November 14, 2005

The difference between a Learning (B)log and an ePortfolio

For weeks I have had this Educause post about eportfolios in my Bloglines account. I'm in the process of going through some posts now in preparation for the Distance Learning in Higher Education conference at Cardiff University on Thursday, where I am speaking.

I think there is a difference between the aims of a blog as a learning log (which is all I believe it can be in this case) and a polished portfolio. I use the word polished carefully. A portfolio should be a presentation of the best bits of someone's work. A blog is not really the right medium through which to do this. It is, however, a great medium for recording previous work and posing new questions: a learning log. I have talked about Learning (B)logs in my latest research piece, From Learning Logs to Learning (B)logs (which still needs a lot of editing!)

If I were wanting to put together a portfolio to put forward my best work on the net I would use a traditional web page over which I had complete editorial control. It would also be a lot briefer than a blog: the people reading it don't have a lot of time to come to a decision on me. The type of blog that closest ressembles a portfolio that I can think of straightaway is that of techno journalist Ben Hammersley. There are few blog posts and they are nearly always representations of work he has published.

Learning Blogs tend to less on what has happened and more to what might happen if... This is where students can get more out of their learning. Blogs as learning logs push them into thinking about what their learning means for them the next time they're in class.


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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

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School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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