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Wk 1-An intro to eportfolios

What are eportfolios?  Can you think of people who are in the creative industries who use portfolios?  

Now eportfolios are being used in education. If you’re not familiar with the concept you might want to check out this video.

Use the Post Comment button to share a few ideas about the nature and purpose of portfolios. Who uses eportfolios in their professional lives? What is their purpose?

What could an eportfolio in education look like? How could it capture a teacher's experience, talent and ability?

Task Discussion

  • Mrs. Dow   July 24, 2012, 10:11 p.m.

    Taskstream is the e-portfolio I have used  for the past eight years.  I used it first for my Masters in Education program.  I then used it to store my lesson plans, create rubrics, and check state standards.  It is pretty expensive and doesn't really work for everything I want to do.  It would be super if I could have something that my entire class could access, add to, and edit in.  Much the same way they might a blog.  I have found that using OneNote 2010 has been a fun way to create notebooks.  I haven't tried uploading any of my notebooks to the web.  Has anyone had experience with it?

  • karen   July 26, 2012, 12:50 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Mrs. Dow   July 24, 2012, 10:11 p.m.

    Wow, eight years is a long time! Have you been able to maintain your portfolio actively for this long? What benefits have you seen over the years?

    (I haven't used OneNote, but have used Evernote, which I think is similar.)

  • karen   July 12, 2012, 6:05 p.m.

    As we've already discussed elsewhere, it's becoming more apparent to me that there are multiple audiences and purposes.

    Some of these audiences might be potential employers, colleagues, students, and one's self.

    It strikes me that this might merit a large underlying collection of artifacts and reflections which can then be viewed through various lenses.

    Just as an artist might rearrange/reprioritize her physical portfolio for different jobs, this can be done digitally by providing these different lenses or views.

    Are there any tools that make this easy? Evernote comes to mind for me, with its ability to have some folders be public and others not, and with its support for multiple file types, tags, etc. The display wouldn't be ideal for potential employers, but maybe you could do a different interface for that.

  • Liz Renshaw   July 12, 2012, 8:28 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   July 12, 2012, 6:05 p.m.

    Love this image karen. I think it captures where our discussion is headed. I also think you have hit on something with suggesting that we might need different interfaces for different audiences/purposes.

    Im thinking that e portfolios are a fluid,dynamic and interact 'creation' that will change endlessly. Certainly they must always be personalised .

    Just as we explore spaces today tomorrow new spaces/sites will be available that better reflect our emerging needs in the e portfolio area....



  • Selim   July 12, 2012, 12:45 p.m.

    E-Portfolios for education would allow me to hopefully come closer to a goal I have had for years - minimizing my paper accumulation and having a digital archive of my work and accomplishments.  

    Untenured teachers in NYC are required to have a portfolio of their work that demonstrates teacher growth and how the teacher has improved their teaching and how their students have improved over time.  A paper based portfolio is cumbersome, takes up entirely too much space and requires a significant regular investment of time to maintain.

    An E-Portfolio would allow me to take advantage of some of the resources I am already using, like Dropbox, where I have stored my lesson plans and assignments.  I can transfer the pieces of work that I am most proud of into my portfolio.  One of the best features that the video desccribed is having a place where I can write down my reflections easily - I consistently reflect on how my day went and what could have gone better but I rarely (almost never) go back to my lesson plan  and write that reflection down - the portfolio would allow me to easily store my reflections without having to spend more than 5 minutes in a day to do so.

  • karen   July 12, 2012, 1:15 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Selim   July 12, 2012, 12:45 p.m.

    I'm interested to hear that untenured teachers are required to have a portfolio. I've been looking for examples like this that we might tie into. It seems to me that keeping a portfolio might be a better way to track professional growth than other methods in use (e.g. seat hours in PD sessions).

    What does NYC require in terms of a portfolio? Do you have a web link for this? Thanks.

    And does anyone else have any examples like this? So far, I've found that portfolios are only used in a few places in the U.S. (NM), but more widely in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

  • RachelCorrine   July 12, 2012, 7:51 a.m.

    I struggle with where to draw the line with e-porfolio content.  When does the site stop acting as a professional portfolio and began acting as a personal blog...or is the future of e-portfolios a combination of the two?  When is there too much content, or is there never enough?

    I wonder if the answer is to design the site in such a way that the upfront content resembles a more traditional portfolio.  Then if a viewer is interested to dive deeper, they can discover more and more content - but the at-a-glance view is more professional. 

  • karen   July 12, 2012, 1:20 p.m.
    In Reply To:   RachelCorrine   July 12, 2012, 7:51 a.m.

    Good questions. Looking at the purpose of your eportfolio might help answer them.

    Is the purpose of your portfolio to document and guide your own learning or to act as a resource for potential employers? If it is the latter, I would say that for many "less is more."

    I do like the idea of designing your portfolio with a very simple first view that showcases your best work and then allowing a deeper dive for more information. This is an interesting lense through which we might look at different tools. Some work better this way than others.

  • Leah MacVie   July 12, 2012, 3:26 p.m.
    In Reply To:   RachelCorrine   July 12, 2012, 7:51 a.m.

    I agree with Karen that audience is key, but I also think that teachers now have a responsibility to become digital citizens and, also, digital leaders. While I don't think a personal 'ranting blog' is appropriate, I do think a blog as a form of scholarship is. Explore new ideas and technologies and reflect on how they can be used in education as a means of being part of the wider conversations going on in academia. 

  • Jack Mosel (Jack Buxbaum in Second Life!) @moseljack (Twitter)   July 10, 2012, 2:54 p.m.

    Here's a sort of 'explication' of these digital resources, as they are shown in the background while I address Google Educator's Certification program. This is an  enrollment application through video which Google required for admission for their NYC applicant's in Fall 2012.

    This is the third MOOC I've been involved in since late winter this year. I have been very much impressed and have learned so much already from building on the shoulder's of what other educator's have learned and applied. I cannot be thankful enough.. for the seemingly self-less effort and outpouring of freely available content and technology tool application's from the facilitator's of P2PU organizers and in Second Life and on Twitter and .. Man... There's so much that is being freely given.

    If you feel overwhelmed or are suffering from "Tech-Glog" (Ha!).Welcome to the 21st Century! You WILL be fine, it just takes a while to get to WOW.. If you hang in.. YOU WILL!

    Feel free to 'Follow' on Twitter to see some of the great ed-tech people I follow (to seed your Twitter activity).. If I may be so bold as to suggest...

    Great to be part of another great crew in P2PU and involved in another MOOC!. OMG.. There is/are so much that is cool and so many people that are opening up my world.. that I need 28 hours.. LOL!

  • Jack Mosel (Jack Buxbaum in Second Life!) @moseljack (Twitter)   July 10, 2012, 2:42 p.m.

    I'm hopelessly "immersed"...

  • evan williams   July 11, 2012, 7:18 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Jack Mosel (Jack Buxbaum in Second Life!) @moseljack (Twitter)   July 10, 2012, 2:42 p.m.

    That's awesome. It's the perfect resource.


    I mentioned below that as much as I love all the social media and easy ways to incorporate all kinds of different media into one place, I use it all in a personal/writer way. I am hesitant at creating MORE profiles, but as a teacher, to make it separate from my writerly ways. 

    It may come to that, though. 

    I wonder if others have that same problem. Sure they have a Twitter account, but it's not necessarily something they'd want to share in an educational sense. 

  • Liz Renshaw   July 12, 2012, 4:42 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Jack Mosel (Jack Buxbaum in Second Life!) @moseljack (Twitter)   July 10, 2012, 2:42 p.m.

    Jack, as you say im hopelessly 'immersed'.....  I started at this post as it was short and thought it would give me an in to something special...... absolutely right.

    You are a goldmine of experience in the digital world... so first up I just love this could be used to offer a quick overview of someones skills etc ...... BRILLIANT.

    and so much more ...... so rather than getting overwhelmed Im doing to drill 'down' and benefit from your expertise.

    A couple of questions about this site...

    1. do you think it could be used for an eportfolio ?

    2. could it be embeded in another site say wordpress? (not just a link) for the visual hit ?

    3. have you used this visual way to go for any specific jobs/etc?

    4. is this a suitable tool to use for synthesis of ideas?

    It's great to cross the path of such a digital pilgrim!!!

  • karen   July 12, 2012, 6:07 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Liz Renshaw   July 12, 2012, 4:42 a.m.

    The question about whether something can be embedded seems critical to me.

    It is almost inevitable that digital artifacts are going to be in various places, needing to be brought together in various views somewhere. Embedded content (as opposed to links) not only is more engaging, but it preserves the context.

  • Liz Renshaw   July 12, 2012, 8:14 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   July 12, 2012, 6:07 p.m.

    Embedding is critical, I agree with karen. There is nothing more frustrating and non engaging than heaps of links. Wonder which is the best way to go with tools? I think Week 2 will help us in our search...

  • Anonym   July 9, 2012, 3:39 p.m.

    E-P used in media arts are a highly useful to job seekers. Since they are in the arts, any display of their abilities and work caseloads(movies,plays) is very important. But as noted about keeping info on several online facilities then i would reconsider if  I had to keep blogs, websites, social media -twitter accounts all by lonesome self with no help from an assistant that is a lot to do. Can I expect to keep all that up while attempting to be creative in the job environment?

    How about one spot -iCloud storage for all I would keep as witness to my creativity! Then I can resource from it to other media if and when necessary. 

  • Leah MacVie   July 6, 2012, 10:46 p.m.

    Happytown and Gladsville seem like really nice places to work... :)

    Kidding- such a cute video! When I speak with my faculty (who teach undergrads and grads) about the concept of eportfolios, I usually say they should be used in every discipline. Here's why: with a high unemployment rate and more people applying for each job, we have to give employers help when sorting through candidates. Likewise, we have to give candidates a better way to stand out. Black text on white paper doesn't SHOW what they've done to earn that text.

    I see the above as a practical purpose, but there are also reflection and assessment benefits. Furthermore, they can serve as proof/a handshake between instructors/grade levels: "yes, this student did learn A,B,C and is ready to move on".

    Now, the concepts also apply to teachers: when applying for jobs, teachers should have to SHOW that they are qualified. Also, a yearly ePortfolio evaluation by administration would require teachers to be lifelong learners. This serves as a great exemplar to their students.

  • evan williams   July 11, 2012, 7:14 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Leah MacVie   July 6, 2012, 10:46 p.m.

    I like the idea of posting video of me teaching on an ePortfolio. The hard part is getting the camera just RIGHT so it's actually enjoyable to watch, as well as useful to showcase how you are as a teacher. 

    It's also intimidating to post video of yourself because it's so revealing. Granted, you'd only post the good stuff...

    But I'm sure others out there are like me when it comes to watching themselves. They hate it. 

    I know I do. With the question:

    "Is that really how I act?" 

  • Janet Ilko   July 11, 2012, 7:27 p.m.
    In Reply To:   evan williams   July 11, 2012, 7:14 p.m.

    Not only is it really how I act, but my second question is "really? do I look like this wearing that??" I think going back to the classroom for my 25th year makes me old school, yet i love the digital world. I do find myself hesitating before making a video. It is a tough hurdle for me for sure.

  • Liz Renshaw   July 12, 2012, 8:23 p.m.
    In Reply To:   evan williams   July 11, 2012, 7:14 p.m.

    You make a good point about videos of teaching... getting it right is the key. I think this will involve educators in having video editing skills knowledge and skillls so they can produce a watchable artifact.

    I know that when I introduce audio recording to students they always freak out about their own voices and then videos is the same response only stronger. However once we start using these tools as everyday it becomes easy to 'see yourself' .

    If we produce videos of teaching...... how long is needed to capture something meaningful? will we need stylist for hair and makeup? I think teaching is so much about context and getting the background story...... its about a process..... how can we do just to this art form?


  • karen   July 14, 2012, 3:27 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Liz Renshaw   July 12, 2012, 8:23 p.m.

    Like other things we've discussed here, there seem to be several audiences and purposes for videos of our teaching.

    One is for external audiences, such as potential hirers, to "demonstrate competency." This type of use tends to make us more credity and want to produce a more highly produced piece.

    A very different use is for our own professional reflection (lesson study, etc.) in which case the production values are not really the point.

    Even for external audiences though, perhaps we should strive more for authenticity over artificial perfection. :)

    Always in video, I find that less is more. A good 3-5 minute clip is best. And do that, editing skills are essential.

  • fotologic   June 16, 2012, 1:33 p.m.

    I don't currently think of an ePortfolio as a single entity but rather an interconnected web of resources that live online and constantly in a process of flux. The traditional folder of professional evidence - courses attended, skills acquired, lesson observations passed, resources created - seems far to static and paper-based and I think the internet provides teachers with a rich, entertaining and rewarding space for documenting their own learning and achievements. However, the really exciting aspect of an online portfolio is its social dimension.

    My own ePortfolio would include a wide variety of web based content. For example:

    My professional learning blog (a bit like a digital scrapbook)

    My school's creative learning website, blog and Facebook group page (which I designed and am responsible for maintaining)

    My departmental website, blog and Flickr photostream (I am the course leader for photography and I maintain the content on these sites)

    My personal Flickr photostream.

    In addition to this type of content I would also include my Twitter account, my LinkedIn profile, a number of other project websites and blogs that I have created and things like my musical tastes (Spotify and Last FM accounts).

    I see no need to have all these resources in one place. In fact, I prefer that they are hosted where they belong and can be accessed by various communities of interest. I suppose I could attempt to create a portal page somewhere with links to everyting I've ever made but I don't think it's necessary.

  • Jack Mosel (Jack Buxbaum in Second Life!) @moseljack (Twitter)   July 10, 2012, 3:11 p.m.
    In Reply To:   fotologic   June 16, 2012, 1:33 p.m.

    Absolutely there is not one 'place' for repository of curated artifacts or evidence of application. I too have many. I use Onenote, Evernote and Carbonite and Google Drive. I use Facebook and Twitter, Scoopit and Linkedin as well as pinterest too as repositories. I can access insane graphics and information I have already in the cloud. 

    I have a 500Gb Removable HArd Drive I back up Just in Case and I have been massing out of control Digital Textbooks from Kindle Reader through Amazon and through Google Reader and through Itunes. OMG.. ITunes -- The Podcasts and the online availablility for content and lecture's for my content (Science) is stoopifying... 

    I also use Live Binder's as of late and that's another 'addiction'! Ha!

  • evan williams   July 11, 2012, 7:07 p.m.
    In Reply To:   fotologic   June 16, 2012, 1:33 p.m.

    I like the look of your professional learning blog. 

    I agree with you that an ePortfolio is a slew of different tools, but I think in order to make it a bit their links or embed them into one location. 

    I have an online presence as a writer/for fun that I struggle with adding even MORE elements to my digital footprint, especially as a teacher. It's not that I wouldn't love to do it, but it would be even MORE websites and names attached to me...

  • evan williams   July 11, 2012, 7:10 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Jack Mosel (Jack Buxbaum in Second Life!) @moseljack (Twitter)   July 10, 2012, 3:11 p.m.

    Just for teaching, I have a small assortment of tools I use: Edmodo, Google Drive (formerly Google Docs for Education) that my district signed up for, school websites with widgets.

    For personal, not really related to education, I do follow a bunch of blogs that feature technology for education. I let them do all the hard work and then I search out the sites and information I would like.

    There's too much out there!

  • Sue K   June 12, 2012, 7:04 p.m.

    I think the concept has great potential. Not only can the teacher's work and refelctions be captured, but she/he can also capture examples of student work, how that work informed the teacher's practice & how the student work was used in the instructional process. In thinking about putting this in practice for myself, I worry about the process and organization. Growth and development tend to be a "messy" process. I also struggle with organizational structures (that ADD trait) and would be challenged with an effective organization that would capture aspects of my craft. I think video & audio tools might help, but I still think it would be a challenge for me to set up categories and sub-categories that would show the various components of practice; I also then would want to show how the separate elements overlap or are connected in order to give a more complete picture of my work. 

    I am also wondering about maintenance over time. I would think one would have to have a process of "weeding" out and refining the portfolio. I am trying to think of those in the creative arts fields who are starting to use ePortfolios more and more. 

    As I think through it though, I can see all kinds of applications for this - "problems of practice" that are shared in order to get input and assistance; feedback sought on unit and lesson design with corresponding assessments. The key would be to not have the structure become more important than the process. I have seen some people create portfolio systems or other on-line/technology tools (think "data warehouses") that were so focused on the development of the tool, that the effectiveness of the reflective/growth process was lost. 

    I gues starting with the end in mind is key . . .