Saturday, March 03, 2012

Selecting "Free" Online Tools for ePortfolio Development

All day today, I have been working on a new web page: Selecting a "Free" Online Tool for ePortfolio Development. The chart is developed for K-12 schools, but I think it is applicable to higher education.

I have also updated the diagrams linked from the following page on Interactive Portfolios that illustrate how to translate reflective blog entries into a thematically-organized showcase portfolio, using the first four types of tools listed below. These pages also cover the steps for using that tool throughout the portfolio development process. I identified these major categories of free tools (with links to the diagrams):
  1. WordPress and its derivatives for schools: EduBlogs and KidBlogs
  2. GoogleApps Education Edition, including Docs, Sites, Blogger & Digication
  3. Mobile Apps with supporting websites
  4. Free website builder & hosting tools that include blogs, such as Weebly, Yola
  5. Open source ePortfolio tools that require a server (Mahara, OSP/Sakai)
In this Free Tools chart, I then identified the different purposes/processes we want to be able to implement with these tools, asking: What is your purpose for creating portfolios? How does each tool support each process?
  • Capturing & storing evidence (stored in online system)
  • Learning/Reflecting (organized chronologically) Planning & setting goals
  • Formative Assessment  -Giving & receiving feedback & Collaborating
  • Marketing/Employment  -Presenting to an audience
  • Accountability/ Summative Assessment
  • Collect data for Accountablity Reporting
  • Showcase work thematically -Presenting to an audience
In the cells in the matrix, I put my best estimate of the capabilities of each tool for each process. I also looked at some of the technology infrastructure and support needs, asking "How does each tool match the support resources available?"
  • Server required?
  • Programming required?
  • Ease of Use for Students
  • Age Appropriate Grades K-12
  • Teacher Controls (setting up accounts, controlling content & process)
If you have already selected or are using one of these tools, do you agree with what I have written about the features? If you haven't selected a tool, what further information do you need? What did I leave out?

4 comments:

Ronnie Robichaud said...

OMG this site and blog is a God send for me!!
Thanks so much for the work Helen and the insight... I will be blogging with you in a bigger way in the next day or so.... so excited about this... Thanks so much... AWESOME!!
Rr

Kathleen Johnson said...

Very practical. Thanks so much!

Crystal said...

I was absolutely lost trying to sort out what was best for my needs. Thanks so much for your research. It has saved me a lot of time.

Crystal said...

Thanks so much for this research. It's really clarified my choices and now I know what to get.
Barbara
Student Teacher