MAKING IT MEANINGFUL: ENHANCING TEACHER LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP THROUGH E-PORTFOLIOS
National Institute of Education - Nanyang Technological University (SINGAPORE)
The pace of utilizing digital technologies to support learning in higher education has been fast-tracked; encouraged in part by research findings that technologies could provide improved support and added value for student learning. This development is generally inspired by several significant perspectives: firstly, through the use of collaborative and participatory tools, such as wikis, blogs and other social networking software to offer more meaningful, reflective, and personalized learning opportunities for learners (Yang, 2009), secondly through, ‘e-initiatives’ adopted by educational institutions to formalize the process of assembling student work (Meeus et al., 2009), and thirdly through harnessing ‘crowds’ and collaborative learning, such as with Collective Intelligence (Malone et al., 2009) and Knowledge Building (Scardamalia and Bereiter,2006).
Particularly, and in advocating for more self-directed (Guglielmino, 2008), critical reflection (Schon, 1983) and transformational learning (Pilling-Cormick, 1997) processes with teacher professional learning; electronic portfolios (E-portfolios) has been validated as a platform that supports learners as active agents involved in constructing knowledge, refining understanding, and learning socially through collaboration with peers (Hartnell-Young et al., 2007).
This paper focuses on the intentions, the issues, and the impact of using electronic portfolios (E-portfolios) in a graduate teacher professional learning programme as a tool for increasing participants’ critical reflective thinking and self-directed learning. Participants engaged in the programme acknowledged the transformative opportunities embedded in the E-portfolio vehicle and process. The E-portfolio opportunities provided lenses through which to reflect on participants’ own professional development and accomplishments in new ways.
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