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Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Blind Leading the Blind?

Dreamstime Photo: Being welcomed by a blindfolded man.As an avid e-Portfolio watcher I spend hours every day reading students' e-Portfolios and academic articles, from the most naive to the extremely erudite. However, what was exciting some four years ago has made me become increasingly frustrated as I repeatedly read the same sort of academic papers describing small-scale 'Pilots' which never seem to get anywhere. Similarly, students from all around the world write of their requirements to explore, investigate or design e-Portfolios as an ICT competency excercise imposed upon them by their tutors.

This set me thinking: Why is it that apparently intelligent people, tutors or faculty in particular, appear to lack any reasonable knowledge of the full functionality or benefits of using an e-Portfolio system?

After some 20 years of e-Portfolio thinking it seems strange that so many school leaders have no working familiarity with the tool. If students can benefit so much from e-Portfolios, what confidence can they have in faculty who don't use them. What sort of duplicity is it that says, 'You must do this, but I don't.'

Perhaps one might ask, 'Who blindfolded you?' Is it the institution that says this would cost too much to implement? Is it faculty who say we haven't got the time? Is it educators who have not adopted Web2.0 thinking? Have staff been confused by misleading advocacy? Or is it an hierarchy that intend maintaining the status quo?

Perhaps nearer the truth is the fact that many students can see through the weaknesses of a profession that relies on orthodoxy rather than exploring a brave and exciting new world of Teaching & Learning?

As I have said in several other places, 'Without a vision the people perish!' No where is this more true than in the world of e-Portfolios. Let us therefore stop all 'Pilots' and get involved in implementing whole-school policies for e-Portfolios, NOW!


Ian Addison said...

How would you suggest using e-portfolios in primary? I have lots of plans of what I want to do in September when I get back into class, but which software/website to use?

Ray Tolley said...

Hi, Ian,

You've prompted me to write a whole article on this but it won't be until next week - several other papers to write before the weekend is out! But just for now have a look at one demo I use - the photo is part of a trick question on digital identities!

Ray Tolley said...

Hi, Ian, Please see latest entry and get back to me if you like on: