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Thursday, 1 July 2010

Social Networking & e-Portfolios

I enjoyed this article on Social Networking, in the Learning Solutions Magazine (5th of a very interesting series). Although unrelated directly to e-Portfolios, Ann Derryberry eloquently draws out some very clear principles that apply equally to working with e-Portfolios.

As she says in her prepenultimate paragraph:

"The existence of a well-conceived and -implemented social learning platform does not in and of itself lead to a thriving social learning community. If participants do not quickly see the utility of their involvement, or if they can’t recognize a return on their engagement, they will quickly drop out. A clear articulation of purpose, easy access for all participants, a meaningful incentive system, and allowance for casual interaction among participants are key factors to a social learning network’s success."

These, surely, are the same prerequisites one would expect for an e-Portfolio? At a time when researchers are asking this very question of "How can we ensure 'buy-in' of our e-Portfolio system?" the fundamental issue is that of the vision of the teacher to realise that the e-Portfolio will support the teaching and learning strategies of the modern classroom - and to realise that e-Portfolio learning must embrace social learning but can also deliver it in an e-safe and documented way.

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