Friday, September 30, 2016

2016 ePortfolio Forum Day 2: Digital footprints as ePortfolios and open badges

For me day two reinforced the message that students are choosing to use a range of technologies beyond those provided by their educational institution to support their learning.

In general students are not bringing social (Facebook/Snapchat/Instagram) content into institutional ePortfolios but they are taking learning artefacts and reflections from institutions (and work placements) into personal social technologies.
  • What are the privacy implications of this blurring of the personal and institutional?
  • What are the copyright and IP implications?
  • What are the learning, teaching and assessment benefits and risks?
Some courses in higher educational institutions (medicine, health, education) raise awareness of privacy issues, scaffold student understanding and model best practice. But what about students in other courses who are capturing their learning in personal social technologies? Are the risks lower in other courses?

A student's digital footprint or online presence could be seen as a collection of learning and social artefacts - an (unintended?) 'ePortfolio'. These collections can be made visible through search engines.

Institutional ePortfolios provide a controlled environment and risk mitigated processes to construct an online folio. Are students aware of the potential benefits and risks of the personal (and often unplanned) 'ePortfolio' that arises when someone puts their name into a search engine?

Increasing numbers of students are engaged in both formal and informal learning. Can online open badges provide a way for students to raise the status of their informal learning in the eyes of potential employers and educational institutions?

Do open badges provide a way for students to bridge formal and informal learning across their chosen social technologies and into institutional ePortfolios?

Should the My Education ePortfolio facilitate the presentation of open badge backpacks?

How do we prepare students in years 7-12 to safely and effectively navigate institutional and personal ePortfolios?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

ePortfolios Australia 2016 Forum - Day One Reflections

I'm attending an eportfolio event for the first time in 5 years.

Five years ago I was working on eportfolios for learning and assessment with TAFE students and teachers using Moodle/Mahara.

Today part of my focus is on the safe and effective use of social technologies within a new Tasmanian government My Education program.

Within this program the eportfolio agenda has shifted to
  • support career assessment, guidance and planning (My Education and Kuder Navigator for years 7-12)
  • provide an external link for potential employers and further education (Kuder Navigator)
  • support students to safely create a professional, responsible and respectful online presence through their chosen social technologies (plus LinkedIn for students in years 9-12)
  • support student learning and parent engagement
  • provide ongoing access to the above ePortfolio (Kuder Journey available to school leavers and the general community through libraries)
In this context my takeaways from the sessions I attended on the first day of the 2016 ePortfolio Forum (principally for higher education) are:
  • ePortfolios appear to have found some implementation niches - work-integrated learning, student centred/directed learning, continuing professional development, authentic/transdisciplinary learning, wicked problems...
  • Employers are looking for deeper insights into and points of difference between applicants - the focus is more on soft skills, creativity, marketing... An eportfolio (and social media) provide a window to these.
  • Learning artifacts and reflections are now more easily captured at the point of learning via mobile devices.
  • More ePortfolios reference employability/capability/CPD skills providing meaningful frameworks for students and employers.
  • ePortfolio-based tasks count for formal assessment.
  • Students are using social media for learning, uploading, sharing and peer review/critique.
  • Students are choosing cloud services and apps for learning and productivity tools.
My keyword to describe eportfolio use and implementation is now 'wicked' :-)