Saturday, November 24, 2007

BEST Portfolio

This video on YouTube was posted by the Connecticut Education Association (the teachers' union) about the Connecticut Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) Program and so it has a specific point of view. The comments after the video give a different perspective. Still, the video and the comments show the consequences of a portfolio used for high stakes accountability. No mentoring? No feedback? The basic principles of portfolio development in education are being violated. I wonder if these teachers will ever use portfolios with their own students after this experience? Another example of taking a powerful tool for learning, and ruining the potential through narrow implementation to meet accountability mandates. This is another example of what Lee Shulman calls perversion of the portfolio process.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Categorizing ePortfolio Systems

I just posted an updated version of My Online Portfolio Adventure, including Categories of ePortfolio tools and services. Links to the services can be found on that web page. I have not included the many services that are emerging in Europe, because I don't have enough experience with them to classify them. Input from other ePortfolio developers is welcome.
  • Individual & Institutional
    • Authoring Tools - These are tools that can be used to author portfolios (offline), but require web server space to publish online. Portfolios created with these tools can also be published on CD-R or DVD-R. No Interactivity. [Mozilla Composer; Dreamweaver, FrontPage or any web authoring tool; Apple's iWeb; Powerpoint & Lecshare Pro; Adobe Acrobat; MovieMaker2, iMovie, or any video editing tool]

    • Static Web Services - These are static web services that an individual or institution may use to create and publish a presentation portfolio - little or no interactivity* (Web 1.0) [GeoCities; eFolio Minnesota; Tripod; Digication; KEEP Toolkit; GooglePages]

    • Interactive Web Services - These are dynamic web services that an individual or institution may use to create and publish a presentation portfolio AND allows interactivity* (Web 2.0) [WordPress (blog); WikiSpaces; PB Wiki; GoogleDocs - Document and Presentation; ZOHO Writer; EduSpaces (Elgg)]
    • Institutional
      • Software - Server Required - These are systems that an institution would install on their own server to provide space for hosting portfolios. Interactivity* but NO data management system** [Userland's Manila; Blackboard (old: Content System and new: Vista/CE); Open Source tools: Elgg, Mahara, Moofolio, OSPI, MyStuff (U.K.); open source Content Management Systems: Plone, Drupal; Microsoft SharePoint]

      • Hosted Services - These are systems that an institution adopts (no server required) that host portfolios. Usually supports interactivity* but limited (or unknown) data management** or reporting systems. [MyEport (Maricopa); (K12 school accounts only); nuVentive's iWebfolio; ePortaro; Pupil Pages (K12); Epsilen; My eCoach]

      • Assessment Systems - Hosted Services - These are hosted systems that an institution would adopt (no server required) that will allow hosting portfolios, facilitates interactivity, and includes a data management** and reporting system for assessment [TaskStream; College LiveText; Chalk & Wire; FolioTek; nuVentive's TracDat]
    * Interactivity allows dialogue and feedback in the portfolio, either through comments or collaborative editing
    ** Data management system allows collection of evaluation data about portfolios,
    and can produce reports aggregating quantitative data

    As I look at this list, the level of individual personalization and creativity is roughly in the same order; the most creativity for the portfolio developer is in the first category, and the least is in the last, although there are exceptions (many of the Web 2.0 services allow a lot of creativity).

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    My Award

    I received a PDF copy of my 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from Eifel. I deeply appreciate this honor, especially at this time in my life. Eifel is establishing a new website,, an early work in progress which they hope will trigger further reflection on ePortfolios and digital identity. As the only organization that is addressing the widespread uses of ePortfolios across the lifespan and all sectors of society, it will be important to support their development and dissemination efforts.