The AAEEBL conference was a most challenging experience. Held in Boston (MA), meeting so many of the world's leading experts in ePortfolio thinking and from all aspects of education was quite moving. The venue was great and, running concurrently with another more general exhibition 'Campus 2010 Technology', made for some fabulous catering!
Perhaps one of the most challenging messages that I took home with me was the overwhelming feeling that throughout the world educators were all at different stages and opinions about ePortfolios.
Trent was quite right to say of ePortfolio adoption that, "It is gradual because it depends on turning teaching and learning upside down." In my opinion this is a four-way process: For some teachers (and college/HE lecturers) the very provision of these tools will provoke discovery of teaching and learning techniques never tried before. For others who have had a desire to implement new perspectives of teaching and learning, ePortfolio tools are the very answers to their anguished prayers. Thirdly, of concern to ICT managers and accountants, the ePortfolio can provide a low-cost solution to long-term file storage and curation. But fourthly, the ePortfolio can become truly learner-owned and thus supporting lifelong learning.
Whole essays could be written on each of the above four groups and, yes, agreed, this must surely be a disruptive technology for all of them.
I finish this note with some sense of encouragement. Before the conference I had prepared my presentation with the title, 'The Need for NOW!' In it I wanted to express the challenge that both clarification of terminologies and a convergence of practice was urgently necessary. I feel that the whole conference only confirmed my passion.