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.