement ePortfolios. I find that implementation with students younger than 3rd grade becomes a teacher-centered activity, and thus less likely to be sustainable. As long as students are responsible for the implementation, then the workload on teachers is lower.

Regarding my research on portfolio development processes (collection, selection, reflection, direction, presentation, evaluation), the underlying principles and philosophies have not markedly changed since the early 1990s. What has changed are the technologies that have been used to implement portfolios, from proprietary ePortfolio systems (from late 1990s) to so-called Web 2.0 tools, such as blogs (from early 2000s) or Google Apps (from 2008). As with most technologies, the field is always changing, especially with the add-on tools to Google Apps such as Teacher Dashboard (Hapara) or Google’s own Classroom. Most recently there have been ePortfolio tools developed for K-12 tools, such as Seesaw, although I have not used that one yet (looks like an elementary tool).

I have posted a web page that contains a summary of various “free” tools for ePortfolios:

I am a believer in high school students’ ownership of their own sites (or at least in a format that can be easily transferred to their own account after graduation). I found a blog entry recently that agrees with this belief:

You mentioned Google Apps, so I assume you are a Google Apps for Education school. If so, you have access to Google Sites, which is a fairly effective showcase portfolio tool. Google Apps also includes adequate storage (Drive) for various type of documents, including video and audio.  Google’s blog is Blogger, where students can keep track of their reflections, but they can also use the Announcements Page Type in Sites. Your Google Site Administrator can transfer all student files to their own Gmail account after graduation.

I also like WordPress as a platform for reflective portfolios, and through an EduBlogs paid account, you can support a full platform that supports video (EduBlogs uses the WordPress software). A blog can be transferred to an XML file that can be transferred to another blog platform that a student owns.

You found my free self-paced online courses on developing ePortfolios (designed for K-12 teachers): (generic online tools) (Google Apps)

I have several Sites that discuss developing ePortfolios with these tools: (Google Apps) (WordPress)

I also recognize the incorporation of mobile devices into the ePortfolio process:

I follow a few schools that I think are implementing ePortfolios at the “cutting edge.” My favorite includes the High Tech High schools in the San Diego area. (some schools use Google Sites, others have students create their own websites using their school web server). From my visit to their schools, I found that the portfolio process is infused throughout the curriculum (and the students I talked with LOVED their DPs—digital portfolios). They use their portfolios to support three Presentations of Learning a year (PoLs) and student-led conferences.

If you are looking at elementary schools, I follow what is happening at a group of K-8 schools on Auckland, New Zealand. Their students use Blogger and teachers use Hapara to manage student accounts. They also research their outcomes and you can see their latest results here:
In these schools, younger students use iPad apps to document their reading and writing through screen recording technologies (i.e., Explain Everything).

My Level 1 portfolios are spaces where students can store their work online, and share documents or folders with teachers and fellow students.
My Level 2 portfolios are spaces where students can reflect on their work on a regular basis, organized chronologically (great use for a blog).
My Level 3 portfolios are showcases of student work, organized thematically, where students can comment on their achievement around specific outcomes, goals or standards (the High Tech High model).
There is another level incorporated in many of the propriety tools, that allows teachers/schools/districts to collect evaluation data based on rubrics and evaluation of student work. I call that an institution-centered Assessment Management System (not a student-centered ePortfolio).

I hope this answers some of your questions about my current research. I will be updating these online course sites for K-12 schools over the next year, and will be offering a new facilitated course some time in the near future.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blogging results from New Zealand schools

Interesting blog post from Dorothy Burt, Point England School, Auckland, New Zealand. My daughter Erin and I visited this school five years ago and I have been following their student blogging program as an example of online learning journals (working portfolio). Nice to see writing outcomes (not the first report of this type). As she says, "...a generation of young people have been through our schools knowing that sharing your learning publicly is an important part of the learning process."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ITB Teleconference Recording

I provided an online presentation for ITB (Ireland) on June 14, 2016.
The link to the recording of the session is here: (flash plugin is required)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

ePortfolios in Ireland - Day 2 workshop

On the second day of the ePortfolios in Ireland conference, I led a workshop on Reflection as part of the theme for the second day, Process.

Monday, March 21, 2016

ePortfolios in Ireland -Day 1 Keynote

 I am in Dublin, Ireland, providing the keynote address for a national conference sponsored by the Dublin Institute of Technology. Here are my slides.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fresno State University Keynote & Session

I had the privilege to provide the keynote address at a faculty development workshop at Fresno State University on August 20:

My colleague and fellow ADE Otto Benavides, took this photo where I am showing the Google Site that I set up for the workshop:
 After the keynote address, I provided one of my favorite presentations on digital storytelling and reflection (Know Thyself):

I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet new and old friends, and to continue to share my knowledge and passions for ePortfolios, reflection, and digital storytelling.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pathbrite ePortfolio Tool

As part of my preparation for the keynote address that I am providing to faculty at Fresno State University, I created the 42nd version of my online portfolio using Pathbrite.

Here are my impressions of this free tool (for students), which has been adopted by Fresno State. I understand that there is a fee for institutions to gain access to all of the integration and assessment tools.
  • Free accounts with 2 GB storage limit, and links to most types of uploadable files as well as online sources - Examples of file types: Image, Text, Video, Documents, Web Link; Import Files from external services: YouTube Videos, Vimeo Videos, Google Drive Files, Facebook Photos, LinkedIn Recommendation, Khan Academy Badges, Parchment Transcripts, Credly Badges.
  • Multiple showcase portfolios can be created using uploaded content.
  • Relatively easy to use - there is an intuitive interface for both editing Style & Settings, and Adding Work.
  • Publishing online - the system creates a URL for each showcase portfolio, although it does not appear that the user has any control over how each view is named (the "YouTube/GoogleDocs" model of assigning file names)
  • Single screen view - there is only one web page for each portfolio, although Categories of entries can be used to create sub-views of content
  • Each artifact has a title and "Story behind this Work" which can be used to provide a description/brief reflection.
  • Student and Faculty access Pathbrite from inside their Blackboard accounts, and faculty can set up course portfolios that provide templates for students
  • The system has an assessment system where faculty can see which students have completed specific item in the assigned portfolios, and assign points. Reports can be generated, but I did not see this feature (no access to their Blackboard)
  • The system is designed to work with tablet browsers (although I set up my portfolio using my MacBook laptop).
My overall impression: I can see some of the advantages, and if I were a faculty member, I would appreciate the back end (assigned course portfolios, assessment system for collecting and aggregating data). I understand that this system would be available to students after they graduate, and students can create any number of showcase portfolios for a variety of audiences, including potential employers. The system has only been available for the last two years, and has an impressive number of institutions and users who have independently set up accounts. I am also impressed with the integration of a variety on online sources for adding existing content. The ability to work with mobile browsers (but no specific app) makes it more compatible with the growing use of mobile devices in K-12 and Higher Education.

Some of the disadvantages I saw from my brief experience with the Portfolio tool: I only tried the 2-across Grid Layout, not having time to figure out how to use the other layouts provided (Patchwork, Bricks, Pyramid), so it was a pretty boring layout visually. The single page approach makes it easy to navigate, but very limiting in terms of creativity. I did find the Categories helped in creating partial views of the content, and a single artifact can be easily assigned to multiple Categories. To add reflection to the portfolio required either creating a separate text box, using the limited caption, or linking to a blog, as I did to this blog.

I was asked which of the 42 tools I liked the best. For myself, I still like my updated Google Sites portfolio, although I have seen great things done with WordPress and its K-12 versions (EduBlogs, Kidblog). I can see some advantages of Pathbrite in the institutional environment. I just wish it had more flexibility in presentation.

Sunday, March 22, 2015


I'm attending the CUE 2015 conference in Palm Springs, and these are the highlights for me:
  • Skitch app for annotating images uploading to Google Drive & lots of apps
  • Shadow Puppets EDU for creating narrated slide shows (with lots of images available from web)
  • Glogster for creating posters 
  • Google Storybuilder - creates a story in Google Docs (with characters "speaking")
  • Vine for iPad
  • Canva - design app for iPad
  • Thinglink - to annotate images or movies:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hamilton, NZ Keynote

I am in Hamilton, New Zealand, presenting the keynote address at WCELfest2015. These are a great group of educators and it has been fun to share my ideas and see what they are doing with both ePortfolios and digital storytelling. Here are my slides:

It is fun to follow my Twitter feed of comments. Here is a sample and a few images:
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan
    encouraging students to be creative taking on a persona and telling stories #wcelfest
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 36m36 minutes ago
    Helen Barrett @eportfolios reflecting on the road taken. Her journey of choices in a digital story #WCELfest
  • Ursula ‏@UrsulaEdg 38m38 minutes ago
    @eportfolios great keynote #wcelfest thank you! #storytelling #elearning
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 40m40 minutes ago Hamilton City, New Zealand … my first attempt at a digital story #wcelfest #eportfolios @eportfolios thank you
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 45m45 minutes ago
    The challenge what story will we tell #wcelfest
  • Kristina DC Hoeppner ‏@anitsirk 45m45 minutes ago
    #wcelfest helen barrett: reflections & relationships are the heart & soul of an ePortfolio and not the technology.
  • Teresa Gibbison ‏@gibbisons 46m46 minutes ago
        @eportfolios with an important reminder #wcelfest
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 46m46 minutes ago
    The heart and soul of a portfolio is the relationships, the conversations, the interactions #WCELfest @eportfolios
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 48m48 minutes ago
    Range of tools for capturing, reflecting, sharing, learning. We are spoiled for choice #WCELfest
  • Noeline Wright ‏@enrite 49m49 minutes ago
    @easegill @difo38 #wcelfest yes- article still being cited 4 yrs later. Must have been one of first in education
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 50m50 minutes ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Eportfolios or Mportfolios - capturing the learning moment using mobile devices. So powerful #eportfolios #wcelfest
  • Teresa Gibbison ‏@gibbisons 50m50 minutes ago
        @eportfolios mPortfolios site … #wcelfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 50m50 minutes ago
    The essence of reflection: here's what, so what, now what? #WCELfest
  • Stephen Harlow ‏@stephenharlow 51m51 minutes ago
    .@eportfolios remembering meeting @arrowbound & Janice McDrury, authors of Learning through #Storytelling: … #wcelfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 52m52 minutes ago
    mPortfolios - reflecting in the moment #WCELfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 52m52 minutes ago
    Mobile the future of eportfolio capturing the moment of learning #wcelfest
  • K Gilliver-Brown ‏@kgilliver_brown 53m53 minutes ago
    #wcelfest Dr. Helen Barrett: Coming to the realisation that the journey is as important as the destination.
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 53m53 minutes ago
    “@robeanne Process is more important than the output, that is where the learning is #wcelfest” #waitalk
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 54m54 minutes ago
    The process is much more important than the product. #learning #WCELfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 54m54 minutes ago
    #WCELfest portfolios & stories help us to recognise impt themes & patterns, informing decisions
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 54m54 minutes ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Who learns more in the classroom? The teacher or the students? #wcelfest #eportfolios
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 55m55 minutes ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Process is more important than the output, that is where the learning is #wcelfest
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 56m56 minutes ago
    'Making the focus of my portfolio the reality of my existence' Finding purpose in life #WCELfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 56m56 minutes ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    #wcelfest our students need to know why and how they are learning and where they are going. #eportfolios
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 58m58 minutes ago
    Stories, ours and others, shape our memories #digitalstorytelling #WCELfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 58m58 minutes ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Whole idea of learning through story telling is very powerful and exciting #digitalstorytelling #eportfolios #wcelfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 59m59 minutes ago
    Reflection how we learn, hold on to our stories, giving us our sense of self #wcelfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 59m59 minutes ago
    #wcelfest Telling stories is a way to deeper learning
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 1h1 hour ago
    Portfolios should be persuasive #ePortfolios #WCELfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Experiential learning and portfolios. Learning from reflecting on experiences #eportfolios #wcelfest
  • Teresa Gibbison ‏@gibbisons 1h1 hour ago
        “@traceymorgan: @gibbisons capturing the moments #wcelfest ” love this pic!
  • Teresa Gibbison ‏@gibbisons 1h1 hour ago
    @eportfolios Reflection4Learning Google Site … #wcelfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 1h1 hour ago
    @gibbisons capturing the moments #wcelfest
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 1h1 hour ago
    Getting a shout out at #WCELfest is @cogdog and his elephant thanks to @eportfolios
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Digital stories to promote memory recall for Alzheimer sufferers #wcelfest #eportfolios
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 1h1 hour ago
    Eportfolios as part of your digital identity. What do you find when you Google yourself? #WCELfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 1h1 hour ago
    wcelfest what starts as well-being evolves into managing self and then to acting autonomously
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Portfolios have to be formative not summative or it won't be student ownership or investment #wcelfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Fascinating cultural study of parents who upload pictures of children on social media #eportfolios #lifelonglearning #wcelfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 1h1 hour ago
    Scrapbooks of life experience activities of eportfolio #wcelfest
  • Teresa Gibbison ‏@gibbisons 1h1 hour ago
     @eportfolios URL #jisc Effective Practice with ePortfolios … #wcelfest
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 1h1 hour ago
    Students need continuous personal development and we must encourage and enable that. Universities are learning institutions #WCELfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Eportfolios not just a storage space. A place for learners to find their voice #eportfolios #wcelfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 1h1 hour ago
    Dialogue at the centre conversation of eportfolio #wcelfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Eportfolios are laboratories where learners construct meaning #wcelfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 1h1 hour ago
    #wcelfest [people] who manage themselves are enterprising, resourceful, reliable, and resilient ... NZC 2007 …
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 1h1 hour ago
    “@difo38 And of course self management is a key competency in the nz curriculum #wcelfest” And should be a graduate attribute #waitalk
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 1h1 hour ago
    Students constructing meaning #wcelfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Questions for forming personal growth portfolio to help recognise learningfrom Peter Drucker #eportfolio #wcelfest
  • Teresa Gibbison ‏@gibbisons 1h1 hour ago
        @eportfolios 'Know Thyself" #wcelfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 1h1 hour ago
    Know thyself, life long learning, the magic of reflection via the portfolio #wcelfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    The starting point has to be the learner building self awareness and understanding #eportfolios #wcelfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 1h1 hour ago
    And of course self management is a key competency in the nz curriculum #wcelfest
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 1h1 hour ago
    Eportfolios are like the Blind Men and the Elephant. Stand back and understand the bigger picture of eportfolios #WCELfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 1h1 hour ago
    Showcase, assestment, development, personal ownership #folio #wcelfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 1h1 hour ago
    Why? Depends on which part of the elephant we perceive #wcelfest Fundamentally about student choice & voice
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Eportfolios for showcase, assessment and reflection. It is all that things #wcelfest just like the blind men and the elephant
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 1h1 hour ago
    Self, artifacts& reflection - digital storytelling and eportfolios with @eportfolios Helen Barrett #wcelfest
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 1h1 hour ago
    “@difo38 Making thinking visible, archive of evidence, multi-purpose, multi-tools #wcelfest” The multiple facets of eportfolios
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Hear the learner's voice through digital stories in eportfolios #digitalstorytelling #eportfolios #wcelfest
  • Stephen Harlow ‏@stephenharlow 1h1 hour ago
    "#ePortfolios make thinking visible" @eportfolios @visiblelearning #wcelfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 1h1 hour ago
    Hearing the learrners voice #wcelfest
  • Dianne Forbes ‏@difo38 1h1 hour ago
    Making thinking visible, archive of evidence, multi-purpose, multi-tools #wcelfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 1h1 hour ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Eportfolios and digital story telling go hand in hand. Possibilities for deep learning #eportfolios #wcelfest
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 1h1 hour ago
        Dr Helen Barrett delivering the #WCELfest keynote at Waikato University #WaiEvents
  • mel ‏@melchivers 2h2 hours ago
    Eportfolio as both a workspace and a showcase. #WCELfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 2h2 hours ago
    Collecting of artifacts, leonardo, making Thinking visible #wcelfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 2h2 hours ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Portfolios make learning visible #wcelfest #eportfolios #davinci
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 2h2 hours ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    A portfolio has a different meaning for every walk of life #wcelfest what does it mean to you?
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 2h2 hours ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Portfolios for lifelong learning for identity development #WCELFEST
  • Nigel Robertson ‏@easegill 2h2 hours ago
    Portfolios not just for students, teachers should use them too #WCELfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 2h2 hours ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Rewired rather than retired - love it! @eportfolios #wcelfest
  • Anne Robertson ‏@robeanne 2h2 hours ago Hamilton City, New Zealand
    Building stories for reflection through #eportfolios recognizing how much we have learned @eportfolios #wcelfest
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 2h2 hours ago
    My hero helen barrett creates Google site #wcelfest
  • Stephen Harlow ‏@stephenharlow 2h2 hours ago
    .@eportfolios tuning up the #WCELfest audience @waikato with her keynote: Know Thyself: #ePortfolios & Reflective Stories of Deep Learning
  • tracey morgan ‏@traceymorgan 2h2 hours ago
    Dr Helen Barrett about to give us the lowdown on eportfolios & reflective stories #wcelfest