I am lucky enough to be booked in for an interesting couple of days of training next week. It's called e-Portfolio Conference - Using Professional Standards For Teachers on the Thursday with a follow-on workshop the next day limited to 35 places. The featured speaker is Dr. Helen Barrett, of whom I was pretty ignorant when I first looked at the descriptor on the DECS Leadership website. So I found out that she had a blog, I checked it out. She promises to be a extremely interesting speaker and although her blog is very good, it will be good to hear her define the concept of e-portfolio in person. An e-portfolio can mean many different things to different people and I'm no expert (that's why I'm going). Leigh Blackall certainly has his opinions and believes that a lot of web 2.O technologies can do the same job or be called the same thing.
There's been a steady stream of talk around the idea of ePortfolios. I've been watching, interested in how the name alone is a good way to get people who are opposed to blogging, interested in what amounts to ... blogging! Amazing what a word can do.
So I'll be keeping my naivety in check and seeing what our education system is wanting to do with this concept. I know that the term has bandied around and used in a number of settings to describe a variety of end results. One primary school here in Adelaide, Hallett Cove East was a bit of a mover and a shaker in this area, producing student digital portfolios in CD-RW format so that more work samples could be added to it. I went to a workshop there in 2003 where they plugged this concept pretty hard. And maybe primary schools have a different headset to what secondary schools or higher ed would envisage. As for what an educator's e-portfolio might look like, I suppose it is something that pulls together the reflectiveness and ongoing learning of a blog, with storage capacity of digital artifacts like I've got at RWLO. Anyway, I'm reading too much into an area where I have little practical expertise. I know that at leadership conferences and workshops I've attended, there is a big emphasis on the maintenance of a professional portfolio, a black folder where you stick all of your training certificates plus paper copies of job applications, feedbacks etc. but I have most of that stuff on my hard drive at home or backed up on CD. It should be interesting.