I have got a lot of time for Graham Attwell’s thoughts around eportfolios. I referenced his article e-Portfolios – the DNA of the Personal Learning Environment? in my ePortfolio research. He also contributed to the MOSEP (More Self-Esteem with my ePortfolio) project which is well worth a look.
Hot off the wire is his current thoughts around eportfolios, discussing such questions as these:
Is an e-Portfolio intended as a space for learners to record all their learning – that which takes place in the home or in the workplace as well as in a course environment or is it a place or responding to prescribed outcomes for a course or learning programme?
How much should an e-Portfolio be considered a tool for assessment and how much for reflection on learning?
Can one environment encompass all of these functions?
And such technologies as OSPI, Elgg and Mahara. Further discussion involves Mash Up Personal Learning Environments and research looking at the value of light weight widgets for promoting reflection that can be embedded in existing e-learning programmes.
All interesting stuff and worth a couple of minutes of your time.
I have been having a play with Dipity an online timeline creator. I would have to say that it is pretty cool. Like most social sites, you can make your timeline public and receive comments, as well as invite other users to contribute and have editing permissions. Collaborative timeline building – not bad.
It is really easy to use and requires no tutorials or help. Just follow your instincts. Any event you add can have an associated image (either uploaded or linked) or a movie, a URL and a location. You can also insert a feed from common services like Twitter, WordPress.com, YouTube or any RSS feed. Below is the RSS feed timeline for Ewan McIntosh’s blog to give you an idea of what you can do from importing an RSS feed.
You can view the timeline full screen, select to view it by hours, days months or years, or as a flipbook or list. The flipbook view is nice and kind of cover flow iTunes’ish. The location view mashes up the data with Google Maps to give you a location based timeline, lots of uses for that. Uses in education are pretty obvious really; biographical or autobiographical information, historical events, life cycles, product development, project time management… endless potential to support learning.
One negative for me is when you add an event that spreads over time, for example from 2001 to 2003, like a 3 year contract or programme. I would expect the entry to graphically reflect this time frame and go from the beginning of 2001 on the timeline to the end of 2003. However from my initial experimentation this is not possible as each event seems to have a maximum size and starts in the correct position but ends at the end of the event. It would be nice to have the option to ‘represent events in actual time frame length’ or something.
Otherwise, cool. Try the timetube YouTube Dipity mashup, like this one on Web 2.0:
Or the flickr or digg mashups.
Make the time to have a play with Dipity.