E.Portfolios are a purposeful collection of work and information that can represent individuals efforts, progress and achievements over time. E.portfolios can be used as a reflective tool of ones learning journey and they allow for the individual to demonstrate their learning by presenting a collection of self selected pieces of work that showcase their development through the use of digital era.
Dr Helen Barrett (2004) states that a digital portfolio can be designed to meet many purposes. It can be used as a reflection of learning, a tool for formative and summative assessment and as a powerful asset for employment. As teachers we need to be held accountable for our students progress and learning. E.portfolios are one way in which we show and document what students know and can do. This is an effective way to communicate to parents, students and other educational professionals evidence of individual learning (Barret, 2005). This i believe to be very true, however it must not be the 'be all and end all' of portfolios. There needs to be a balance between using portfolios for accountability and using them to support the learning process (Zubizarreta, 2004).
I can see that E.portfolio is going to be a really powerful learning tool for both teacher and students. However as I am a 'digital immigrant' it has been a difficult process becoming familiar with the features that Mahara has to offer. Students on the other hand will master the features naturally and will benefit greatly from the collaborative learning environment that it fosters.
Barret, H. (2004) Digital Portfolios in Teacher Education. Retrieved August 17, 2009, From http://electronicportfolios.com/portfolios/foreword.html
Barret, H. (2005) Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement. Retrieved August 17, 2009, From http://electronicportfolios.com/reflect/whitepaper.pdf
Zubizarreta, J.(2004). The Learning Portfolio. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing