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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Blogs as Web-Based Portfolios

Photo: child blogging on a laptopI pounced upon this free book (13 pages) by Jeff Utecht as soon as I saw the title, 'Blogs as Web-Based Portfolios' for two reasons. Firstly, because I found Jeff's easy to read style to be quite fascinating (I have referred to this in my previous post) . However, unfortunately, my second reason for it grabbing my attention was that the title was like a red rag to a bull - and thus for this post!

For several years now, and almost every day, I have been reading the various blogs, wikis and e-Portfolios of undergraduates, trainee teachers and students. Repeatedly I have found myself asking questions about how much guidance the students have had relating to e-Portfolios and what sort of challenges teachers or lecturers have been presenting to their students. Even the most articulate of students I find referring to a blog as their e-Portfolio.

Despite my interest in 'all things technical' I still think as a teacher and a leader of staff. To this end I would argue against the many who think that a blog or a wiki is a suitable tool for presenting an e-Portfolio. Quite simply, a good e-Portfolio is so much more. Yes, it can include blogging tools or wikis, it can include links to a whole range of Web2.0 tools, but, as Nick Rate points out (slide 15), these are all contained within the e-Portfolio. I just do not see a tool like Wordpress meeting the vast range of pedagogical activities one would expect within an e-Portfolio.

As I have repeatedly said, if the e-Portfolio is to be fully portable, learner owned and lifelong it must be hosted externally to any institution and yet, at the same time afford the security and reliability that schools require and without adding an additional workload for staff.

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