About the ArticlePaul Kim, Chen Kee Ng and Gloria Lim, “When Cloud Computing Meets with Semantic Web:A New Design for e-portfolio systems in the social media era”. British Journal of EducationalTechnology, Vol. 41, no.6, 2010. pp. 1018-1028 This article advocates for a new system for eportfolios called PrPl (private- public). The arguments are based on the premise that eportfolios are of pedagogical value. The article identifies key problems with current e-portfolio systems. The authors argue that semantic indexing and cloud computing will address these problems
What are e-portfolios? Although such sites do operateE-portfolios are a place where like eportfolios. Have a look atdigital artefacts are stored and Sarah Jane Pell’s. It actually gives apresented to different audiences. visual map of all of her talks, Your e-portfolio could act like a publications, and research. It linksshowcase for your skills, to other sites and applicationseducation and training for future (facebook etc) and is media rich.employers. Yet, they can be muchmore than just a personalwebsite … However.. There is no way to customise the interface according to the user The off-site data needs to be found and managed It is not a “learning place’
Why are they more than a website?…Because they are based upon learning principles: an eportfolio should offerthe ability for continual development and self-reflection. You can collect digitalcopies of certificates, letters, surveys, photographs and all sorts of digitalartefacts in your eportfolio. Yet the most important thing is that this collectionasks you to sort and classify, to reflect upon what you have learnt and what youstill need to learn. Using your eportfolio well means creating learning pathwaysand carefully thinking about what each artefact represents in those pathways.Helen Barrett has provided an excellent diagram of the importance ofeportfolios as learning platformsHer own portfolio is athttps://sites.google.com/site/eportfolioapps/overview
Where do I start? As the article explains, many commercial services and educational platforms have developed… http://www.efolioglobal.com/ offers “The Personal Learning Plan (PLP) is a structured process for building educational decisions and plans upon the strengths, interests and aspirations of the learner. It provides students, as well as other stakeholders, with the opportunity to submit and examine goals and artifacts as evidence for learning”I’ve applied it to my local context anddiscovered an open source systemdeveloped by a New Zealand venturethat works with Moodle (our LMS) andam investigating further…
The ideal e-portfolio If you have an eportfolio, you could generate and manage your own data in a sustainable manner and in the context of everyday activities, collaborations and networking. But…this idea is not yet reality. With current systems you have to: import all of your data into the system, which means duplicating this data Store it on the server of the organisation/institution - It’s not easy to export this data and thus limit your use of media – don’t expect to use all those video presentations in your eportfolio!These are problemsidentified in the article as:•Scaleability andSustainability•Interoperability•Inability to adapt to newservices•Inability to provide “lifelongsupport”
Living in the CloudIn today’s Web 2.O environment.. In the cloud, we are not data we are all data producers. managers.We live in the cloud. our data is dispersed across aIn the Cloud we can variety of applications.*Quickly publish Flickr, Facebook, Springpad,*Interact and collaborate PresentMe, Instagram, dropbox, to*Assign semantics (meaning) to our name a few accounts and across alldata through tools like tagging these applications. In the article, the*Communicate through many types authors recognised that as weof media – videos, photos, etc. produce, store and communicate more about ourselves online, it’s become increasingly difficult to manage that data
Taking Advantage of the Cloud The Pr-Pl System takes advantage of cloud computingIt uses a semantic based infrastructure tosearch for digital artefacts that we have storedacross the cloud.Semantics allow for searches that aremeaningful and contextual.It uses an intelligent agent (the Butler) do‘manage’ the data and present it to us in ameaningful way. It “tracks, verifies andupdates personal cloud artifacts whileallowing intelligent searches that go muchbeyond conventional keyword-basedsearches” (p.10222)
The X Factor The Pr-Pl System will have the x-factorA semantic based e-portfolio, the authors argue might have the covetedx-factor – the unknown factors that will allow us to make that idealeportfolio – one that is customisable, responsive and intelligent to ourcurrent stage in a life-long learning journey.But can a technical solution provide the x-factor?What about design? I’m not convinced thatsome vague metaphor of “mapping” will offerthe best practice….And there are other cultural fears andconcerns…
Problems with the Cloud: Forgetting the past?the article talks about PrPL taking accountof future developments and of the potentialuptake of semantic-aware applications "overthe next four to five years" (p.1024). Thesemantic infrastructure will “leverageexistin, and perhaps even hithertounreleased software applications” (p.1023)But what of past systems?. - will it be able tounderstand them. An analogy that comes to mind is the problem with old game formats and platforms, software and hardware. There is an interesting research project at the moment in software "heritage" being undertaken by Australian researchers http://www.ourdigitalheritage.org/ Are we accounting for the archaeology of eportfolios - which is default, our archaeology?.
I Spy? the authors explain that a universal identifier is necessary for this system. They argue for using the mobile phone.Cloud computing passes proprietary ownershipfrom content to infrastructure while promising tomake content universally accessible.Julian Assange, in a May 2011 TV interviewwith Russia Today, condemned ubiquitous accessto Google, Yahoo, and Facebook as constitutingan “appalling spy machine.”What happens if you are ‘shut out (as Assangewas) of the cloud?1 Access & control, privacy and security are central issues in cloud computing. How will this solution deal with them?
Who Learns? Me or my intelligent agent. This slideshow is a digitalI’ve learnt about the I’ve read about the problems artefact. If it becomespedagogical value of and understood how the integrated into aneportfolios. system might resolve some eportfolio, the importantI’ve discovered I can of the barriers to the thing is the self-reflectioncreate an eportfolio. adoption of eportfolios. that it generatesIt can be a place for meto reflect on my lifelong I’ve thought carefully about the culture of cloudlearning. I can create a computing and indicated that there are broadervisual picture of my skills political implications. The article offers a technicaland the knowledge i have solution to perceived barriers to use of eportfoliosrequired. i can provide but its insights need to be married with discussiondifferent pictures to of the cultural contexts (perhaps linked to articlesdifferent audiences: as an from other disciplines like this oneartist for a curator, as an http://culturalpolitics.dukejournals.org/content/8/academic writer for the 3/443.abstracteditor of that new bookon SF, as an innovativeeducator keen to helpothers adopt a new Would a virtual butler in a PrPl systemlearning platform. provide the same semantic context?