Webfolios for learning are here already


Robin Good in his latest article, “Electronic Portfolios: What Are They?” summarizes quite well what webfolios for learning are all about. Stephen Downes the Grandmaster of Reflection best summarizes how e-portfolios differ from personal content management systems:

“If your view of portfolios is just something akin to a content management system, don’t bother. But if it’s the student’s personal and continuing presence in an online community of discourse, then you are on to something.”

What best provides such a webfolio and online presence nowadays is blogs. Lately I have provided speeches on the fact that blogs are probably the best tools available for personal learning and knowledge work, as it provides a socially connected place for reflection on action.

Here in Finland I see some discussions about electronic portfolios and some initiatives to build such tools. For all the good work out there I have to say, best webfolio tools are already here: the unification of personal weblog, wiki and social networking (using for example, FOAF). My friends at Elgg build such a webfolio system and they call it “learning landscape” (PDF document, explains the relationship of blogs with e-portfolios).

Here is a concept map of how they vision an Elgg-based learning landscape to look like:

It’s a huge mashup (excellent Zdnet video explaining what’s that buzzword), so it’s totally Web 2.0 compatible. It’s not limited to tools it provides like many other e-portfolio applications but rather, operates inside your online presence. It’s evolving all the time and looks a lot better than 6 months ago. Give it a shot.

In other news, I added email subscriptions and a tag cloud in my blogs sidebar. Those functionalities are mashups of external services providing added functionality to my blog software. There is a huge new market opening up for such small micro-webservices.

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  • services sprite Webfolios for learning are here already
  • services sprite Webfolios for learning are here already
  • services sprite Webfolios for learning are here already

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  • York

    This is a nice post. As Lawrence Lessig explained with an example of Mickey Mouse in his great speech, something new stands on thing of the past. To actively open some doors for mash-up is one of impetuses to expand the frontiers of creativity, I think.