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Thursday, 17 December 2009

Passion and Learning

Photo: A young child passionate about her work.I have just come back from 3 days of HE/FE conferences in which I heard repeated criticisms of VLEs and e-Portfolios as not meeting the needs of students. Discussions ranged from the sterility of the formats to the inability of lecturers and professors to actually understand the potential of the new technologies.

And then, next morning, I discovered this offering from Angela Maiers' presentation for K12OnlineConference09. What a refreshing change this was! This raised my spirits for the simple reason that this is what I see as the secret of eFolio. The reality of real involvement as opposed to the half-hearted efforts of our kids in the classroom that Angela refers to is at the heart of the child's ownership of learning.

As I said at one of the meetings, 'Unless all stakeholders are fully consulted before the implementation of a new technology (here talking about VLEs), unless the decision makers are educated as to the full potential of the new tools, unless they can then in turn decide how this will impact on teaching and learning, it is no wonder that the technology fails to meet expectations.'

And this is equally true of e-Portfolios. In all sectors of Education, it would appear, decision makers have failed to do the spadework of consulting with the whole range of stakeholders - and certainly do not appear to have explored how the e-Portfolio can change teaching and learning. Far too often it is the case that installations are managed by technicians who have little understanding of the future direction of education. It is essential, as Angela Maier clearly illustrates, that unless the e-Portfolio is designed (by educators) to adapt to the learner's individual passions there will be very little chance of its real takeup within education.

1 comment:

Mr Lietze said...

Ray I just want to say "Amen!" ePortfolios need to be driven from the bottom up (classroom teachers and the teaching and learning needs) not top down.