PEN Forum on ePortfolios

This month the PEN (Principal’s Electronic Network) is hosting a forum on ePortfolios. I have been invited to join in this discussion and initiate the forum discussion.

It is always difficult to write an initial forum post that leads on to effective discussion about the topic. How long should it be? Should you play the devil’s advocate? Do you just state the facts as we know them now? How much crystal balling should you do?

If you have any answers, let me know. Otherwise here is my initial post designed to be the starting point for an ongoing discussion about eportfolios.

The NZ Curriculum “…gives schools the flexibility to design and deliver programmes that will engage all students and offer them appropriate learning pathways.”
The document further describes effective pedagogy and assessment, recognises parents as key partners, encourages elearning to open up new opportunities, and promotes student engagement in their learning.
My suggestion is that the eportfolio is able to provide the container that will capture the essence of a learning programme that caters for all of these features.
While the traditional portfolio focused on best examples of work to be showcased, the modern eportfolio, with its ability to network learners, integrate the best of Web 2.0 and show the process of learning, focuses more on supporting learners by being an integral component in the learning process.
How are you connecting learners, parents and teachers? How are you capturing feedback before, during and after learning? How are you facilitating learners in reflecting on and sharing learning through multimedia? How are you allowing learners to collect examples of their learning in an environment similar to what they use as part of their out of school networking?
The eportfolio makes this possible. It supports effective learning, assessment and elearning as described in the NZ Curriculum. It involves parents in the learning process and most importantly, engages students. Far from being a current buzzword in education, the eportfolio is an essential component that links the essential strands of learning together.

#PEN #web #feedback #education #engage #motivate #principal #assessment #pedagogy #NZCurriculum #SocialNetworking

Using utterli.com for eportfolio comments and feedback

Thanks to Toni, another of the 2008 eFellows, for prompting me to think about how utterli.com can potentially add an exciting dimension to our web based eportfolios.

Utterli is an online social networking site centered around creating and following discussions using a mobile phone or a computer. Utters can be audio, video, pictures or text.

By registering your mobile phone number, you can use your phone (NZ number 09 4427356) to access, initiate or participate in a discussion. Within a 10 minute time frame, you can also email in text, video or images to accompany your utter.

The really great thing is the ability to cross-post your utters to other web sites. For example, my utters will automatically be posted to this blog.

So here is how I can see this working in the context of a students’ eportfolio. For the age of the students we are working with, one of their parent’s mobile numbers would be registered.

The child would post learning and thoughts to their eportfolio as per usual, but now the ability to comment and feedback by the child or their parent is made more accessible. Learning can be shared and a quick phone call will enable a voice comment or feedback to automatically be posted into the child’s blog. Cool.

Not only that, but utters can be posted about the students even when there is no deliberate sharing of learning intended. If a student took home a reader to share with their parents, after reading and discussing the story the parents could just phone in a comment about how well the student read and what they needed help with. Doubly cool.

This would be especially great for those who prefer the ease of a quick spoken comment to that of sitting down and typing. It is also familiar technology, everybody knows how to make a phone call, whereas the blogging eportfolio software we use could in itself be a barrier to the technology reluctant parent.

So my next post will need to be an utter. Coming soon…

Photo courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulsynnott/

#mobilephone #voice #crossposting #utter #feedback #utterli #comment