Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Power of E-Portfolios

Over the past few weeks I have struggled with the concepts and power of e-portfolio's. I ponder how to use its applications to my advantage for myself and in the classroom. What is an e-portfolio you might ask. Lorenzo and Ittelson (2005) provide the following definition, "An e-portfolio is a digitized collection of artifacts, including demonstrations, resources, and accomplishments that represent an individual, group, community, organisation or institution." These artifacts may be graphic, multimedia or text-based.

Most D-gens(digital generation)(Prensky, 2001), have heard of, and constructed an e-portfolio for personal use and are fully aware of all their functionalities. These digital native speakers (Prensky, 2001) rely heavily on accessing and receiving information as quickly as possible from one central site. E-portfolio not only provides these features, it also provides opportunities to keep personal treasures and information solely for the eyes of the keeper of the key (password).

It is Presnky's (2001) comments regarding teaching both Legacy and Future content in the language of Digital Natives, which has me reviewing some of my thoughts about the applications of these technologies. Students need to be taught some of the fundamentals of legacy content, but perhaps it is the responsibility of Digital Immigrants to embrace modern technologies and ensure that the intended learning is understood by the children of the present and future.

E-portfolios have the potential to engage and enhance teaching, learning and assessment practices (Lorenzo and Ittelson,2005), and provides a valuable tool for both student and educator. Some of the benefits of compiling an e-portfolio are:

Student -

1. Showcase examples of work
2. Encouraging critical thinkers
3. Development of writing and multimedia communication skills
4. Collaborative learning
5. Learn and use of technology literacy skills
6. Offer opportunities to digitally showcase their work and skills for employers
7. Reflection on what is learnt
(Lorenzo and Ittelson,2005)

Teachers -

1. Plan educational programs
2. Document skills and accomplishments
3. Critical reflection
4. Collective learning and knowledge sharing
5. Share ideas inside a class
6. Teaching philosophy
7. Provide a central location to store relevant data and teaching strategies/ideas and resources.
(Lorenzo and Ittelson,2005)

Life long learning is equivocally one of the most important elements a teacher can pass on to their students. The use of flexible learning environments which are learner centered and provide opportunities for social networking, creativity, and future orientated concepts within an educational environment, are imperative to the construction of foundations from which students can build a passion for this life long learning.
It seems it is a natural progression for both students and teachers to utilise tools such as e-portfolios to compile and represent evidence of both teaching and learning. As you can see, after much research, reading, and experimentation with e-portfolio's, I seem to have a much better grasp of the concepts surrounding this technology. Unfortunately this not mean that I am fully able to apply all of the capabilities, but I am determined and excited to progress through the journey of the e-portfolio world.
Until next time,


Prensky, M., (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from:,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Lorenzo, G., Ittelson, J., (2005) An Overview of E-Portfolios. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kellie,

    Wow, when you list the benefits of an E-Portfolio in that way it makes you want to get started immediately. I am still working my way through his one to ensure i have my head wrapped around it. I must admit the capabilities and the resources available are great and i am looking forward to exploring the world of E-Portfolios in detail.

    Chat again soon,