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What is an ePortfolio?

As part of my second course in Lamar University’s “Digital Learning and Leading” program, I was asked to review the website of Dr. Harapnuik, the program’s founder. Specifically, I was asked to review the meaning of the word “ePortfolio”. In his post, Dr. Harapnuik explains that EDLD 5303 will allow students to “move beyond dropping assignments into a digital container”. In essence, it encourages students to really find unique ways to showcase their learning and their own personal journey.

By definition, a minimalist definition of an ePortfolio is “a learner’s digital evidence of meaningful connections”. When I read the minimalist definition of the ePortfolio, I thought is was a very creative and succinct definition that presented me with limitless possibilities. I especially appreciated the part about creating “meaningful connections”. As I always tell my students, we each learn in unique ways. What may really matter to one person may not matter so much to someone else. While we all may arrive at the same understanding, we do not reach that understanding in the same way. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to build a portfolio that allows me to organize and present my findings in a way that is the most meaningful to me. I’m very excited to use feedback and comments on my blog posts to help me make meaningful connections with my peers.

When I first saw the assignment to build an ePortfolio, I had immediately felt uncomfortable. I’ve never been a person who likes to showcase what I’m doing to large groups of people, and I still have some social anxiety before speaking in front of my fellow teachers at Professional Development days. The idea of making a website centered around myself and my academic life was stressful. I could totally relate to Godin’s comment that people “…have spent years following instructions, fitting in, and getting good grades that they have failed to learn to do anything that independent”. Despite frequently trying to be creative in my delivery of instruction and use of technology, I really didn’t strive to document it or share it for fear of being perceived in a certain way.  However, after putting so my effort into and being able to have the freedom to customize it in a way that makes me feel proud and confident, I looking forward to using the ePortfolio to track how much I grow throughout this program. I look forward to having a record of my “aha!” moments and connections I make with my classmates, as well as using this to become more of a contributor within my Personal Learning Networks.

As I’ve always sought to keep portfolios of my students’ work throughout the years, I truly think it’s time to start creating and managing one for myself!

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