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Saturday, 14 February 2009

When do we start with an e-Portfolio?

Graphic: The Seven Ages of Man for e-PortfoliosFor some years, now, I have repeatedly used the image of 'the Seven Ages of Man' to try and explain something of the problem of 'multiple transitions' and have invariably used the phrase 'from 5 to 95'. Even within the 5-19 age range there are many potential transitions that can befall the learner.

However, I was recently reprimanded by one who is responsible for 'Early Years Foundation Stage' learning. He pointed out that staff in 'Early Years' had to cope with reporting on some 119 criteria as and when instances occurred - and I can see the common sense in using an e-portfolio for this type of recording. - Possibly even parents could complete instances as well as education staff?

Once on this train of thought, I reflected on Dr Helen Barrett's suggestion that Lifelong Learning is actually from cradle to grave. And one of her suggestions was that at the 'Baby Shower' party celebrating the birth of the child one of the gifts to the babe would be an e-Portfolio wherein all the milestones of baby's progress would be recorded with photographs and a checklist of dates/occurrences etc. So, which County Registrar is going to be the first to recommend instituting e-Portfolios for babies?


John Pallister said...

The years pass by and we still wonder who will pick up the ePortfolio and move it forward. This time last year we thought it might be the Baby food manufacturers or some other organisation.

Now last week I had occasion to employ 'photo evidence' to address a problem at the other end of the age continuum. An ageing relative was struggling a bit with his memory. As with everything, I thought ePortfolio would solve the problem.

I promptly bought a digital photo frame, loaded a slide show of significant photos from across years. The photo frame sits on his sideboard, presenting images from his past that challenge him to 'practice' his memory.

So the 'legacy' ePortfolio might save the country loads of NHS money! - so we have another economic driver! Must be worth a fortune for who ever does it.

Pilgram said...

The most important stage of education is probably those years before a child starts school. It has been asserted that money spent on education then has double the effect of money spent later on, not only in educational aspects of development, but also in social areas.

So why start an eportfolio at 5? With the ethos of the EYFS being in practical achievements documented and discussed between teachers and parents, an eportfolio would seem the ideal way of sharing and discussing these important but small steps.

Some of our local schools have been using the eportfolio section of our Learning Platform to do similar work with KS1 children. They have been recording actions and work and adding it to the Learning Platform using text and photos.

With the wide variety of settings in the EYFS it would be difficult to enable them all to use the eportfolio approach unless it was made a mobile solution rather than a computer based solution. The technical problems are large, but not insoluble, if the will is there.

Ray Tolley said...

Hi, Pilgram, thanks for the response.

Yes, you're absolutely right and my eFolio system will do that insofar as it is externally hosted. I do not forsee any technical difficulties, but I must check with my IMS colleagues if they can absorb the relevant codes for EYFS.

Perhaps you can advise? Do different Authorities use different criteria or are there agreed criteria that I can embed?