An E-portfolio is a digital version of an paper portfolio. It is a collection of many media types (audio, video, graphics and text) which include demonstrations, groups, resources and accomplishments that reflect the user (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005). E-portfolios can be accessed by via the internet, and the data and content is safely stored at a central server. They are similar to blogs but are more professional and can only be accessed by users that the author of the e-portfolio has authorised.
Mahara is a great digital portfolio site that allows the user to design folders and subfolders to upload relevant files to easily, resulting in rich media content (CTER, 2009). Mahara costs $5 (AUS) annually and allows you to store information safely on a central server. After the intial frustation of setting up my Mahara account, I found the site user friendly with a comprehensive tool bar in which the user can design and individualise the layout. It allows the users to select friends, add images, graphics, text and multimedia that reflect the individuals progress and achievements.
Learning Managers could allow their students to create their own e-portfolios to store and showcase their accomplishments. Through creating and managing their own portfolios, students would be learning valuable technology, literacy, and self-assessment skills, all vital skills of the 21st century. Students will have increased meta-cognition and ownership of their learning by understanding how they learn when they use portfolios (Brady & Kennedy, 2009). Students can hyperlink to organise material and to connect evidence to appropriate outcomes, goals or standards. E-portfolios also have the potential to invlove students and parents in the learning and recordkeeping process. For the Learning Manager themselves it not only serves as a professional portfolio to store documents and accomplishments but a collaborative tool where Learning Managers can share ideas, philosophies and resources (Lorenzo & Ittelson, 2005).
Portfolios are a great form of progressive and summative data, as they comprise a collection of the students' work, reflections and accomplishments that provide a picture of the students' progress and development over time. E-portfolios are a natural progression into the digital age and provide Learning Managers numerous opportunities both inside the classroom with the students and outside with other professionals, sharing and collaborating resources and information. As Lorenzo and Ittelson (2005) describe e-portfolios as having the potential to engage and enhance teaching, learning and assessment practises.
CTER.(2009) Mahara Tutorials. Retrieved July 23, 2009 from, http://cterport.ed.uluc.edu/technologies_folders/mahara-tutorials.
Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2009) Celebrating student achievement: assessment and reporting (3rd ed). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.
Lorenzo, G., & Ittelson, J. (2005) An overview of e-portfolios. Retrieved August 11 2009, from, http://www.launiverciudad.com.mx/promueve/ciedd/tecnologia/AnoverviewofEportfolios.pdf