Using e Portfolios to empower learning

I’m definitely not Gen Y but sometimes I can relate to the need for stimulation during a learning  session. Being reflective, naturally I don’t mind reading through materials after the lesson is over, or even thumbing through them as reference, but I’m not the type who absolutely relishes reading page after page of text online. Let me click a button other than one that says “Next” for pete’s sake… let me do something! At least let me view or listen to scenarios that demonstrate what you’re teaching… a video, anything!

Susan Smith Nash (eLearning Queen) posted in March about the possibilities of using ePortfolios to enhance students experiences online. People or students can post multimedia content on their subject matter, and their peers or people within their network can collaborate to materials.

Using sharing media that encourages social networking like Digication can help promote collaborative and supportive learning.  I’m sure there’s tons of free-ware out there including wiki free-ware that can be used for the same purposes.  Digication seems to package the tools specifically for educational uses.  They’ve included examples of customers who use the tools and their stories.

Let’s face it kids use social networking tech to learn when they’re not using it figure out how to subvert the system. Even adults in a work situation (unless you’re working in a morgue) use it. I’ve seen online training sessions where people in the room were IMing each other not just to comment on how mind-blowingly charismatic and enthralling the instructor is, but asking each other if they’ve seen examples of the content in action.

For students in a school setting, I think this is  not only a great opportunity to share and build upon each other’s work and ideas, it’s an excellent chance for them to learn and apply netiquette.  For those corporate leaders who are looking at the future workforce for innovative and collaborative people, using these types of tools for learning prepares many more young people for this type of working environment.

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4 Responses to “Using e Portfolios to empower learning”


  1. 1 Christy Tucker April 6, 2007 at 2:51 am

    I think as an employer I would learn a lot more about a potential employee from a portfolio like this than from a GPA or SAT score.

    As a side note, Pam and I just discussed the possibility of a portfolio course earlier today. Don’t you think it would be fun to develop a course to help teachers learn how to do portfolios successfully?

  2. 2 Rory April 6, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Great thoughts! – Love your line about kids using it to learn something when they’re not subverting the system.

  3. 3 nkilkenny April 6, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Thanks, Rory… I used to teach middle school. I think it’s normal to expect students to challenge authority at times, that’s part of growing up to be an adult. Just as long as they understand that there are appropriate times and places to express this behavior.

    I think a portfolio course would be an excellent idea, Christy. When engaged in portfolio work properly it can generate motivation for learning as well as pride in students’ work.

    About employers screening porfolios of potential employees… you should check out Rod Boothby’s post on how he got his job: http://innovationcreators.com/wp/?p=287

  4. 4 Christy Tucker April 7, 2007 at 12:38 am

    Great post by Boothby. Thanks for sharing it.


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