Monday, August 31, 2009

New Google Sites

I worked on developing two new Google Sites this weekend to support ePortfolio development in both K-12 schools and in higher education:
  • GoogleApps ePortfolios - a resource on using Google Apps for Education (and specifically Google Sites) to develop and maintain ePortfolios
  • WordPress E-Portfolios - resource on using WordPress or Edublogs to develop and maintain ePortfolios
I am inviting other educators with experience using these tools to participate in developing these two sites. I intend to use these sites as part of the research for my book, also inviting teachers who want to implement ePortfolios with Web 2.0 tools to participate in the research. I will be formulating a plan which will be announced right after Labor Day.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Google Apps/Sites updates

It just gets better and better! For a large company, Google is very responsive to making upgrades to its software. Now we can transfer Google sites between owners (i.e., from an education domain to a personally owned Google account). Now, ePortfolios created in one domain can be transferred to another! That is just what we have been waiting for! Now these ePortfolios can be transferred between accounts, making these sites as portable as blogs! They also improved the Announcements page.
In July, Google also announced changes to the Navigation Bar in Google Sites, to automatically generate links to pages as they are created (the option needs to be set for sites created prior to July 2009: More Actions -> Manage Site -> Site Layout ->edit [Navigation] -> Automatically organize my navigation). They also allowed more flexibility in HTML coding embedded in Google Sites pages.
In the last entry, Google announced a new attachment section was added to the Google Sites management section for easier management of all uploaded attachments to Google Sites. Now you can see all attachments and which page they appear! Very useful for an ePortfolio. I wonder if you can generate a link to an attachment from another page?
(Thanks to Kathy Schrock's tweets for keeping me current on these changes. Her recent blog entry on how her district is implementing GoogleApps is very insightful.)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Two diverse workshops

This week I was "on the road again" to Texas and Ohio. In Texas, I worked with 3rd-8th grade teachers in a school district, focusing on ePortfolios and the three levels of implementation using a blogging platform (they are using EduBlogs which is based on WordPress). In a previous entry, I provided a link to the diagram that I developed to explain the process between Level 2 (collection+reflection in blog entries) and Level 3 (selection+reflection in thematically-organized pages). After sharing this diagram with my colleagues at Seattle Pacific University, I modified the diagram for higher education, based on how they are actually developing "bPortfolios" using So I have posted both a K-12 version and a higher education version of my latest concept map. I also set up a Google Site to support my work with the district.

During the latter part of the week, I worked with a small college in Ohio to help a group of faculty members to adopt one new Web 2.0 tool in one of their classes this fall and next spring. I introduced a range of technologies, modeling the use of Google Sites and GoogleDocs. I love it when I learn something new while I am teaching: in a discussion of RSS, I learned how to subscribe to changes in a Google site (by eMail, not RSS). We also explored blogs, Twitter, networking through Google groups and Ning. I also wrapped up the workshop with an introduction to digital storytelling, with lots of higher ed examples. The participants downloaded Audacity, and explored ways that they could add audio clips to their courses in their CMS. From feedback, I hear that they want more on digital storytelling (no surprise!). I will be back there in January for a feedback and sharing session before the spring semester. I will also provide an introduction to creating digital stories (script development, image selection), so that they can prepare a digital story about their learning by the end of the school year. I will be back in late April or early May to do a hands-on workshop so that they can construct their stories. The faculty participants had new laptops (either Mac or Windows), but the experience was almost the same, since we were focusing on web-based tools. I am looking forward to working with them over the rest of this school year, to help these faculty tell the story of their Web 2.0 discoveries.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

ePortfolio Conferences in 2010

So far, here are the dates for ePortfolio meetings or conferences in 2010:

ePortfolio Europe, 8th conference
sponsored by EIFE-L: July 5-7, 2010, at Savoy Place (not the hotel!) in London.

AAEEBL's first ePortfolio Conference: July 19-21, 2010, in Boston. Conference co-located with and managed by Campus Technology. Co-hosted by The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). (date correction as of 9/29/09-- formerly listed as July 27-29, 2010)

Also, prior to the AAC&U conference, there will be a one-day ePortfolio Day on January 20, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blog Portfolio Model

I am in Texas, working with a school district, where they are implementing ePortfolios using EduBlogs (WordPress). Here is a new model that I created to help explain the process. I was reading David Warlick's Classroom Blogging book on the plane ride from Seattle to Dallas, and the concept of blogging as a conversation really resonated with me, as the left side of this diagram reflects. This model works with any blogging tool that also allows pages, such as Movable Type. I added a full size version of the graphic on one of my web pages.

Monday, August 03, 2009

What if...

This teacher's application to the Google Teacher Academy... the essence of an ePortfolio. I hope he got in!