My Professional Portfolio

My Professional Portfolio

Lecture Notes

Hello, I'm Helen Barrett. Welcome to my multimedia portfolio, created initially in PowerPoint, exported to multiple formats using LecShare. I am exploring the capabilities of using this process to develop electronic portfolios as part of my research on implementation of online electronic portfolio systems. In the accessible HTML version, I have placed the URL for the web pages that I have decided to include in this version of my portfolio.

Contents of My Portfolio

Lecture Notes

Here is an overview of the contents of my portfolio. You can hear a brief biography, see the artifacts that I have identified as my best work, and hear my reflections about creating this portfolio and my future goals. If you want to see all of the artifacts in my portfolio, select Portfolio-at-a-glance.

There are many versions of my portfolio online, where the reader can follow the links to the artifacts online. In this version of my portfolio, I provide an overview and explanation of the artifacts.


Lecture Notes

Every portfolio has a purpose. My purpose for developing this portfolio is to show my skills in developing an electronic portfolio using any number of tools. After reviewing all of my artifacts (see my Portfolio at a Glance) I found five general categories of competencies:

Electronic Portfolios

Digital Storytelling


Teaching & Instructional Design

Writing and Assessment (Publications)

I have updated this portfolio several times over the last three years. This version represents a movement from text and images with links to a few digital video clips, into a digital story format, with my narration of the key elements of my portfolio.

Scanned Version

Lecture Notes

Before creating a portfolio, it is good to create an advanced organizer, to identify the specific artifacts that I wanted to include in my portfolio. Below are three versions of my portfolio: the original Excel version, a PDF version,and a scanned copy of my original worksheet that was used to classify the artifacts.

I spent an evening in 2004 going through my web pages and my hard drive (my digital archive) to select the specific artifacts that I wanted to use in my portfolio. I set up this Excel spreadsheet that let me list the artifacts (21 in all) and then create hyperlinks to each URL.

After selecting the artifacts, I tried to identify which competencies or skills each artifact demonstrates. I found five or six major categories right now, maybe more when I think about it. But the major categories have emerged. Now, all I have to do is create a collection for each grouping, and write an overall reflection plus record the captions. Since I had all of the artifacts on one of my websites, all I had to do was capture the URL.

From start to finish this project took me an evening, and most of the time was spent in selecting the artifacts and writing the captions. Those aren't really technology issues they are portfolio issues.


Lecture Notes

Excel Version: Portfolio-at-a-Glance (Table)

PDF Version: Portfolio-at-a-Glance (PDF)

After creating the list with the URLs, I added comments in Excel to represent the captions for each artifact. I played around with converting the document into HTML, but spent too much time fighting the Microsoft style sheet codes. So I just converted the document into PDF, which I will use on the WWW. I uploaded the Excel spreadsheet to this portfolio as a document, but I might prefer using the PDF.

Scanned Version

I scanned the printed version of the Excel version, and selected the specific pieces to include under each competency.


Lecture Notes

I recently retired from the faculty of the College of Education at the University of Alaska Anchorage and have been researching electronic portfolios since 1991, publishing a web site on Technology and Alternative Assessment since1995 and an Apple Learning Interchange Exhibit.

I was involved in Educational Technology and Staff Development in Alaska between 1983 and 2001,first as Staff Development Coordinator with the Fairbanks School District and then with the University of Alaska Anchorage. I was in charge of Educational Technology programs for the School of Education and initiated the development of UAA's New Media Center for campus-wide faculty development.

As the Assessment Coordinator for the International Society for Technology in Education_s National Educational Technology Standards for teachers (ISTE NETS-T) Project (2000-2005), I developing strategies and resources to assess teacher technology competence. I also served as Vice President for Assessment and E-Folios for the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE). Through the Educause/NLII/AAHE Community of Practice, I provided early leadership to define pedagogical specifications for online portfolio systems.

PT3 Grants - Presentations & Publications

Lecture Notes

Between 1999 and 2001, I wrote several successful federal technology grants, the most recent through ISTE to support technology and assessment in teacher education programs throughout the United States, providing training and technical assistance on using electronic portfolios to assess achievement of teaching standards. I was on loan to ISTE on a full time basis for the duration of this PT3 Catalyst Grant (2001-2005).

My presentations at numerous regional and national conferences have explored the emerging field of technology and alternative assessment and my authoritative articles have appeared in books, journals and proceedings published by ISTE, AACE, AAHE, and WCCE. In 2002, I produced a multimedia CD-ROM-based Electronic Portfolio Handbook.

Research on ePortfolios

Lecture Notes

My research about electronic portfolios began with a study of K-12 student portfolios for the Alaska Department of Education in the early 90s. In the mid-90s, my research focus changed to electronic teacher portfolios, and I am currently exploring both high school graduation portfolios and family involvement in e-portfolio development in early childhood education. This newest research focuses on how schools can meet the Parent Involvement goal of NCLB through the collaborative development of electronic portfolios to communicate authentic student learning related to standards, goals or outcomes.In 2005, I became the Research Project Director for The REFLECT Initiative, an international research project, underwritten by TaskStream, to assess the impact of electronic portfolios on student learning, motivation and engagement in secondary schools.

Future Learning Goals

Lecture Notes

I believe that all portfolios need to include three forms of reflection, focusing on the past, present, and future. These questions are:- What? (the artifacts that I have collected from the past)_- So What? (what these artifacts show about my learning at the present time)_- Now What? (my future learning goals)

So, here are my future goals. This version of my portfolio was created after I retired from the University of Alaska Anchorage. I am using this portfolio to help me reflect on my strengths and how that will contribute to my future professional direction.

Goal: Researching Electronic Portfolios

Lecture Notes

Researching Electronic Portfolios

I have spent the 2005-2006 school year conducting the REFLECT Initiative, the first in a two-year research project on electronic portfolios in secondary schools, sponsored by TaskStream. I am really excited about what we are finding in this research, and would like to do much more of this work in the future. I am looking forward to the second year of REFLECT, when I will have an opportunity to conduct focus groups with the high school students who have been using TaskStream for the last year. I have also begun an informal study of high school electronic portfolio implementation in my home state of Washington.

Goal: Digital Storytelling

Lecture Notes

Digital Storytelling

After I finally retire, I want to encourage "baby boomers" and senior citizens to use digital storytelling to preserve their memories and life stories for future generations; a mission statement: using today's technology to tell yesterday's stories to tomorrow's generations. The current popularity of scrapbooking and genealogy all indicate that there is an interest to preserve these memories. But those who study genealogy know that we can find the dates and facts about a life, but stories that are not preserved are lost forever. Everyone has a story to tell. Digital storytelling is one way to preserve and share our family legacies.Perhaps I can also work into the process a "retirement transition" focus, using digital family stories as a way of finding a new purpose in retirement after a very busy working life. Learning to share digital stories could become a powerful transition activity. And in the process, new retirees could learn technology skills that they might have missed in their professional careers.Here is an opportunity for schools, as well, to bring this digital storytelling process to their communities, to match young people who have the technology skills with older people who have the stories to be preserved. Then, we can truly become a community of lifelong learners who share our knowledge and wisdom with each other.

Evidence of Competencies

Lecture Notes

If you want to see an overview the evidence that I have collected in this portfolio, I have included an image of that artifact, a link to its location on the Internet, and a brief caption or reflection on each piece.

Writing & Assessment (Publications on website)

Lecture Notes

These publications were selected as evidence of my writing skills and my knowledge about portfolios that support assessment for learning. I chose examples of my publications from the early 1990s through to the summer of 2004. I can definitely see a change in my thinking about portfolios, from learning about e-portfolio tools, to learning about assessment for learning. The most recent articles reflect a real change in my thinking, profoundly impacted by the changes in technology between the early 90s and 2006 (pre-Internet through Web 2.0) as well as a greater awareness, through my reading and research, of the impact of portfolios and reflection on assessment for learning.

Purpose of Digital Stories in ePortfolios

Lecture Notes

Purpose of Digital Stories in ePortfolios<br />

This paper was developed for the Digital Storytelling Gathering, and provides examples of digital stories created for several purposes.

Authentic Assessment with Electronic Portfolios using Common Software and Web 2.0 Tools

Lecture Notes

Authentic Assessment with Electronic Portfolios using Common Software and Web 2.0 Tools<br />

This paper is accepted for an updated version of Coming of Age: an introduction to the new World Wide Web; it started initially as a handout for a workshop at the KIPP conference in New Orleans in early August 2006, that I co-facilitated with one of my REFLECT teacher leaders. I became very excited about the many Web 2.0 tools that I found to support IEPs (Interactive Electronic Portfolios) or what I refer to as ePortfolios 2.0.

2006 AERA paper

Lecture Notes

2006 AERA paper<br />

Roundtable Paper discussed at American Educational Research Association Conference (April 9, 2006). This paper presents the REFLECT Research Data Collection Plan, and options for questionnaire items to be included in the second round of data collection (for Spring 2006).

White Paper: Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement

Lecture Notes

White Paper: Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement<br />

This 2005 paper was written for TaskStream to cover the literature for the REFLECT Initiative, a research project on implementing electronic portfolios in secondary schools.

Writing & Assessment (Publications in Journals)

Lecture Notes

Here are some of the papers that I published in journals which show the growth in my thinking over a decade of working with ePortfolios.

IRA Journal article (2007)

Lecture Notes

Article for IRA JAAL Researching Electronic Portfolios and Learner Engagement: The REFLECT Initiative

Accepted for upcoming Electronic Portfolio issue of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (JAAL-International Reading Association) - July 2006. This paper is an update of the White Paper that was written at the beginning of the REFLECT Initiative. This updated paper discusses some of the findings from the first year site visits. (only available through IRA for now)

Connected Newsletter article (2006)

Lecture Notes

Connected Newsletter article<br />

Using Electronic Portfolios for Formative/Classroom-based Assessment. Submitted June 2006 to the Connected Newsletter (Classroom Connect). This paper was a re-write and update of the REFLECT Brief published in early 2005 as part of the RFP.

Create Your Own Electronic Portfolio (2000)

Lecture Notes

Create Your Own Electronic Portfolio<br />

The latest article that I published in Learning & Leading with Technology, April 2000, focused on "Using Off-the-Shelf Software to Showcase Your Own or Student Work." In this article, I moved from commercial software to the use of common desktop software tools.

Technology-Supported Portfolio Assessment (1994 & 1996)

Lecture Notes

Technology-Supported Portfolio Assessment<br />

This was my first publication on Electronic Portfolios, published in The Computing Teacher, March, 1994. Reprinted in Student Portfolios: A Collection of Articles edited by Robin Fogarty (1996). Palatine, Illinois: IRI/Skylight Training & Publishing, Inc., pp. 127-137.

Electronic Portfolio Competency

Lecture Notes

This is my collection of artifacts that are selected to demonstrate specific competencies in portfolio development knowledge and skills. I have been researching, presenting and writing about electronic portfolios since 1991. This collection shows the growth in my thinking about electronic portfolio development between 1991 and 2004.

Apple Learning Interchange

Lecture Notes

Apple Learning Interchange Exhibit on Electronic Portfolios<br />

I developed this Expert Exhibit on Electronic Portfolios for Apple Computer as an Apple Distinguished Educator. I was flown down to Apple's office in Austin to record the video clips, which I am not very pleased with the results. Some day I will redo the whole exhibit, with new video clips.

My Website on ePortfolios

Lecture Notes

My Website on Electronic Portfolios<br />

This is my web site on electronic portfolios in education. I started working on this website in 1995, on the server that I set up for the University of Alaska Anchorage School of Education. I bought my own domain names in 2000, and have been updating it ever since. You might say that this web site contains the archive of my professional work in electronic portfolio development since my research started in 1991. It also comes up on the first page of any Google search on electronic portfolios.

My Blogger Blog

Lecture Notes

My 'Blogger' blog<br />

I started to experiment with blogs in the spring of 2004. Within a couple of months, this blog has been highlighted on several lists of recommended educational blogs. I have enjoyed writing in this blog, to use it as a way to explore my own thoughts and reflections on my experiences. As a result of writing in this blog, I am experimenting with other tools, as well, to see how various blogging software would work to construct e-portfolios.

Digital Storytelling Competency

Lecture Notes

The QuickTime movies below provide examples of digital stories that I have created over the last three years. I attended the Center for Digital Storytelling workshop in January 2003, and have been exploring the practice since then. I have designed and delivered workshops to help Teacher Education students and faculty to develop digital stories as reflective artifacts in their electronic portfolios.

Family Portfolios & Digital Stories

Lecture Notes

Family Portfolios and Digital Stories<br />

These documents contain portfolios developed with my granddaughter for her Kindergarten, First and Second Grade years. The digital stories for K & 1 are reflections on the year. The digital story for 2nd grade is her autobiography written as part of a school project. The "Dad" story is the project we created at the Center for Digital Storytelling.

Prepare for a Digital Storytelling Workshop (.mov)

Lecture Notes

Prepare for a Digital Storytelling Workshop (.mov)<br />

I created this digital story to help participants prepare for a digital storytelling workshop.

Electronic Portfolios as Digital Stories of Learning (.mov)

Lecture Notes

Electronic Portfolios as Digital Stories of Learning (.mov)<br />

This narrated slide show presents the content of my article posted at This presentation looks at technologies that are engaging for students to foster intrinsic motivation, specifically digital storytelling. This movie is watched so much that it exceeded my .Mac monthly data quota.

Choices - A Digital Story of Learning (.mov)

Lecture Notes

Choices - A Digital Story of Learning (.mov)<br />

Seventh grade provided one of my most vivid memories of learning. I have made sense of this experience with a reflective digital story. Reflecting back on that learning experience as a professional educator, I realize that the problem was not with me, but with the assignment. What a difficult task I was given... it takes time to build those synapses in the brain. Memorization has its place in learning, but I didn't derive the true meaning of the poem I had to memorize until much later in life.

Technology Competency

Lecture Notes

These artifacts represent my skills in multimedia development and web page authoring. I have developed a CD-ROM using Adobe Acrobat and QuickTime movies. In addition, there are Digital Stories that are posted in another collection, and my web site which showcases my knowledge and skills in electronic portfolio development as technology changes over time.

At-a-Glance Guides

Lecture Notes

At-a-Glance Guides<br />

Common Software Tools for Creating and Publishing Electronic Portfolios. These short guides were developed to support the stages of electronic portfolio development, from the collection/digitization process, through the selection/reflection construction/hyperlinking process to the final publication process. I developed these guides as part of the Apple Learning Interchange Exhibit.

CD-ROM-based Handbook

Lecture Notes

CD-ROM-based Handbook<br />

I developed a CD-ROM in 2002 to use in workshops and to sell on my website. I made a major revision in the spring of 2004, adding Digital Storytelling to support deep learning.

Using Adobe Acrobat for Electronic Portfolio Development

Lecture Notes

Using Adobe Acrobat for Electronic Portfolio Development<br />

This paper outlines Adobe's Portable Document Format as the ideal container for electronic portfolio reflections connected to digital artifacts, describes the software environment, and then describes the process for converting digital artifacts from many applications into the Portable Document Format, and maintaining a cross-platform, web-accessible, hyperlinked digital portfolio. I received an award at the SITE 2001 Conference as "Best Technical Paper."

Creating ePortfolios with Web 2.0 Tools

Lecture Notes

Creating ePortfolios with Web 2.0 Tools<br />

This newest web page, with a variety of examples and "How To" instructions, provides guidance to creating ePortfolios with online-only tools.

Teaching & Instructional Design Competency

Lecture Notes

These documents were selected to showcase my competencies in teaching and instructional design. I have developed and delivered workshops on electronic portfolio development, from three hours to three days, and most have been evaluated through my PT3 grant. I have also developed a set of two-day workshops on electronic portfolios and digital storytelling for a major technology company.

Presentations & Workshops

Lecture Notes

Descriptions of presentations and workshops available<br />

These are descriptions of the presentations and workshops that I have developed.

Workshop Outlines

Lecture Notes

Workshop Outlines on Electronic Portfolios and Digital Storytelling<br />

These two-day workshops were developed in the winter of 2004 for a major technology company. The Digital Storytelling workshop was piloted twice in 2004 through my PT3 grant. The evaluation report from Rockman demonstrates the success of the first workshop.

Distance Course

Lecture Notes

Distance Courses on Electronic Portfolios and Digital Storytelling<br />

I developed this series of courses on electronic portfolios and digital storytelling, which were piloted with Wichita State University in 2003 using Blackboard. The courses need to be updated, but can be offered using any web-based environment. In 2007, I offered two one-week courses through KnowSchools in Canada, using Moodle.

PD for Implementing Electronic Portfolios

Lecture Notes

Professional Development for Implementing Electronic Portfolios<br />

This recent web page on my website, responding to requests by school districts for information on how to help teachers who need to support student electronic portfolio development. Includes Change theory, portfolio and technology skills assessments.

Workshop Evaluation (2005)

Lecture Notes

An evaluation of a workshop that I did in Arizona for Maricopa Community Colleges in 2005.

Reflection on this Process

Lecture Notes

This is the 26th tool that I have used to create my electronic portfolio. Since I copied the pages from the GoogleDocs version of my portfolio, I was able to reconstruct my portfolio in less than an two hours, copying and pasting the information, although the fine tuning the formatting took more time. As with all of my other portfolio, all of my artifacts are documents already stored on one of my websites, so I did not have to upload any documents. I think this program is a viable tool for presenting my portfolio with links to online word processing documents that are converted into HTML of PDF, or to videos that are online.

Using Notes for Reflection

Lecture Notes

I copied the text captions into the Notes section of the PowerPoint document, maintaining the reflections on each artifact and collection. These notes served as the script for recording the audio track.

Comments for Feedback

Lecture Notes

This system has the potential to offer interactivity, since each slide can have comments added. I was able to add links by simply copying from another portfolio. This tool would work for formative assessment (providing teacher and/or peer feedback on student work) but not for summative assessment. But the process for adding comments and feedback would need to be agreed upon with the approved collaborators with the PowerPoint tool.The major advantage of PowerPoint is that it is ubiquitous and can be easily converted later to a Web 2.0 tool, which would make the portfolio more universally available through a WWW browser.

LecShare Pro software

Lecture Notes

The LecShare software works with PowerPoint to convert PowerPoint slide shows into these different formats: QuickTime, MPEG-4, Accessible HTML, Microsoft Word, audio only. The software also allows recording audio directly, slide by slide, into a file. As I am trying to demonstrate here, this option should work very nicely with ePortfolios created in PowerPoint. Students could do audio reflections on their portfolios with this tool, then convert them for either WWW, DVD or CD publishing.


Lecture Notes

I created this portfolio as part of my study of different authoring tools. But using PowerPoint allowed me to experiment with a tool that I have previously discouraged, primarily because of the earlier problems with hyperlinks breaking when pressed to CD, as well as limited space for reflection on the slides. However, by using the Notes section as a script for narration, allowing the relatively easy addition of voice to portfolios, an element that I think is essential, I think this process could be very useful in a variety of settings, within both educational and life wide applications. Furthermore, with all of the tools available to convert PowerPoint files into other formats increases the flexibility for publishing these portfolios in a variety of tools, from PC-based CDs, DVDs and the WWW to iPods and eventually cell phones. I can hardly wait to see the next technologies and potential formats.

My final wish

Lecture Notes

I end this version of my presentation portfolio with the final wish that ends my presentations for the last six years: May all your electronic portfolios become powerful stories and celebrations of deep learning across the lifespan.