I've spent the last couple of hours scouring the web for information relating to my e-portfolio Action Research Project and it's been hard going. Perhaps it's a measure of my lack of effective digital literacy skills or just perhaps the ongoing conversation about this idea is a bit thin on the ground. I have two RSS search feeds over on my PageFlakes site that track the phrase through the blogosphere and I've been picking through the links coming in. I did find a post from Graham Attwell which speculates whether the concept of PLE and e-portfolio are merging to be essentially the same thing. That really tells me what I already know - an e-portfolio is a lot more than a CV, and is a learning landscape that evolves with the user. Graham blogs from Europe where he notices;
e-Portfolios are moving beyond the first adopters, beyond the pedagogic researchers into mainstream use.
I definitely don't see that here - I haven't really patched my own version together yet, and I'm struggling to get my focus group together (illness, other commitments). Next week, Chris Bennie from TSOF comes out to video me on my project and I don't know what he's going to tape. It's not like I haven't been thinking and reading on this idea but it's very hard to nail down and organise efficiently.
So, what have I done so far? Let's try some dot points for efficiency's sake.
- set up a wiki to record my project - links, thoughts, snippets etc. (I know wikis are great collaborative tools but they are a dead simple way to make a navigational website and keep things neat and tidy. I'm erring more on Doug's personal use philosophy rather than Artichoke's "let the floodgates open" approach.) By the way, do you like my fancy logo?
- using Google Notebook to snip key passages of information about e-portfolios as find them on the web. It's a really efficient way to gather notes as it automatically cites the source. It can be made public too - I was going to do that but changed my mind as I'd have to check the licensing on all of the sites I've accessed so far. Four wouldn't take me long but I will add to this as I go. My link to Graham Attwell's work above will provide a lot of fodder for my brain.
- set up a page on Pageflakes for this project. Again, not much there except the RSS search feeds, links to my wiki and Notebook.
I've also started listing possible e-portfolio software solutions for my focus group. When I meet with them, I want to have a conversation about their needs and it could well be that one of them wants to try a hosted solution, wants their own domain name and so I am accumulating some possible one-stop-shop solutions. That of course isn't the way I personally want to go - so the next section is a list of possible web based applications that can be "glued" together for a Web 2.0 version of an e-portfolio. I have this blog as one piece, I have grahamwegner.wikispaces.com ready to go for static content (although it's a bit sparse) and I'd want to use either PageFlakes, NetVibes or WebWag as the gluing solution for any other pieces I'd want to join on - Flickr images, box.net and ourmedia files, other places that I contribute to and so on. The freerange approach is definitely the method that will answer the question "Are teacher e-portfolios sustainable?" for me, but whether other teachers will be quite as enthused remains to be seen. As for the video shoot, I could just blabber for a while and use this post as my cue cards. We'll see.
I’m a big fan of ELGG to provide the Web2.0 tools to meet your needs. There is also an ELGG Spaces on the horizon.
It has the essential social software elements that are required for your e-portfolio/PLE.
I think you have made a terrific start to your research, as outlined here, and your learning journey should be easy to capture on video next week.
Graham Attwell e-mailed me promising to follow up with his thoughts here but he too pushed elgg as a ideal solution (free, non-commercial, education focussed) and even offered to solve the hosting issue. Maybe elgg has a future in our education system to provide an available e-portfolio option for teachers. I will encourage at least one of my focus group to base their e-portfolio on elgg.
Great to read your post around e-portfolios. I don’t know if this will be of use to you, but I’ve been following this link over at delicious, maybe you’ll come across some useful ideas there…
This feed has lead me in many wonderful directions in my own investigations into eportfolios.
I back you up on your glued together portfolio. I think one key aspect to portfolios, well digital ones anyway, is that they belone 100% to the student or teacher who is keeping them. I think it sorta plays into the whole identity side of things. I’ll be watching your blog for updates on this project!
Take care friend,
Am keeping the ULearn06 wiki floodgates open for you Graham – We are just hanging out for question/ comments from “across the ditch”
Wobbly Regards from The Trembly Isles