One of the things I have always found is that you can not assume that everyone has the ICT skills at the start. Scaffolding must be put in place for students which will also help them to become independent learners. Someone this year produced tutorials with a lot of information on a page. Our students became confused and would ring/email or come and see me for extra help. I used 'just in time learning' and produced a small book of how to tutorials which were placed in our online learning environment. What students liked with these was that there was only one concept for each tutorial so that they didn't become confused.
Our students use Mahara as do a lot of schools here in NZ. They do not share their e-portfolios with each other although the option is there. I personally would like to see them sharing and giving each other constructive feedback.
I certainly agree with Ewan McIntosh's comment that e-portfolios should be:
for the whole, open web: otherwise we set ourselves up for nearly onlyI found that a lot of students wanted feedback from me throughout the course - how much better to get feedback from their peers as well as others from completely different backgrounds.
introspective learning with people who share our viewpoints, cultural biases and
outlook on learning and life.
At an intermediate school in Auckland children have been developing their e-portfolios for some time. A long time ago I discussed Jess's eportfolio on this blog:
I find this e-portfolio inspiring as I can see how Jess developed this over the three years. You can see the growth in her learning as well as how she is also a ‘guide on the side’ to other’s learning (through discussion areas she has on her wiki, tutorials or videos she has developed for the learning ).
This e-portfolio was started in 2007 by Jess and developed through 2008 and 2009. It uses a range of Web 2 tools to demonstrate her personal growth and learning and is fully public as she uses several wikis and blogs. She has done blogs which include reflections about her learning for example there are different blogs for her science inquiries. In her wiki she has a page where she asked her parent’s opinions on what they would like to see in her e-portfolio. This was recorded and put into her wiki. She has developed an area for her own ‘voice’ where she talks about Web 2 tools and 21st century learning.
Jess gets feedback from all over the world – this is authentic and meaningful for her. It is interesting to see how these comments were continuing through 2009 and that Jess was still developing her e-portfolio then – becoming a life-long learner (although no longer being at the school). It is also interesting that the high school she goes to does not continue these on.