It has taken me quite some time to inhale a clear and logical understanding of the term 'E-Portfolios'. I guess this is a clear descriptive that i fit into the 'digital immigrant' category (Prensky, 2007). I also must admit, i had to start with the basics and follow on with some substantial researching, in order to to develop my current level of knowledge. The following YouTube clip, which provides a brief but desriptive outline to E-Portfolios, was my first port of call.
Further investigations lead me to an understanding than an E-Portfolio is an online collection of reflections and digital artifacts including documents, images, blogs, resumes and multimedia (Mahara, 2009). E-Portfolios are an extension to a paper based portfolio and are a showcase that provides evidence of student achievements.
There are many specifically designed products that cater for the needs of an E-Portfolio. Mahara, which is just one of the many products, is the electronic portfolio program that i have chosen to explore. For just $5 per year, Mahara can be used as a file repository allowing uploads of multiple files for safe and convenient storage and sharing options. Mahara also provides the opportunity for users to control which items and what information, within your portfolio, you will allow others to view.
The benefits of using an E-Portfolio are plentiful for all parties involved in the learning. Sun Microsystems (2009) suggest that E-Portfolios can 'empower students to discern and validate pathways to success and enrich learning experience by making meaningful connections. Valencia (1998) has identified that these connections are part of an active process of thinking about, valuing and evaluating learning and teaching methods.
As this course progresses, i continue to find myself becoming more and more excited (and anxious) to delve further into Mahara to explore its capabilities and many benefits for a classroom environment. As Siemens states (2004) in his article 'A Learning Theory For The Digital Age', the challenge for todays learners is to have the ability to discover new skills by plugging into the available resources.
Until next time,
Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved July 29, from,http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0553.pdf
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved July 19, 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.html .
Sun Microsystems INC. (2009). E-portfolios in Education: The Time is Now. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from http://www.sun.com/emrkt/educonnection/newsletter/0206eduinsight.html