Thursday, April 17, 2008

Start Spreading the News...

Whistle Stops:
Yup - just back from New York, as you might guess from this post's title. The conference on ePortfolios for Integrative Learning and Assessment was even more than it promised. The heavy hitters of the ePortfolio world were all there (Helen Barrett, Darren Cambridge, Trent Batson, etc.) in fine form. LaGuardia Community College anticipated between 100-200 people but drew over 500 before they had to close registration. Why the interest? This is taken up by Trent Batson in his followup article on Campus Technology. My take is that we are finally beginning to see academics and institutions realizing that ePortfolio is more than the electronic page-turner that many e-Learning programs have become. As an integrative educational support it accompanies experiential, discovery, and learner-centred education while embracing the participative web 2.0 opportunities as no Learning Management System has yet to do. The conference also demonstrated that ePortfolio is a great deal more than just one more modality of the portfolio learning pedagogy. It can be used as a virtual learning environment, for the assessment of and for learning, to evaluate institutional effectiveness and to connect learners with 21st century literacies in a powerful way. If not there already, the conference proceedings (including an amazing fishbowl debate on Thursday night) should soon be available at

As usual, key aspects of the conference will be posted on my research site at including a great Saturday morning interview I had with Darren Cambridge (George Mason U.) and Tracy Penny-Light (U. Waterloo). Video to follow.

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