As we decide on our eportfolio solution for ’09, it makes sense to revisit our criteria to remind ourselves exactly what we are looking for. WordPress MU allowed us to nail most of our criteria, but it was not the perfect eportfolio solution, and to be honest I don’t believe there is one out there, despite the claims that there are products suitable for 5-95 year olds. Our criteria has not really changed since this time last year, the only addition to it is the ability of the product to support the use of mobile/portable devices, especially as I have just ordered some iPod Touches…
With WordPress MU we dropped the social networking aspect, and while it would have been great, you can manufacture a social/learning network yourself with your class and school community which has the same outcomes on learning.
Last week I was fortunate enough to visit Jamin Lietze at Bethlehem College. We bashed around the topic of eportfolios in the hope of finding the perfect solution for his school that will cater for 5-18 year olds. Jamin has developed his own criteria (see below) for eportfolios. It is always useful to look beyond your situation and see how others attack the same problem.
So what does all this mean for Russell Street? Well it hasn’t made our decisions any easier but it does reinforce that the search for the perfect eportfolio solution is neverending. It also reinforces, if you are self-hosting it yourself, how you have to make your solution work and comply to all of those listed criteria. As mentioned in other posts this is not sustainable over the long term.
So if not self-hosting a WordPress MU install, the questions is not what is the best other option but perhaps the one that is going to make the easiest transition from what we had last year. If we look at the two options that seem to be top of the list at the moment, Edublogs or 21Classes, Edublogs, a customised souped up version of WordPress MU, would have the smallest transition from current practice. The backend is the same so creating and editing posts requires no new learning for students and teachers.
So… a decision? Hmm… will run some of these thoughts passed the other stakeholders.