Thursday, June 1, 2006

ePortfolios - the big picture (Statewide?)

ePortfolios are being used by a variety of CSU campuses within a variety of schools. ePortfolios are a digital repository, allowing the users to build web-pages (websites) with specific content. ePortfolio vendors usually allow secure and selective access to the websites, and some vendors provide report writing. Goals vary for each CSU case, but one common use is reporting for accreditation purposes, making the report writing a ‘must have’ for most.

One of the most interesting issues I’ve noticed while studying ePortfolios is the importance of allowing the student to own their work, and the ability for that student to access the ePortfolio long after graduating from the institution. We want the information on the portfolio to last a lifetime.

Minnesota has a statewide electronic portfolio management system, a product of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Any resident who is older than 12 can have an ePortfolio. They stress using these as Career Portfolios and/or Educator Portfolios. They see the ‘big picture’.

I have briefly talked to a few people about this. I went over to Sacramento for a California School Board meeting. The guest speaker was supposed to be Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. He couldn’t make it, so his assistant stepped in. I took the opportunity to introduce myself and talk about ePortfolios, the CSU, and how Minnesota is providing portfolios to residents. He was interested.

I also talked to Scott Plotkin, who is the California State Board Association executive director, previously director of governmental affairs for the CSU system. He, too, is interested.
I have also talked to the Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools. He would like to have a school do a pilot with ePortfolios.

It is time now to develop a plan.

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