I have been following the progress of Sarah Stewart's work, exploring how the ePortfolio can serve the midwifery service in Australia. Her presentation, as indicated above, is a valuable consideration of the problems involved in introducing ePortfolio thinking into any community.
However, many of her 'frustrations' follow on from my previous post, that of overcoming 'Stone Age thinking'.
Perhaps one of the first issues to overcome is that of the technology. If it looks complicated then it IS complicated. For adults who are not as IT savvy as they could be, and have plenty of other things on their minds, it is essential that whatever ePortfolio system they choose, it should be 'childsplay'. It should be easy to use and immediately attractive.
Secondly, Sarah's presentation illustrates the generation gap in ePortfolio thinking. It was not only the midwives who found difficulty in adopting ePortfolios, it was the assessors and administrators who were at least reticent if not downright reluctant. It is time that governments recognised this situation and sponsored urgent adult training in ICT for all generations - and particularly for services, such as midwifery, that require portfolios.
Yes, the lack of equipment, of resources and of broadband availability needs to be recognised - and it may be some time before much of Australia gets the service it deserves!
However, speaking as an experienced teacher, it would appear that Education Authorities must reflect upon their own consciences and ensure that the upcoming generation is properly and speedily trained as the 'net generation. One thing that we have learnt here in the UK is that by ensuring that our children have good 'Home Access' that their parents, carers and even grandparents are having to learn ePortfolio thinking.