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Lisbon nov2010



First draft of presentation in Lisbon, November 19, 2010

First draft of presentation in Lisbon, November 19, 2010



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  • There are the two major approaches to implementing e-portfolios. Janus is the Roman god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings, and hence represented with a double-faced head, each looking in opposite directions. He was worshipped at the beginning of the harvest time, planting, marriage, birth, and other types of beginnings, especially the beginnings of important events in a person's life. Janus also represents the transition between primitive life and civilization, between the countryside and the city, peace and war, and the growing-up of young people.
  • Adjectives to describe purpose
  • What is a portfolio? Some people think about their investments. But the dictionary provides this definition: a flat, portable case for carrying loose papers, drawings, etc. A portfolio in education is a purposeful collection of work that demonstrates efforts, progress and achievement in one or more areas over time. Portfolios in education have traditionally been collections of papers, often stored in a notebook or file folder.
  • Lifelong learning is understood as a cyclical process with four key pillars: e-portfolios can support them all. While the above pillars are of importance in any effective teaching and learning process, the main characteristic of lifelong learning is the reflective nature of the entire cycle. A portfolio provides the best environment for that reflection.
  • "Knowing the learner (Self awareness)" focuses on understanding the learner's prior knowledge, motivation for and attitudes towards learning. A portfolio can serve as a mirror, helping a learner understand themselves and see their growth over time.
  • "Planning for learning (Self management)" refers to the setting of goals and the development of a plan to achieve these goals. A portfolio can serve as a map for future learning.
  • "Understanding how to learn (Meta-learning)" describes the awareness that a learner has developed with respect to different approaches to learning (deep versus surface learning; rote versus meaningful learning) and different learning styles. Portfolios can contain different artifacts that can help learners recognize their successful learning strategies and become more aware of how to accommodate those learning approaches that are not as successful.
  • "Evaluating learning (Self monitoring)" refers to a systematic analysis of all aspects of the learner's performance. "Self monitoring is synonymous with responsibility to construct meaning ... [and] is very much associated with the ability to be reflective and think critically" Portfolios can include reflective journals where learners construct meaning, monitor their own learning, and evaluate their own outcomes. Some more advanced portfolio management systems allow learners to align artifacts to outcomes, goals or standards on a systematic basis, which could help find gaps in performance.
  • Who knows what this means?
  • Success in the knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves – their strengths, their values, and how best they perform.
  • As defined in a JISC publication, Effective Practices with e-portfolios: The e-portfolio is the central and common point for the student experience… It is a reflection of the student as a person undergoing continuous personal development , not just a store of evidence. (Geoff Rebbeck, e-Learning Coordinator, Thanet College, quoted in JISC, 2008, Effective Practice with e-Portfolios)
  • Portfolios in Formal Education: Exploring Personal and Professional Identity Building a Professional Online Brand.
  • This diagram of the components of an e-portfolio system was developed for an e-portfolio research report published in 2007 by Becta in the U.K. This diagram shows some major distinctions: between the collection of work (the archive of evidence) on the bottom, the various presentations of a subset of that work (what we think of as multiple portfolios, depending on purpose and audience) on the top and the various tools used to mediate the process, in the middle.
  • There are multiple purposes for ePortfolios, which has led to a lot of confusion. It reminds me of the famous poem of the six blind men from India touching an elephant. Each man touched a different part of the elephant and, not seeing the big picture, described the animal as a snake or a spear or a fan, etc. The same can be said for ePortfolios, as shown in the picture on the right. There is no single purpose for creating an ePortfolio. A portfolio can be created for each of those purposes.
  • I will be emphasizing this purpose for portfolio development.
  • My vision of portfolios is David Weinberger’s concept of the Internet as “small pieces, loosely joined.” This is a visual model that I created that showed the ePortfolio as a “mash-up”. Many of my artifacts are on my website. My digital stories are stored on my .Mac account, or could be stored on YouTube. I have a blog where I maintain my learning journal. I store my images on Picasa, another Google service. Other people use Flickr. I can put my bookmarks in del-icio,us, my podcasts on iTunes, my social network on MySpace or FaceBook. My presentation portfolio is comprised of my reflections and links to my artifacts that are spread all over the Internet.
  • Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist from Kansas State University, famous for his YouTube videos on the impact of the Internet on our lives and learning (The computer is us/using us
  • There is a difference between the building blocks of a Personal Learning Environment [PLE} often called the working portfolio, and a particular story that is told to a specific audience -- often called a presentation portfolio. The working portfolio is the repository or the digital archive of the artifacts. A working portfolio also includes a lot of personal information about a learner, and may also include a reflective journal, sometimes called a blog if it is stored online. The presentation portfolio is the narrative or the story that the portfolio tells. There may be multiple views, both private or public, for various audiences and for various purposes. With the current approach to electronic portfolios, the digital archive and the presentation tool are most often combined in a single system.
  • Japanese!
  • Catalan
  • Spanish!
  • Mandarin
  • The boundaries are blurring between eportfolios and social networks. As we consider the potential of lifelong e-portfolios, will they resemble the structured accountability systems that are currently being implemented in many educational institutions? Or are we beginning to see lifelong interactive portfolios emerging as… mash-ups in the Web 2.0 cloud, using Blogs or wikis or Twitter, Facebook or Ning, Flickr or Picasa or YouTube, etc.?
  • Electronic Portfolios have been with us for almost two decades (since 1991) used primarily in education to store documents and reflect on learning, provide feedback for improvement, and showcase achievements for accountability or employment.
  • How is social networking impacting ePortfolio development? It is having a huge impact on our social and political world! Social networks have emerged over the last five years, and are used by individuals and groups to store documents and share experiences, showcase accomplishments, communicate and collaborate with friends and family, and, in some cases, facilitate employment searches. [Erin’s story – Messiah – feedback immediate.]
  • The traditional portfolio literature identifies the processes shown in the left column. The value-added of technology shows in the right column. Social Networking is added in the middle. First, we have the collection process; with technology, that leads to creating a digital archive of the work. The second step involves selecting specific pieces or work from the collection to demonstrate a particular outcome, goal or standard. With technology, that process is done by creating a hyperlink to the documents in the archive. Some researchers have found that the process of hyperlinking may lead to higher levels of thinking about learning, or meta-cognitioin. The process of reflection helps the learner construct meaning from the work they have selected, and technology creates new models of storytelling to help with that meaning-making. Direction is setting goals for the future, and celebration is a formal exhibition before an audience, either real or virtual. Technology creates new opportunities for collaborating and publishing, especially with Web 2.0 tools. Social networks involve…
  • Common Tools vs. Proprietary systems
  • With the current approach to electronic portfolios, the digital archive and the presentation tool are most often combined in a single system. When a student leaves the educational institution, that work remains, and is often purged when a student leaves. When ePortfolio management systems are institution-centered, they tend to be limited to the time that the students are enrolled, and the contents tend to be focused on academic goals. However, learning is lifelong and life wide.
  • There is a need to separate the needs of the individual (for a personal learning space, to collect both the artifacts and a learner’s reflections on their learning over time) and the institution (for data about student learning/achievement, and the presentation portfolios created for institution-determined purposes). The digital archive belongs to the learner, and should be under the control of the learner throughout their life. Each artifact should have a unique identifier, so that a learner can access their work for use in a variety of contexts. This digital archive should have the capacity for meta-tags, searching by keywords, date created, date changed, etc. The ownership of electronic portfolios needs to be re-conceptualized, as well. Learners own the work they create. Institutions own the teachers’ evaluation of that work. Learners should be able to choose how much of that evaluation they will include in their own digital archive.
  • So I’d like you to think: What are the engagement factors that drive the use of social networks and how can we incorporate those factors into ePortfolios?
  • “ Portfolios should be less about telling and more about talking!” Julie Hughes, University of Wolverhampton
  • Do your e-portfolios have Voice? As Maya Angelou said, “When words are infused by the human voice, they come alive.” Do your portfolios represent individual identity, include reflection, and provide an opportunity to make meaning? ePortfolios are essential for 21 st Century Literacy.
  • How do portfolios and reflection fit into the learning process? BEFORE - goal-setting (reflection in the future tense), DURING - immediate reflection (in the present tense), where students write (or dictate) the reason why they chose a specific artifact to include in their collection AFTER - retrospective (in the past tense) where students look back over a collection of work and describe what they have learned and how they have changed over a period of time (in a Level 3 portfolio)
  • There are many similarities between these two processes; the major differences are often in extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation Dan Pink describes the essential elements of true (intrinsic) motivation in his new book, Drive, the concepts of autonomy , mastery , and purpose .
  • Pink says, “It is devoted to becoming better and better at something that matters. And it connects that quest for excellence to a larger purpose.” (p. 80-81) Pink identifies two types of Motivation Behavior: Type X Extrinsic, fueled by extrinsic rewards or desires. And Type I Intrinsic, where behavior is self-directed. I am on a campaign to make electronic portfolios a more intrinsically-motivated process.
  • Pink quotes Internet scholar Clay Shirky ...the most successful websites and electronic forums have a certain Type I approach [to motivation] in their DNA. They're designed-often explicitly--to tap into intrinsic motivation. You can do the same with your online presences if you listen to Shirky and: Create an environment that makes people feel good about participating. Give users autonomy. Keep the system as open as possible. That’s also good advice for developing ePortfolios.
  • The urge for Self-Direction is basic human need. It is a Natural state to be Active and Engaged ePortfolio Implementation should adopt the motivating characteristics of autonomy found in social networks Choice Voice Sharing and Feedback Immediacy
  • According to a tweet I read from Chad Hamady, True Mastery NOT possible without FUN! (Chad Hamady @chamady Twitter, January 16, 2010) There is an inherent exhilaration in Learning “It’s fun to get better at something!” – Why do we play Sports and Games? Is it for Compliance or Personal Mastery Look to the Open Source movement (popularity of Wikipedia vs. the demise of Microsoft’s Encarta) – Authors and programmers look for Challenge and Improvement – To make a contribution to the greater good
  • In their spare time, people gravitate toward activities where they gain mastery ePortfolio Implementation should adopt the motivating characteristics of mastery found in social networks Flow, Showcasing Achievements, Increased self-awareness and self-understanding “ Only engagement can produce Mastery .” (Pink, 2009, p.111)
  • Csíkszentmihályi popularized the concept of Flow as a feeling of energized focus. According to Wikipedia, it is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand. The hallmark of flow is a feeling of spontaneous joy, even rapture, while performing a task.
  • According to Will Richardson, “Our job in education is to engage, deepen, and extend a student's passions and interests Thomas Friedman, in his book, The World is Flat, presents this formula: CQ + PQ > IQ (Friedman, 2006) [Curiosity + Passion > Innate Intelligence] Learners find their voice and passions through choice and personalization ! A portfolio is a student’s Story of their own Learning. It’s Positive Digital Identity Development or Personal Online Branding – In my earlier research, some students called their ePortfolios, their “academic MySpace”
  • We should use ePortfolios to document our MASTERY of skills and content. Showcase our Achievements! Share our Expertise! Support Personal & Professional Development!
  • Pink’s third concept is Purpose. All of us want to be part of something larger than ourselves When people learn, they want to know the relevance of what they are learning The more people understand the big picture, the more they will be engaged
  • Here is a good question:
  • Because Purpose and Passion Co-Exist.
  • Not Digital Paper!
  • As I close my presentation, I want remind us that reflection and relationships are the “heart and soul: of a portfolio (and Social Networking) NOT the Technology!
  • My final wish to you is that all your electronic portfolios become dynamic celebrations and stories of deep learning across the lifespan as we are preparing and nurturing today’s children to create and inspire tomorrow’s world!
  • I welcome your dialogue and conversation about these ideas. I’m waiting to respond to your questions! Thank you very much!

Lisbon nov2010 Lisbon nov2010 Presentation Transcript