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Free-range Thoughts

Marinating in the Mooc

I am embarking on a six-lesso course entitled REAL Portfolio Academy for K-12 Teachers with Dr. Helen Barrett and perhaps I have already learned something: there is no dash in ePortfolio. My spell checker apparently does not agree with this spelling so perhaps it is a matter of taste. This post is a reflection on my pre-class thinking in regards to ePortfolios.

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I am looking forward to teasing out the various purposes for creating an ePortfolio:
1. ePortfolio as Digital Storage
2. ePortfolio as Reflective Journal/Blog
3. ePortfolio as Assessment/Showcase

I believe that ePortfolios should be an important component of one’s personal learning environment (PLE) because I do believe that portfolios will eventually compliment or replace the role of the resume in the job search process. Some people have envisioned portfolios as a way for a prospective employees to begin contributing to a firm even before being formally retained: a way to demonstrate one’s value concretely. Will firms — under tremendous global pressures to compete — adopt this kind of  interviewing?  I don’t know if this will come to pass, but nevertheless the prospective employee that takes this path will certainly distinguish him/herself above the pack.

I don’t plan to get too invested in tools since they change all the time but at the same time I am committed to understanding WordPress and thoroughly as I can so I will probably stay the course with WordPress.

Another converging arc of interest for me is the idea of “personal cyber-infrastructure” as described by Gardner Campbell in this reading of an article he wrote for EDUCAUSE, or more passionately described in his talk No More Digital Facelifts. I think that it is a goal for students and anyone with a portfolio to control their hosting. I am not quite there with this blog, but I have self-hosted wordpress blogs (on Dreamhost)  for my two children which I started based on a suggestion in a blog post by Will Richardson.

I am noticing how much writing this post has helped me to formulate and associate a few of my major current interests. As Helen Barrett notes, the reflection/journal piece is a very important part of an ePortfolio.  The ideas of ePortfolio, Personal Cyber-infrastructure and Personal Learning Environments appear to be not only compatible but descriptive of a larger environment which is embodied in this this graphic of the Networked Student by Wendy Drexler:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_6AzlqjvIAgw/S3HCax7oEuI/AAAAAAAAAOs/u-tSDmdD0bw/s1600-h/NetworkedStudent020910.jpg

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