Thoughts on creating and using an ePortfolio

The idea of the portfolio in the classroom is nothing new, and Merriam-Webster defines it simply as: “a selection of a student’s work (as papers and tests) compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress”.  Often times these selections are paraded out for conferences with parents as a sort of show and tell, bearing witness to the students growth over the year.

However modern technology has taken the concept to a whole new level.  With digital portfolios, otherwise known as ePortfolios, Students can now create a virtual showcase for their work and achievements in a mere matter of a few clicks and then invite the whole world to see it.  The audience has grown from mom, dad and teacher to strangers half-way across the world.  This is both frightening and empowering.

Suddenly you are a live site with visitors and comments, and people you have never met have access to and opinions about your work.  The sense of ownership and accountability has grown light-years beyond the temporary sense of accomplishment gleaned from the binder that mom will carefully tuck away after the parent-teacher conference.

While pursuing my Masters in Digital Learning and Leading I am required to create an ePortfolio – which you are visiting right now. Welcome! But as a teacher I have also begun using the concept in my classes.  So far it has been met with enthusiasm.  I hope to see that continue. Read below for my thoughts on why ePortfolios are powerful learning tools for the 21st century.