Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another question about "best" portfolio tools in higher ed

This message was sent to the Researching Lifelong ePortfolios and Web 2.0 listserv that I facilitate: "In your opinion what is the best ePortfolio software or website for university students & staff?" Here is my response:

You asked this question in a list that focuses on Web 2.0 tools for ePortfolios. That implies an environment and an approach, not a specific tool. Before identifying specific tools, you need to identify the PURPOSE for developing a portfolio. There are purposes imposed by an institution (and frankly, that is the way most individuals begin a formal "portfolio") but we are implementing portfolio-like processes throughout our lives, regardless of technology or tools:
  • collection (our natural tendency to save those objects that remind us of important events in our lives)
  • selection (well, we can't save everything, so we have to make choices, based on a variety of criteria, consciously or subconsciously) 
  • reflection (the sign of deep learning... But not always called reflection. Humans have been keeping journals for hundreds of years, to help record experiences, or "thinking in print" to make sense of them) 
  • direction (in this case, setting goals... what I call reflection in the future tense... an essential component of success) 
  • presentation (putting a public face on the portfolio for a selected audience for a particular purpose) 
  • feedback (that's where the learning gets reinforced or suggestions made for improvement) 
  • evaluation (either by self or others, depending on context)
When we look at the various processes, and the way that technology supports those processes (archiving, hyperlinking, storytelling, collaboration, publishing, aggregating), there are a lot of tools that can support these efforts. I hope universities want to help students develop lifelong skills, that will last after students graduate. Learning a specific commercial tool that requires a paid subscription, may not meet that goal. But if students are using "world ware" (software in use it the world) then they are developing skills that can be applied in the "real world" outside of formal education. We should also look at how students are naturally using technology in their lives: social networking, mobile communications, images, audio and video, etc. I believe we should build on the tools that students are already using... I am not suggesting that we use Facebook for ePortfolios, but that we should look at the intrinsic motivation factors that drive the use of social networking, and apply those factors to the ePortfolio environment: autonomy, mastery and purpose (thanks to Dan Pink's book, Drive). I talked about these issues in my TEDxASB talk that can be found on YouTube.

But the practicalities of universities seem to require a specific tool... I recommend selecting one tool for student-centered portfolios (that they can continue to maintain after they graduate) and another tool to collect evaluation data by faculty, and used to aggregate data for institutional purposes. In my opinion, the "best" student portfolio tools are Web 2.0 tools, such as:
  • blogs (WordPress, Movable Type) implemented by a lot of universities, such as Penn State and UMW
  • Google Apps (Docs, Sites, Picasa, Blogger) also implemented by a lot of K-12 schools and universities, such as Clemson
I have blogged about some interesting tools under development to help aggregate Web 2.0 content stored in the cloud to support ePortfolios (Paul Kim's PrPl/PCB model discussed in the BJET, November 2010). I am also concerned that any tool that is used be well integrated with mobile devices. There are mobile apps available for most Web 2.0 tools to support the various components of the portfolio development process.  My current research is focusing on the application of mobile devices (iOS and Android) to support ePortfolio development across the lifespan. See my latest Google site, under development:

Enough of my sermon.
Happy Holidays!!!

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Authenticity, ePortfolio Dimensions and Teacher Dashboard

Thanks to a tweet by Jamin Lietze (from New Zealand), I found a blog post by Nick Rate, another NZ educator who thinks deeply about e-portfolios: Dimensions and Dashboards. I was impressed with this statement:
The basis for this discussion is really considering what an eportfolio should be and defining a tool that is as authentic as possible. The problem with most eportfolio systems is that the eportfolio is not the central working (learning) space, it is generally a space where learning is brought to and then shared and reflected upon. There is a lack of authenticity here and often a double handling of learning artefacts. So the question… is there a dimension of eportfolios that removes or minimises this issue?
His comments about authenticity really resonated with me because adolescent students often don't acknowledge the value or relevance of developing an e-portfolio (in contrast to their constant use of social networking). He also asks a question: "Are eportfolios a true representation of the learning or just a snapshot?" Then he identifies six "dimensions" or what I would call categories of e-portfolio tools:
  1. The Dedicated (A dedicated eportfolio system)
  2. The Managed (portfolio functionality or module built in or attached to a LMS)
  3. The Blogged (contained within an online blogging tool)
  4. The Mashed (distributed across online spaces and web technologies, using an aggregator such as NetVibes)
  5. The Saved (created using desktop software and not online)
  6. The Integrated (ePortfolios that are seamlessly integrated into the way students are learning)
Under the last example, he highlights the "Teacher Dashboard" (by Hapara, Ltd. of Auckland, NZ) which is described as "an add-on to Google Apps Education Edition that makes it easier for teachers to deal with their classroom Google Docs, Sites, Gmail and Blogger content." The description of their presentation at the ULearn '10 conference provides a tool for teachers to manage access to student work across Google Apps. The examples shown are from the Pt. England school in Auckland.

In my opinion, this tool looks like it provides a much-needed teacher-centered management approach in schools to balance the learner-centered PrPl/PCB approach theorized by Paul Kim of Stanford. I can't find the Teacher Dashboard tool in the Google Apps Marketplace yet, and I would love to get my hands on see how it really works! It would be a great addition to the upcoming workshop that I will be leading for a school district in North Dakota in January, as well as the technology conference workshops and presentations that I will be conducting in the next few months at NCCE (March 3, 2011 in Portland) and ISTE (June 29, 2011 in Philadelphia).

New Technology Priority

The following is an excerpt from the Federal Register today, December 15, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 240) [Page 78485-78511], with a new priority for funding from the Department of Education Supplemental Priorities for Discretionary Grant Programs
New Priority 6--Technology
We have established a new priority, Priority 6--Technology, that reads as follows: "Projects that are designed to improve student achievement or teacher effectiveness through the use of high-quality digital tools or materials, which may include preparing teachers to use the technology to improve instruction, as well as developing, implementing, or evaluating digital tools or materials.'' Federal Register Online via GPO Access [DOCID:fr15de10-138
This document also includes new priorities on Enabling More Data-Based Decision-Making and Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, Increasing Postsecondary Success, Building Evidence of Effectiveness. Anyone want to collaborate on a proposal to provide evidence that the effective implementation of electronic portfolios (with digital storytelling) can address these priorities in K-12 schools?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

ISTE 2011 Sessions

My following proposals were accepted for the ISTE 2011 conference in Philadelphia:

Hands-on mPortfolio Development with iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) [Workshop : Hands-on] 
Scheduled: Saturday, 6/25/2011,  12:30pm–3:30pm 
Bring your mobile iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch) to explore mPortfolio development. Create/upload artifacts (text, images, audio, video). Download free apps for blogging, GoogleApps, Mahara. 

Student-Centered Interactive ePortfolios with GoogleApps [Concurrent Session : Lecture]
Scheduled: Wednesday, 6/29/2011,  8:30am–9:30am 

Create a comprehensive student-centered system supporting all three levels of ePortfolio development: Create/collaborate/store/share artifacts in GoogleDocs; Reflection/Feedback using blogging; Presentation Websites with GoogleSites.  [this is my book adapted to the GoogleApps environment, similar to my 2010 presentation] 

Sunday, December 05, 2010

2010 Global Education Conference ePortfolio Recordings

Here are the sessions on ePortfolios at the 2010 Global Education Conference held in November 2010. These are all Elluminate recordings, so there are links to these presentations which are mostly 60 minutes. I cannot download the presentations.

TITLE:Assessing 21st Century Learning With Electronic Portfolios [using Weebly]
PRESENTER:Elizabeth Garrison, St. Anthony School (United States)
TIME:GMT Wed 17 Nov 2010 07:00PM (click for international time conversions)
RECORDING:CLICK HERE to watch the Elluminate session recording.

TITLE:Eportfolio Communities of Practice
PRESENTER:Carole McCulloch, Educatinal Consultancy Network (Australia)
TIME:GMT Tue 16 Nov 2010 12:00AM (click for international time conversions)
RECORDING:CLICK HERE to watch the Elluminate session recording.
FORMAT:Open Discussion

TITLE:Digital Storytelling
PRESENTER:Glenn Cake, Centre for Distance Learniing and Innovation (Canada)
TIME:GMT Thu 18 Nov 2010 03:00PM (click for international time conversions)
RECORDING:CLICK HERE to watch the Elluminate session recording.
LANGUAGE:English with French examples

TITLE:Creating Digtial Portfolios for Teachers
PRESENTER:Roger Fuller, Milken Community High School (USA)
CO-PRESENTER:Melodie Roden CO-PRESENTER: Nick Holton
TIME:GMT Tue 16 Nov 2010 01:00PM (click for international time conversions)
RECORDING:CLICK HERE to watch the Elluminate session recording.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

2010 K-12 Online Conference Highlights

I discovered the 2010 K12 Online Conference on iTunes U and then on their website. I have downloaded these videos on my iPad as well as my laptop! Following is a video by Chrissy Hellyer (NZ, teaching in Bangkok, Thailand): "Record, Reflect & Share – VoiceThread as a digital Portfolio" - Link to presentation’s supporting documents: Great Resource!

Here is another video from the 2010 K-12 Online Conference, on Primary Digital Portfolios using a blog, recorded by Kathy Cassidy (Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada). Link to presentation’s supporting documents:

A great resource on Project Based Learning in Hand using iOS Mobile Devices by Tony Vincent (Phoenix, Arizona, USA). Link to presentation’s supporting documents:
I downloaded some new apps on my iPad after watching this video, including another video editing app that will work on my iPad (ReelDirector - $3.99).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

iPad Authoring Advances

I've noticed some increased editing capability with my iOS devices. I can now create and do basic text editing in GoogleDocs (Documents and Spreadsheets) using Safari and the website with my iPad. The editing is very basic (no formatting) but it works better than a few months ago. But Google Sites is a different story. Here is a Twitter conversation I had today with @Lenva (Lenva Shearing, deputy principal at BBI in Auckland):
  • lenva: Trying to edit a google sites new page made on iPad (os4.2). Cannot edit. Anyone know how or have an app?
  • lenva: Does anyone know of an iPad app that let's you edit google sites
  • eportfolios (me) @lenva I haven't been able to edit Google Sites text with iPad. Google Docs editing getting better but prefer using Office2HD (not free)
  • lenva: @eportfolios I also use Office2HD for G docs. Was hoping there was something similar for G sites. Rolling out ipads next yr, so its a pain.
  • eportfolios: @lenva U can create&name Sites pages w iPad...just not edit-yet. Workaround: embed Docs into Sites page w/laptop. Then edit Docs w/iPad?
  • eportfolios: @lenva Can now edit WikiSpaces with iPad. Couldn't do that 6 months ago: see example:
It sounds like BBI will be implementing a new iPad pod next year (their new school year starts at the end of January!). I am excited to see how this learner-centered school implements iPads. I spent two weeks visiting their school last March, to observe the creative ways that they implemented e-portfolios. I shared my passion for digital storytelling with the teachers and some of the students. Maybe I'll have to go back for another visit next year, to see how they implement digital storytelling with their iPads.

I've downloaded a couple of iPad/iPod apps for digital storytelling: Storyrobe, Splice (Video Editor for 3GS and iPhone 4 - US$.99). How soon will Splice and iMovie (US$4.99) be available on the iPad? I have them on my 4G iPod Touch! Last summer, some Apple Distinguished Educators put together a great site on implementing digital storytelling with the iPad: I've received other iPad software recommendations for e-portfolios, including Evernote, which I will include in a future blog entry. I've established a Google Site for exploring mPortfolios (m=Mobile) between now and June:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

EDUCA 2010 Conference in Lisbon

It is always interesting to get another perspective on my work from another country. I provided the opening keynote for EDUCA 2010 sponsored by the University of Lisbon, Portugal, their First International Meeting devoted to the problems of using ICT for learning. It was literally standing room only during the opening session... the largest group I have addressed in years (including the AAEEBL conference in July). By a show of hands at the beginning of my keynote, about half of the room were K-12 teachers, the other half were from higher education. The meeting had one distinction: the hashtag #ticeduca2010 (ICT and Education Conference)  was tweeted more than the Summit Meeting of NATO at Lisbon being held at the same time. I guess the followers of the NATO conference are not active on Twitter, like these educators are! Their blog points out the highlights of the conference. I left the social dinner prior to the music! Jet lag overpowered me in the middle this four day trip!

Here are a few of the comments about my presentation tweeted with my Twitter ID while I was presenting:
  • Helen Barrett @eportfolios keynote about e-Portfolios was very effective and passionated about their key goals, functions #ticeduca2010
  • Apresentação de Helen @eportfolios Barrett terminou. Tempo para café. Até já...
  • Everyone in education shoud check Helen @eportfolios Barrett blog - #ticeduca2010
  • Helen @eportfolios 3 niveles de desarrollo de eportolios #ticeduca2010
  • #ticeduca2010 - Helen @eportfolios Barret
  • Engaging slides and some key discussion points for attendees of #CILT2010 via @eportfolios
  • #ticeduca2010 @eportfolios RT @jlramos1957: Helen Barret presentation in slideshare:
  • Helen @eportfolios Barret RT @grahamattwell: Standing room only for @helenBarret at #ticeduca2010 conference in Lisbon
  • #ticeduca2010 Helen @eportfolios Barrett explora este link
  • "O que é um Portfolio em Educação?" Helen @eportfolios Barrett
  • #ticeduca2010 Balancing the Two Faces of ePortfolios @eportfolios a iniciar...
  • #ticeduca2010 Sessão inicial encerrada... a seguir Helen @eportfolios Barret
Here are my slides:

At the end of the presentation, I showed Erin's Digital Story:

I am amazed at the number of graduate students who came up to talk to me about their research on e-portfolios... and who are referencing my work. I also have offers to translate some of my diagrams into Portuguese! I also have a pending request from the U.S. Department of Education to use one of my visuals, which I intend to adapt to the new GoogleApps environment.

I am also getting used to my new tiny MacBook Air. I missed copying some of my files (like a local copy of my website), but I have wifi access in my hotel and at the conference. I am still using my iPad for listening to podcasts, primarily because of its long battery life. I do miss my iPhone, though; I don't have an international data plan, so it stays in airplane mode while I am out of the U.S. I head home tomorrow. Because of the NATO Summit, I won't get to do much sightseeing today... all the tour companies have canceled their routes today. Time to get some needed rest.

Monday, November 01, 2010

vPortfolios from

My colleague, Jonathon Richter, has been talking about ePortfolios in virtual worlds. He shared a website with me that looks interesting. It doesn't look like an interactive portfolio (collection of artifacts) with authentic feedback, but it includes an opportunity to "record your accomplishments" (reflection on learning).
Virtual reality meets real world education with’s The Big Help. Start by creating your own virtual persona and personalized “Club House.” Then simply record your accomplishments to win special, limited edition prizes. Deck out your virtual room with a Legit Locker or hop on your Big Help skateboard and show off your avatar’s new Varsity Jacket. With activities ranging from stopping off at the library to starting a reading club with friends, the Club offers tons of ways for students to step up by “improving their bodies, mind, communities and planet.”
This website is part of's Get Schooled Challenge, an effort to get people to step up in support of education.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

PrPl and PCB: a new e-portfolio environment in the cloud?

Stanford University has been doing research on e-portfolios for more than ten years, and the latest article by Kim, Ng, and Lim provides the most interesting framework I have seen: PrPl Semantic Index and Personal Cloud Butler (PCB). It matches my concept of the Digital Archive for Life (2009)

This article (in the British Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 41, Issue 6, pages 1018–1028, November 2010) is pretty exciting: "When cloud computing meets with Semantic Web: A new design for e-portfolio systems in the social media era."  The abstract:
The need, use, benefit and potential of e-portfolios have been analysed and discussed by a substantial body of researchers in the education community. However, the development and implementation approaches of e-portfolios to date have faced with various challenges and limitations. This paper presents a new approach of an e-portfolio system design based on Private–Public (PrPl) data index system, which integrates cloud computing applications and storages with Semantic Web architecture, making semantic web-based visualisation and advanced intelligent search possible. It also discusses how the distinctive attributes of the PrPl-based digital asset management system can serve as a large-scale robust e-portfolio system that can address issues with scalability, sustainability, adoptability and interoperability. With such a new distinctive design, a large-scale deployment at a state or national level becomes possible at a very cost-effective manner and also such large-scale deployment with intelligent digital asset management and search features create numerous opportunities in education.
The following article about the Personal Cloud Butler (PCB) is referenced in the document, "A Distributed Social-Networking Infrastructure with Personal-Cloud Butlers."

The PrPl/PCB system uses the mobile phone number as the unique user ID, which restricts its use in K-12 schools, since students don't often have phones until they are in high school... but there are also Google Voice numbers!

I recently started using It is an aggregator for a person's financial data. In my account, I see all of my financial data aggregated in one window: my TSA, checking and savings accounts, mortgage balance, assets, loan balances, and my brokerage account (if I had one!). The system pulls data from these different accounts (with my permission, of course) to provide an overall picture of my financial capital or monetary assets. The system is created by the makers of Quicken, and uses an email address as a unique user ID.

We need a similar system for human capital or intellectual assets of knowledge workers. Some think that tool is an online vita with hyperlinks. Others think it is an e-portfolio, although I believe an e-portfolio goes beyond the "accounting" function, and the portfolio process supports the development of these competencies (knowledge/skills/abilities). That's why I think this article is so interesting. We can store our evidence in many places online (a federated cloud-based storage system); we just need a tool to aggregate that data for different purposes and different audiences.

Of course, there are a lot of e-portfolio systems which match evidence of achieving outcomes defined by any number of rubrics, aggregating faculty-generated assessment data. The challenge is that these systems impose a structure that often doesn't facilitate learner creativity and personalization. But other systems have been set up to "harvest" assessment data from learner-owned web-based portfolios, such as WSU's Harvesting Gradebook or BSU's rGrade system. Right now, these systems are server-based, and it would be great if they were converted into SaaS, available in the cloud.

I am doing a lot of training in using GoogleApps Education Edition for student portfolios in K-12 schools: artifacts stored in Google Docs/Picasa/YouTube (a PrPl database would be useful here); a reflective journal in Blogger; and thematically-organized presentation portfolios in Google Sites, especially for those states and institutions that have "gone Google." What is also missing from that whole environment is a system to collect evaluation data based on rubrics. For me, that is another missing link in using some of these Web 2.0 tools for learner-centered e-portfolios while assessing learner outcomes against rubrics.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Electronic Portfolios in STEM

In preparation for my participation in the STEMTech Conference next week in Orlando, I prepared a two-page definition of e-portfolios for use in round table discussions. It may be too late to make any changes, but I would love some feedback.
Eport Definition

Here are the source documents referenced in this definition document:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ePortfolios for Managing Oneself and Portfolio Careers

On Monday and Tuesday, I attended a Conference on Advising Highly Talented Undergraduates, held at Notre Dame University. On the first day, Dr. Richard Light of Harvard University provided the opening keynote address on the Challenges for Advising Highly Talented Undergraduates. He mentioned an article by Peter Drucker entitled, "Managing Oneself" published in the Harvard Business Review in 1999. I found several copies of the article through an iPhone Google search, and downloaded it. The purpose for the article struck a cord with me:
“Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves
– their strengths, their values, and how best they perform.”
We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: If you've got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out. 
But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today aren't managing their employees' careers; knowledge workers must, effectively, be their own chief executive officers. It's up to you to carve out your place, to know when to change course, and to keep yourself engaged and productive during a work life that may span some 50 years. To do those things well, you'll need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself-- not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence.
Here is where an ePortfolio can provide an ongoing environment where individuals can develop and manage their own personal SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). The article contains the following sections:
  • What are my strengths?
  • How do I perform?
  • What are my values?
  • Where do I belong?
  • What should I contribute?
  • Responsibility for Relationships
  • The Second Half of your Life
I can see a powerful purpose for ePortfolios: managing knowledge workers' career development, from high school through late career. There is another opportunity: managing "portfolio careers." As I was preparing for my closing keynote at this conference, I explored websites that focused on Portfolio Careers:
I also found this video that encapsulated some of the key elements of portfolio careers:
Next Generation Journalist: Nick Williams from Adam Westbrook on Vimeo.

"Today, security means being employable, even if you don't have a job." The speaker talks about the concept of personal branding: "everyone needs to know what they are uniquely brilliant at… what they're passionate about, what they love doing, and what they're good at doing, and then finding people who want to hire them at that.

Slides for my keynote presentation are posted on Slideshare.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Workshop Backchannel and Recording Audio Reflections

On Friday, October 15, I worked with faculty from Mt. San Antonio College in the Los Angeles area, with colleagues John Ittelson and Jeffrey Yan. The workshop was an Introduction to Electronic Portfolios, with John and I providing an overview in the morning, and Jeffrey conducted a hands-on workshop in the afternoon with Digication. It was fun to collaborate with two other ePortfolio colleagues. We set up a document as a "back channel" for the workshop, used the page to post a lot of hyperlinked resources, and invited the participants to post questions throughout the workshop. While John and I were presenting in the morning, Jeffrey answered a lot of the questions that were posted. In the afternoon, I added more resource links. When we were through, the participants had a page of resources to use as a reference. It was the second time that week that I used that tool for group collaboration and feedback.

Jeff shared a great idea for doing audio reflections, that one of the users of his system shared: Google Voice. In the privacy of his car, this teacher called his Google Voice number and left, as a voice mail message, his reflection on his class. Google Voice saves the message in MP3 format, which can be download and included in his portfolio. Once recorded, if he didn't like what he heard, he would record another message. It took some practice, but it is an easy way to record audio for an ePortfolio reflection. Other tools we discussed for audio recording reflections: (includes an iOS or Android app).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

High Tech High

I have spent the last two days visiting High Tech High in San Diego, talking with teachers, administrators and students, and visiting two different courses for teachers. I still have some more time to visit with a few more people and to debrief with their Director of Research, but I realize that I learned a lot more than how they are implementing DPs (digital portfolios) with their students; I also learned a lot about their philosophy of personalizing learning for a diverse student body. Since the school opened in 2001, every student has maintained a digital portfolio, which is used to support their POL (Presentation of Learning) twice a year and their TPOL (Transitional Presentation of Learning) at the end of the year as the student's rationale as to why they are ready for the next grade (or ready to graduate?). Even more important, every teacher has a digital portfolio, but some of them use these websites more like an instructional management system, as a resource for students. Some of the more impressive teacher portfolios showcase the project-based learning at the core of the school philosophy.

There is technical support in each building as well as a system-wide IT Director. The entire system adopted Google Apps over a year ago with over 4,000 accounts mapped to their Active Directory, and also has a WordPress server; these tools are used for different purposes in the program. Here is a school that matches my three-level model:
  • Level 1. portfolio as storage (collection of artifacts)--Everyone has server space, with a folder called MyDP to store their portfolio, or a file that links to a portfolio developed on another server. The school also has three video servers, controlled by the teachers.
  • Level 2. portfolio as workspace (collection plus reflection/metacognition, organized chronologically)--The school has a WordPress server and many teachers have their students use WordPress blogs for day-to-day assignments and reflections.
  • Level 3. portfolio as showcase (selection, summative reflection and presentation, organized thematically)--Many teachers and students are moving from their original Dreamweaver-based DP over to Google Sites. These portfolios support student-led conferences (SLC)--which I observed--and the public Presentations of Learning
Four design principles underlie the work of High Tech High: personalization, adult world connection, common intellectual mission, teacher as designer. There are actually nine schools in the San Diego area; I only visited two of them. I will be writing up a more in-depth case study for my book, as the high school example. I asked one group of students how the public nature of their DPs and POLs impacted their learning. As one student said:
I want that work to be good. I know I'm up to it... It makes you want to understand what you're learning... My DP helps me self-reflect. I could update it daily. I self-reflect on how well I do. I learn from myself as well. I see my strengths; I see my weaknesses and how I can improve. I work harder to do better.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ISTE 2011 Proposals

In a late night writing marathon, I submitted three proposals to ISTE 2011 in Philadelphia:
  • Presentation: Student-Centered Interactive ePortfolios with GoogleApps
    Create a comprehensive student-centered system supporting all three levels of ePortfolio development: Create/collaborate/store/share artifacts in GoogleDocs; Reflection/Feedback using blogging; Presentation Websites with GoogleSites. [this is my book adapted to the GoogleApps environment, similar to my 2010 presentation]
  • BYOL Presentation: mPortfolios: Make ePortfolio Development Easier with Mobile Devices
    Bring your mobile device (iOS or Android) to explore mPortfolio development. Create/upload artifacts (text, images, audio, video). Download free apps for blogging, GoogleApps, Mahara, others.
  • BYOL 3 hour Workshop: Hands-on mPortfolio Development with iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) Bring your mobile iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPodTouch) to explore mPortfolio development. Create/upload artifacts (text, images, audio, video). Download free apps for blogging, GoogleApps, Mahara.
I only expect one of these proposals to be accepted. I set up a new Google Site to begin to develop the concept of mPortfolios. I was shocked that the Site name was still available:

Monday, October 11, 2010

ePortfolio California Summit

I participated in the ePortfolio California Summit, co-facilitating a session on Workplace portfolios (First job and beyond). It was my role to establish a common definition for e-portfolios in this session, and to provide a few ideas about using Web 2.0 tools to maintain career-long ePortfolios. The participants were from higher education institutions from throughout California. I introduced the team to Etherpad ( to replace flip charts in group brainstorming. In the afternoon, there were presentations from the Executive Director of WASC, and a report of the standards committee. 

Friday, October 08, 2010

Oregon Apps Google Summit

I visited Sherwood, Oregon to participate in the first Oregon Google Summit. I set up a new web page with my presentations (in GoogleDocs) and links to my video. I also set up a page on their website. I enjoyed meeting some of the educators in Oregon who are leading this effort, plus a few people from Google who led technical sessions. My "aha" moment: the fact that Folders in GoogleDocs are really tags that can be used to classify documents; single Docs can be tagged to multiple folders without making multiple copies. This concept is different from how we manage files on our computers or server space, which will require a different level of explanation. But it allows portfolio artifacts to be tagged in folders for individual classes (collection), and then also tagged to a Portfolio folder (selection) which can be shared with a teacher. See this Google blog entry by a high school teacher.

My proposals to the Northwest Council for Computer Education conference in March 2011 have been approved:
  • Presentation: GoogleApps ePortfolios
    Oregon was the first state to adopt GoogleApps for all K-12 schools. These powerful tools are ready-made for teachers and students to maintain electronic portfolios. Get an overview of creating artifacts using Google Docs and Picasa, a reflective learning portfolio using Blogger, and a showcase/assessment/presentation portfolio with Google Sites.
  • 3-hour Workshop: Create ePortfolios using GoogleApps
    Oregon was the first state to adopt GoogleApps for all K-12 schools. These powerful tools are ready-made for creating and maintaining electronic portfolios by teachers and students. Learn how to create  artifacts using Google Docs and Picasa, a reflective learning portfolio using Blogger, and a showcase/assessment/presentation portfolio with Google Sites. (March 3, 2011, 8:30 AM)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

New ePortfolio online publications

I have been collecting some new articles on ePortfolios in my account. Here are some of the most interesting:
  • The Complexity of Implementing e-Portfolios
    Lisa Gray (JISC) and Gordon Joyes (University of Nottingham) spoke about the complexities involved in implementing e-portfolios and the concepts that need to be understood to achieve a successful implementation. A model for e-portfolio implementation built around threshold concepts, misconceptions and pre-conceptions: The roles of Purpose, Learning Activity Design, Process, Ownership, and the Transformative and Disruptive nature of e-portfolios. Includes links to video of presentation at the Mahara UK 2010 conference.
  • Effective practice with e-portfolios: How can the UK experience inform practice? (PDF) Speaking of the Disruptive Nature of ePortfolios, this paper documents research by Gordon Joyes, Lisa Gray, and Elizabeth Hartnell-Young (Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Australia). This paper introduces the background to the JISC work within the e-portfolio domain in the UK and presents an overview of past and current activities and the drivers for these developments. This is followed by a review of JISC’s approach at drawing out the learning and implications for e-portfolio practice from this extensive collection of work and its dissemination. The analysis of twenty one recently funded projects involving the use of e-portfolios in the UK is introduced. The findings suggest that e- portfolio implementation is particularly complex in part due to the number of stakeholders involved, the contexts in which e-portfolios can be applied and the number of purposes they can have. This research suggests that there are threshold concepts related to e-portfolio implementation and that the journey in developing an understanding of effective practice is not straightforward. However a means of supporting this journey is suggested.
  • The Accountability/Improvement Paradox- from Inside Higher Ed - "there is an inherent paradox in the relationship between assessment for accountability and for improvement."
I also found some interesting websites about K-12 ePortfolios:

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

bPortfolios at SPU

Seattle Pacific University has adopted as their students' "bPortfolio" system. Each student establishes their own account, and records their reflections in a blog entry. I attended a workshop yesterday that the faculty requested, to set up a account and see what the students are experiencing. Prior to a year ago, this university used one of the commercial ePortfolio tools. Since that time, although the transition has not always been smooth, they have provided good support materials, including video tutorials, and a good set of presentations on iTunesU on Reflective Learning with Electronic Portfolios recorded on March 23, 2010. I am especially impressed by the video on Metacognition: Reflective Thinking Strategies by Art Ellis, Director of the Center for Global Curriculum Studies, who discusses strategies for promoting student reflection on their learning process.

The students set up their site with Categories with represent the Standards that the students are required to demonstrate. All entries and a final meta-reflection are assigned a specific category. Students are also encouraged to assign their own tags to entries, and to include a Tag cloud in addition to the categories. The final entry is the meta-reflection or self-assessment of achieving the standard. Since the blog is organized in reverse chronological order, when selecting the category/standard, the meta-reflection is the first entry shown.

The question of accountability/assessment always comes up, and this institution is NCATE accredited. I have talked with the person at SPU who has set up an Excel spreadsheet template to share student portfolios with a designated assessor, who is paid separately to evaluate the student's self-evaluation.  I saw an example yesterday and basically it includes links to the students' bPortfolios, and space for an assessor to record evaluation of the students' self-assessment of their portfolio. The assessor opens the student's bPortfolio link in a their browser window, and records the evaluation in the Excel file. (I'll bet it could be done in a GoogleDocs spreadsheet, but I haven't tried to adapt it to an online format.) The rubrics are included in the spreadsheet document. The spreadsheet data from the separate assessors are then merged into a single spreadsheet and will be used for reporting and analysis.

Since I am teaching an online graduate course for SPU this quarter, I am able to see how this process works. All of the students had already set up their Wordpress accounts. My course requires them to write a weekly reflection in their bPortfolios on the weekly themes. So, I have an opportunity to see this process in action. There is lots of room for improvement, but as I said in an earlier blog entry last year,  "This Teacher Ed program has figured out how to balance the needs of the institution with the needs of their teacher candidates... who just might want to replicate the process with their own students... with tools that are free and available in schools."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Collaboration in Online Course

This fall I am again teaching an online graduate class for Seattle Pacific University, Issues and Advances in Educational Technology. Like last year, I am trying to use open/free tools that students could use with their own students. So, we are using (to record and share weekly research of online resources related to the weekly theme), (to collaboratively reflect on the links shared and the weekly theme), blogs maintained on (to reflect on the learning for the week and provide feedback), Google Sites (to develop a collaborative project), Google Docs (sharing documents for feedback, and forms/spreadheet for weekly grades), and one of the digital storytelling tools (to develop a digital narrative).

Last year, we also set up a private Google Group to communicate with the students and to maintain a record of communication for the students. This year, however, I was asked by the university to use their Blackboard server for communication and grades. I must admit it made the beginning of the class much smoother (not having to get the students to sign up for the Google Group). However, one week into the class, I am feeling like there is less collaboration: the email is from me to the class, but there is no online record of the communication; when the students respond to my emails it goes to me not to the group, so the students can't support each other. It puts me at the center of the process, which I don't want or like. In the third week of the class, our topic is "collaboration" and I think I will move the class email over to another private Google group. We have also set up a "Ning-replacement" that we might use as an experiment. I might have the students use that site for discussions and my announcements in future weeks.

I have also noticed that the students' initial writing in looks like a series of short monologues (very much like a Blackboard discussion) rather than like a collaborative discussion. Old habits of online discussions are hard to break. But it is fun to explore these new tools with these graduate students. Each week we cover one of these themes: reflection, collaboration, 21st Century Learning, critical thinking, online safety, copyright, productivity, change, innovation. These themes correlate with the new Washington state Educational Technology Standards for students. My goal is that these future teachers are aware of these standards, and the many free tools that are available. I am finding that there are many perceived barriers, so it is interesting to explore the opportunities as well as the challenges!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blogging on Paper

I found the following blog entry:
Learning to Blog Using Paper - a 7th Grade Teacher's clever introduction to blogging (starting with a paper exercise) and using "sticky notes" as comments. Here are the instructions for students (provided in Scribd):
- Seventh Grade Blogging Rules
- The Art and Aspirations of a Commenter

These are great guidelines for reflection and feedback by adolescents. It also looks like a great PD activity for teachers who are not familiar with blogging. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

e-Portfolios in Developing Countries (using mobile phones)

I received this "feel good" email:
I am deeply grateful for the excellent articles you have posted on e-portfolio on your website.  You would not know the great service you are providing to less fortunate educators in Third and Developing World that are not as nearly as priveleged as people in the developed world.  At the moment I am doing a course (Masters in Instructional Technology and Design) with the Open University of Malaysia.  One of the courses, involves the preparation of a e-portfolio as a final project.  I was just about reaching a point of frustration, because I did not know exactly how to set about doing this project.  I clustermate of mine who is also involved in the program, referred me to your Website, and you took care of my problems.  You are really a genius, professor.  Your knowledge is vast.  What is even greater, is your unselfish resolution to publish make such a rish deposit available to us the less fortunate.  Words cannot expess my gratitude.  May I encourage you to keep up the good work, and never falter in the work you are doing for the less fortunate, for you shall reap a rich reward in due season.  You are truly a missionary to poor countries.
P.S:  Do you have anything on the use of mobile phone text messaging (SMS) to teach children who are functionally illiterate.  My final thesis is in this area, because the population of Jamaica is appox 2.7 million people, with 2.4 million Mobile phone users, yet they have banned its use in many schools for some of the same reasons it is banned elsewhere.  My purpose is to show that the technology or tool can be used constructively.
Of course, I am flattered by the kind comments. His P.S. raises concerns about access to the Internet in developing countries. I received this comment in a message from Trent Batson, AAEEBL's Executive Director:
...we heard a woman from Guatemala lamenting that few kids have Internet access but "everyone has cell phones."  Not smart phones, yet, but at least that's doable for places like Guatemala.
I've also been communicating with educators from Egypt to Brazil, and because of the lack of connectivity, I often write to them about implementing ePortfolios with tools we were using in the late 90s. (I read a recent report about the high cost of Internet access in developing countries compared to average monthly income.) But the universal connectivity tool is the cell phone. My granddaughter updates her Facebook status here in the U.S. from her cell phone (not a smart phone). I want to learn more about connectivity from cell phones with online generic tools used to develop ePortfolios, such as GoogleApps and WordPress. I know it is possible with smartphone apps, but most of the developing world is using SMS. I will do another post soon about the iPhone Portfolio apps I have been collecting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

K-12 and Higher Education ePortfolio Support

What is the most effective way to meet the needs of K-12 schools for supporting the implementation of ePortfolios? Is there a need to bring ePortfolio information/resources/training to events that K-12 teachers normally attend, such as ASCD, ISTE, NSDC, BLC, and other K-12 education conferences? We can spin our wheels, and not get much traction if we don't recognize the differences between the K-12 and higher education cultures. I spent eight years in K-12, six as the Staff Development Coordinator for the Fairbanks School District, and another 14 years in the Teacher Education program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. I have seen both sides of education, although I didn't start studying ePortfolios until I arrived in Anchorage. Most of my work with ePortfolios in the 90s was focused on K-12, but with the PT3 grants, my focus shifted to higher education in 2000. In 2005-2007, I conducted a research project on implementing ePortfolios in secondary schools, sponsored by Taskstream. Since that time, my consulting time has been more focused on K-12. Perhaps some of my more recent experiences can illustrate some of the differences between K-12 and Higher Ed.

I did make a connection with one of the few K-12 educators attending AAEEBL's July 2010 conference (which was co-located with another higher education conference), and I will be working with her organization on some K-12 ePortfolio activities, still to be developed. (But they have little or no funding... another problem with K-12.) I am also continuing my self-funded research on how ePortfolios are being implemented in K-12 schools: In October, I am planning to visit several High Tech Highs in the San Diego area, where they have been implementing digital portfolios with every student since the first school opened in 2000. In mid-October, the students are leading student-led conferences, so I am getting permission to observe and to conduct some short focus groups with students and to talk with the lead teachers.

Earlier this week, I conducted a two-day planning/training session with a small school district in North Dakota that wants to begin implementing ePortfolios over the next two-three years. I met with a committee of teacher leaders for a day, then made a presentation to the entire district (60 teachers!) for a couple of hours, followed by an activity where I led the committee through the Change Game (a simulation to move a school district through the stages of change). I also had both principals and the superintendent participating in this two-hour simulation. The district is planning two more early release days before I go back in January for a two-day hands-on workshop. So the committee and I planned how they could best use that time. We also set up a Google Group to maintain communication between face-to-face meetings. This is similar to the work that I did for the last two years with a small school district in California.

I did 10 days of face-to-face workshops under a Title IID grant (No Child Left Behind) for New York City Schools last spring. I am working via Skype with an individual high school in Manhattan, where the lead teacher is a Google Certified Teacher, so I am learning a lot from how her teachers and students are beginning to implement ePortfolios across the school. I hope to visit that school when I am in New York in December, to see how the process is going.

Last spring, I visited the American School of Bombay, after conducting monthly 45-minute teleconferences for them (over their lunch hour or before school). While in the school, I had appointments to meet with individual teachers or groups of teachers. I saw some wonderful examples from their third grade students! In June, I visited a private school in Barcelona, and with simultaneous translation, introduced them to using GoogleApps for ePortfolios over three days. I also provided a full day workshop at a private school in California after school was out in June.

The K-12 culture is very different from higher education. Professional development is very different, their reasons for implementing ePortfolios are different, and the tools/strategies they use are also different. Most schools don't have the level of technology support that you will find in most higher ed institutions (unless they are a private or international school). The time constraints are also very different. They squeeze in PD in one- and two-hour blocks. But from my observations from the Intermediate (middle) school that I visited in New Zealand, it is the small incremental trainings on a regular basis (before and after school) that makes a difference in how well teachers implement technology in teaching and students' learning.

That's what I am trying to document in my book! It is slow work, but I am gathering lots of good observational data and lots of resources along the way. Any other examples of success stories of implementing ePortfolios beyond a single classroom? For those with experience in both K-12 and higher education, what do you see as the differences?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

GoogleApps Education and Blogger

The message was posted to the Google for Educators Discussion Group:
Blogger has been added to the Educational Edition but the transition won't occur enmass until later this fall. Your GoogleDomain administrator can transition people to the new apps by going in the admin dashboard and "transitioning" users. I love it, I can now embed my Picasa3 slideshows and create an iGoogle page with RSS feeds, this will make school portfolios so much richer. 
I totally agree! When will Blogger be universally available in Google Apps Education Edition?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Kindergarten Portfolios with Blogger

I'm doing online research for my book, and found some great examples of using Blogger to create ePortfolios in Kindergartens. Here are some links: (Carol Stream, IL) - written up in a local newspaper (NZ - with links to 2 public blogs) It is obvious that the students are not posting to these blogs, and most of them are private, requiring an invitation to view. The two public blogs:
-  (NZ = public student example in Blogger - lots of embedded images+video) - The teacher added Labels (Tags) that can be selected under Quick find
-  Quote from profile:
This is my E-profile all about me!
Mum and Dad have decided to leave it an open blog as an exemplar of how e-profiles can be used to document and assess my learning and life as a partnership between my extended family, my teachers at kindergarten, my dance teachers, and when I get there my school teachers too.
Please enjoy and respect my E profile.
I have emailed the school to communicate with the teacher who put together these portfolios. I would love to have a conversation with more Kindergarten teachers who are implementing this process with their students.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tech Talk on Learning Portfolios at BBI

I just listened to an Eluminate session conducted by LearnCentral and TechTalk Tuesdays. The guest presenter was Lenva Shearing, Deputy Principal at Bucklands Beach Intermediate School (BBI), in New Zealand, where I was privileged to spend a couple of weeks last March. A summary of the webinar:
Look at the pedagogy, vision, implementation and effects on learning that personal reflective portfolios can provide. This session will not discuss the tools that might be used, but the pedagogoy  behind personal reflective portfolios.
It was fun to see how the ePortfolio process at BBI has evolved over the last few months. What I appreciate about their approach is the emphasis on goal-setting, learning and feedback, and their inquiry model of teaching, based on the EYP philosophy. Even though there was not an intention to discuss the tools used, questions can't be avoided when ePortfolios are being demonstrated. I see that BBI has moved from the Ning platform to store their video, to using divShare, one of my favorite online storage sites. Lenva demonstrated how teachers are using this tool to store and embed their audio feedback on student work. Even though the demos of student portfolio videos were difficult to follow, Lenva's description of BBI's philosophy and practice is a worthwhile contribution to the larger ePortfolio dialogue.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Top 5 Back-to-School Tech Tools

Read Write Web published the results of a survey: Teachers Pick Their Top 5 Back-To-School Tech Tools
  1. The iPad: Mobile Learning (or tablets/netbook mini-lab) bringing mobile hardware in the classroom for 1-to-1 learning
  2. Twitter: Real-Time Information (a microblogging tool in the classroom, to communicate with parents and the community, and as a part of a teacher's own professional development and personal learning network)
  3. Google Apps for Education: Cloud-Based Collaboration
  4. Blogs: Student Portfolios
  5. Sharing and Collaboration Tools: 21st Century Teaching and Learning (i.e., Wikispaces, VoiceThread, and SlideShare)
Not surprising results, since the survey was widely re-tweeted.  I will be teaching an online course for Seattle Pacific University this fall, entitled "Issues and Advances in Educational Technology" for teacher candidates in their graduate program. I team-taught the class last fall, and I learned a lot about this state's technology standards, and some of the emerging technologies. We chose not to use Blackboard, but the Web 2.0 "open" tools that are available to everyone: Google Sites, GoogleDocs, Google Groups, Etherpad,, etc. Each graduate student at SPU uses as their bPortfolio, so they wrote a weekly reflection on their learning in each class. The students will also produce a digital narrative, and collaboratively develop an online resource on some element of integrating technology into their teaching specialty. I am looking forward to updating the course with some of these current findings, but I think the course design from last fall needs only a little tweaking.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

ePortfolios: Concept, Process, and Product

I believe ePortfolios are CONCEPT, PROCESS, and PRODUCT.

I have lately been presenting about the CONCEPT of "Balancing the Two Faces of ePortfolios": (process vs. product, workspace vs. showcase, learning/improvement vs. accountability). The international community is recognizing this perspective, since my concept map/diagram has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, Japanese and Mandarin! Unless we recognize the importance of both approaches to ePortfolios, I believe it will be more difficult to realize the practical contribution of ePortfolios for supporting reflection and lifelong learning. As an ePortfolio community of practice, we need to be clear about the multiple purposes for developing portfolios, and the multiple strategies that can be used... and not constrain our thinking by specific tools or products or narrow purposes. The development of ePortfolios can help build lifelong habits of reflective practice, but I fear that the process is in danger of being hijacked for accountability purposes (see The Accountability/Improvement Paradox:  --a higher education perspective, but there are comparable viewpoints in K-12).

My working portfolio, that documents the PROCESS of my learning/growth over time, is my digital footprint through my website, my blog, my Facebook account (mostly "friending" my family members), my Twitter posts (@eportfolios), etc.: my personal learning environment (PLE) that I contribute to and learn from on a regular basis. This "portfolio-as-PROCESS" is a powerful environment for lifelong learning and reflection, with digital media adding a contemporary boost to an ages-old process. I also agree that smart phones and other mobile technologies (i.e., iPad, tablets) are going to be an important direction for more widespread adoption. This aggregation of my online presence is how I construct my digital identity, using tools across the Internet, where I store videos in YouTube or, images in Picasa or Flickr, presentations in, documents in or googledocs, etc. (What I am missing is some type of database or tool where I can keep a record of links to all of these resources with meta-tags -- right now, I use a googledocs spreadsheet.) It is this process paradigm that constitutes the "everyday-ness" of ePortfolios in a highly interactive environment.

Every once in a while, I add an entry to one of my presentation portfolios (organized in one of many tools that I have explored) which represents a significant accomplishment in my professional life. This "portfolio-as-PRODUCT" has a specific purpose and audience, organized thematically using a specific authoring tool, such as Mahara, Google Sites, eFolio, or any one of the commercial tools. I spent years studying many of these tools for creating presentation portfolios, and I came to the conclusion that many of these systems are often institution-based, created within a finite time frame (i.e., a school or university program). Once a learner leaves the institution, with a few exceptions, the presentation portfolio remains behind or unchanged in an HTML archive: frozen in time as an artifact of that institutional experience (much like my tenure portfolio in PDF on a CD-ROM from 2002). I wish I could find data on the percentage of students who continue to pay subscription fees on commercial systems; my assumption is that it is fairly low. That is why I am an advocate for learners to own their own online spaces to publish their own presentation portfolios (i.e., Google Sites, WordPress, Weebly), or for the commercial providers to adhere to one of the standards, such as LEAP2A to allow portfolio content to be migrated between compatible systems... another argument for open Web 2.0 systems.

I am trying to finish my book over the next two months, so these ideas are front and center in my consciousness. I am looking for more stories of using Web 2.0 tools to create ePortfolios across the lifespan, in and out of formal education. I also maintain a couple of Google Groups that focus on Researching Web2.0 Portfolios and Using Google Apps for ePortfolios in K-12 Education.
(My post to, facilitated by Coach Carole in Australia)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another digital storytelling workshop

Back from my European vacation (Amsterdam and a Baltic cruise with my mother and daughter... three generations in a standard stateroom... at least we had a veranda for extra space!). On Monday and Tuesday this week, Erin and I conducted a digital storytelling workshop with more than 20 teachers, counselors and the principal of a middle school/high school in a small town in Washington state as part of their Navigation 101 program. This is the third Nav 101 school in Washington where we have provided this training. The size of the workshop, and the diversity of the group meant that we were training on Macintosh (iMovie6HD), and several versions of MovieMaker (XP, Vista, 7). Erin took the Mac group and I stayed with the Windows group, who were actually using iMacs that booted to Windows XP (as Erin said, it just didn't seem right!). But the tech person said that the Mac hardware was the most reliable!

Despite the fact that the teachers accounts were blocked from access to Flickr and websites for royalty-free music, they were able to produce some very moving stories, many of them about family or friends. I was most impressed with their very tech-savvy principal who was a full participant in the workshop at the beginning of a very busy school year! She shared her story in her blog. I hope they will get students producing digital stories during this school year to support their student-led conferences. Here is the blog of a teacher in the school, with his digital story about the life cycle of a salmon! This is the first digital storytelling workshop that I have conducted where not only one but two of the participants posted their stories to YouTube on their own, even though I encourage individuals to publish their own stories when the workshop is over.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Assessment in Race to the Top

On July 29, President Obama made a major speech on education reform to the National Urban League. One comment that he made stood out for me as I listened to the speech:
Because of Race to the Top, states are also finding innovative ways to move beyond having just a snapshot of where students are, and towards a real-time picture that shows how far they’ve come and how far they have to go.  And armed with this information, teachers can get what amounts to a game tape that they can study to enhance their teaching and their focus on areas where students need help the most.
He didn't use the word "portfolio" but the description of that "real-time picture" sure sounds like Assessment FOR Learning to me.
Assessment for Learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.
I believe ePortfolios are one powerful strategy for this purpose, and I have written and talked about these issues extensively. I am wondering what states are working on...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Future of mPortfolios

I just finished my last presentation at the AAEEBL ePortfolio conference. Eight people joined me in a conversation about the use of mobile devices is ePortfolio development. This was the first time I presented with the iPad (and not quite what I expected). The Keynote slide show had only a few slides, where I showed a few samples of apps available for the iPhone. The discussion focused on the immediacy of access to technology, through these mobile devices, which may let students slow down to reflect within the context and time of a learning experience... Not at a time removed when memory is less fresh. In the near future we may have opportunities to implement these strategies when emerging tools, such as iPads, iPod Touch/iPhone devices, Android tablets, including the XO-3, become affordable and available in schools.

I posted the slides on my iWork account, but was not able to attach a PDF to this message, which is the only way that I can post to my Blogger blog from my iPad. So I will need to add the slides once this entry is posted to my blog.
Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

AAEEBL Conference - Days 1 -3

I've been participating in the AAEEBL Conference (the Association of Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning -- a community of ePortfolio practitioners). On Monday, I led a day-long workshop with a small group of educators from the U.S. and Australia. Our focus was "Your Digital Self: Web 2.0 as Personal Learning Environment and ePortfolio" and we had a wonderful discussion. Here is a sample of tweets from the session:
  • Going to get some breakfast before my session w/Helen Barrett on Web 2.0, PLEs & ePortfolio. Hear she rocks #aaeebl
  • Fabulous workshop w/@eportfolios (Helen Barrett) at #aaeebl. Great group and lots to think about. Thanks!
I agree! It was a great group and we had some very in-depth conversations. On Tuesday, I led a 50-minute presentation that summarized the content of the day-long workshop. Here are my slides:

Today, I gave a keynote address with the title, "Blurring the Boundaries Between ePortfolio Development and Social Networking." Here are my slides for my keynote address:

At the end of the presentation, I shared an example of a digital story (my daughter's letter to her students). Several people came up to me to say how much they were touched by her brief story.  Here are a few pertinent tweets after my keynote:
  • passion and purpose co-exist #aaeebl
  • Eportfolios document mastery (pride in the process) #aaeebl
  • "flow" is there in social media and open source creativity-we must create "flow" in eportfolios. #aaeebl
  • I recall Dan Ariely's TED talk: any creative or critical thinking task was more successful/productive when intrinsically motivated. #aaeebl
  • Two faces of eportfolios : workspace vs showcase,or, process vs product. Lightbulb moment! #aaeebl
  • Eportfolios and social media: are ppl organically creating eportfolios outside of higher ed by using facebook, picasa etc? #aaeebl
I'm glad there was at least one "light bulb" moment in the room. I had some great discussions afterward over lunch. I also met a graduate student I worked with in 2004, who created a wonderful story that I often use in my presentations.

I have a lot of feedback for the conference organizers (not enough time for reflection between sessions, no organized interest groups, too expensive for most K-12 participation, etc.). But for the first AAEEBL conference, it is a good start, giving higher educators many opportunity to hear a lot of points of view. I am still concerned that there is too much of an emphasis on ePortfolios for accountability, and little for K-12 in this conference, but I made my thoughts known.