Thursday, April 22, 2010

 

Language Translation programs

One of the benefits of an internationally-known website is to receive emails from educators throughout the world; one of the challenges is to understand what is being written in some of those emails; worse is the challenge to read papers that appear to be translated by computer programs. For example, here is the first paragraph of a document that was sent to me, where the author asked me to recommend a journal where this paper could be published:
The Psychology of the Education, while scientific area, in its flowing triple, basic, projective and technique, of has long date, has eventide, between many other subjects, a vast panoply of forms to learn and to teach, its advantages and disadvantages, relevancy and conditions of implementation, questions of validity and effectiveness, under aide of the quality of education, formation, education, in general, in any context of comment and intervention.
I'm not sure I have the energy to try to interpret what is being said. But even more difficult is trying to interpret the translation of the concept of the portfolio (whether paper or electronic) between different world cultures and education traditions. Just as I have discussed different metaphors for portfolios, there are also different issues with translation of the portfolio concept. Portfolios have been called "electronic file delivery" and I know some languages do not have comparable translation of the words reflection, assessment and accountability. These linguistic as well as cultural differences make communication difficult. Technology alone cannot solve that problem, as shown by the translation quoted above. I wonder which program was used?

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

 

Mumbai Musings

My meetings with teachers and my e-portfolio workshops are all over at the ASB Unplugged International One-to-One [laptop] Learning Conference in Mumbai, India. Heading for New York late tomorrow night... will be traveling for 26+ hours, from the time we leave our hotel at midnight until we get to Newark. It's been a wonderful nearly two weeks here in India. No health problems (other than my arthritic knee). Lots of new friends from all over the world. Hope to come back.

Wonderful work being done in this international school, and many others. They have a vision for integrating technology across the curriculum, for meaningful learning. I am even more convinced that this is the way to go to really change our educational system, especially after seeing a group of 3rd graders showing their Google Sites e-portfolios to a lot of adults in a presentation yesterday... with such poise and self-confidence. They and their talented teachers are leading the way developing e-portfolios in this school, and I've been privileged to work with them this school year... so inspiring to see my ideas in action modified with their practical strategies in the reality of their classrooms.

This school is going to be one of the case studies in the book I am writing. I was in the 3rd grade classrooms on Thursday, and had an opportunity to talk with students in one class, and observe the students showing their portfolios in all three classrooms. Then I attended the presentation of the threeteachers, with the assistance of about 20 of their students, who took their laptops (they each have their own) throughout the room, sharing their portfolios with a lot of strangers (most of them teachers or administrators from International Schools from Europe and Asia). It was inspiring!

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

 

A Wonderful Week in Istanbul

We just finished a wonderful four days at Enka Schools in Istanbul, working with 4th & 5th grade teachers on ePortfolios, and a few of their students developing digital stories... in English, their second language! They were wonderful, very short stories about themselves or their best friends, and their enthusiasm was energizing. They have new skills to enrich their ePortfolios, now in Powerpoint, but soon they will explore more interactive tools, on their own WordPress server.

It was an interesting experience having all of my presentations translated... forcing me to slow down, reduce my content to the most critical elements. An interesting insight: There is no word for REFLECTION in Turkish, so they had to use a version of "thinking about your thinking/learning."

On Saturday, we had a tour of the historical center of Istabul. Now we are getting ready to leave for Spain. More later... with photos!

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

 

Another ePortfolio video

This 3-minute video was created by Sònia Guilana,  to explain eportfolios to her high school students (12-18) in Catalonia, Spain. Great images! Nice, simple explanation.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

 

Another Midnight Class

Last night, I worked with a group of elementary teachers at midnight (for me), lunchtime for them... in Mumbai! I am starting an ePortfolio project with teachers at the American School of Bombay. This is a school with 1-1 laptops from third grade! And I get to visit the school for a conference at the end of February 2010, when I will get a chance to meet the teachers face-to-face, and see the ePortfolios that their students are building. They are part of my research for my book.

This time, I shared my desktop with Adobe Connect, and they called my phone for the audio. I was told the screensharing was much better that using Skype's new feature, and phone audio was more consistent... and when you have teachers on a short lunch break, that is important. We are also using a Ning social network between sessions. The school bought the elementary teachers Elizabeth Hebert's book, The Power of Portfolios, covering the pedagogy of portfolios in elementary schools. The book doesn't address the use of technology for this process, but together we will select the appropriate tools for students to use.  There are three third-grade teachers participating... it will be fun to see what their students can manage. It won't be a typical school situation, but I know we will learn a lot from each other.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

 

ePortfolio Conferences in 2010

So far, here are the dates for ePortfolio meetings or conferences in 2010:

ePortfolio Europe, 8th conference
sponsored by EIFE-L: July 5-7, 2010, at Savoy Place (not the hotel!) in London.

AAEEBL's first ePortfolio Conference: July 19-21, 2010, in Boston. Conference co-located with and managed by Campus Technology. Co-hosted by The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). (date correction as of 9/29/09-- formerly listed as July 27-29, 2010)

Also, prior to the AAC&U conference, there will be a one-day ePortfolio Day on January 20, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

 

International Development of ePortfolio Model

In response to my blog posting yesterday, I received a link to a blog entry of an educator in Spain who adapted Derek Wenmoth's model (from New Zealand). International collaboration at work! I think the tools on the left side are only a few of the many tools that are used, and the NZ model saw the need for a database to manage the PLE "collection of atifacts" process. Keep up the conversation!

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

 

International Travel Scheduled

I've accepted invitations to speak at the following international events:
Looks like I might keep my Alaska Airlines MVP Gold membership for one more year!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

 

Dutch and Canadian e-portfolio efforts

The following item was posted in the Ning social network of the next ePortfolio conference to be held in Europe on October 22-24, 2008, in Maastricht, The Netherlands. The title of the blog entry was "Towards a future that works - the Committee on Labour Market Participation recommends an ePortfolio for all workers."
The Dutch Committee on Labour Market Participation has formulated a series of recommendations for getting more people into work in the Netherlands and improving the operation of the labour market. The Committee’s most significant conclusion is that the Dutch labour market is about to undergo drastic change:
  1. over the course of the coming decades, there will be more work to do but fewer people to do it;
  2. globalisation will increase the requirements regarding the level of knowledge and adaptability of the labour force. The Netherlands needs everybody – quickly! – and everybody must be constantly employable.
Among the recommandations, the fifth one is related to the ePortfolio as a mean to improve employability:

5. Improve employability. In order to increase employability, we make a number of recommendations for employers/employees, the education sector, and the benefits agencies.
  • Digital e-portfolio. Every member of the labour force will be entitled to a digital e-portfolio, i.e. an electronic inventory of their competencies, diplomas, experience, and accreditation of prior learning (APL). This will give people a better understanding of their position on the labour market and their career prospects, and of any need they have for further training.
  • Periodical talent analysis. Talent analysis and APL procedures must be introduced on a large scale, with maximum use being made of the e-portfolio. The right to a periodical analysis of one’s competencies and the right to APL assessment must be included in collective labour agreements, with mandatory arrangements for a “best-effort” obligation on the part of employees to undertake training.
It will be very interesting to observe the implementation of this plan. This policy is the first national statement that I have seen that recommends e-portfolios outside of formal education institutions, and is part of the territorial approach to ePortfolios promoted by EIfEL.

I have also been contacted by Athabasca University which is Canada's biggest (almost only) open and distance university, where they do PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Accreditation) across all programs there. Their portfolios are still primarily paper-based, although they have a virtual version of a paper-based portfolio posted on their website. Their portfolio manual (PDF) provides comprehensive guidance on building one of these PLAR portfolios.

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