ePortfolios: Building Rationale
Here is a snapshot of a sample “shell” ePortfolio that is being considered for use in the middle school:
The last several weeks have been filled with interesting conversations about our ePortfolios and their relationship(s) and effects on student digital literacy, online safety, and digital responsibility. There are many opinions within our learning community and the issues we face will not be solved quickly or easily. Some of the issues are embedded in these questions:
- Should the ePortfolios be open or closed?
- Who owns the information and ideas in the ePortfolio?
- Who is responsible for the ePortfolio (student or school)?
- What is appropriate ePortfolio information for the online community?
- Can middle school students be responsible for their digital watermark and online presence where school related work/information is involved?
Thinking through some of these questions has caused me to reconsider and revisit the purpose and rationale of ePortfolios. And, whereas revisiting the purpose/rationale is a simple process, prioritizing the reasons supporting and detracting from the use of ePortfolios is not as simple. In any case, here are some of the rationales that I believe are central to determine if and how ePortfolios should be used:
- Metacognitive growth
- Learning style identification
- Digital citizenship and Responsibility
Even though there may be varying opinions regarding the uses of ePortfolios and how they are implemented in a k-12 learning environment, the points of rationale are certainly worthy of moving ahead cautiously.