I believe the ownership of the eportfolio process initially allows for a learner’s self-exploration, expression and creativity to blossom. As I create my ePortfolio, I have the ability to customize my “About Me” with pictures, personal information, goals, and the formatting that appeals to me and my anticipated audience. It is this “phase 1” where ownership of the eportfolio process is the starting point where there could be some teacher guidance or directives on what to include. But the ability to choose my platform, my words, my design allows the learner to have their own space. I equate it to allowing staff members to decorate their workspaces however they like…it is still owned and controlled by the company, but the space in which they work all day is personal and comfortable to the employee. So the buy-in has occurred, and now learners can now begin linking their personal goals to their professional/educational work in a tangible, easily accessible location.
It is so easy to file a paper away or save it to a folder on your computer. But adding to an eportfolio allows for the learner to look back on previously created work, place value on that work as to how much closer it takes them to achieving their said goals. This allows the learner to make those connections for meaning, growth, cohesiveness, and appreciation for the work/learning completed and where their learning needs to go next. Reflection is finding the value and connections in the learning. I struggle though on how to make my eportfolio “valuable” to anyone besides myself. I am the learner and my learning is subjective – it cannot be “graded” as it is not direct evidence of my learning (tied to a rubric of sorts!) but rather an intentional production of my current goals and personal philosophy tied together to my dialogue, reflection, connection and demonstration of my knowledge and skills. However, since I OWN my ePortfolio. It implies that I own or have CONTROL over my learning (what I post, what I present, what I convey) which is powerful! Personally, blogging – a brand new skill for me! – has already shown me over the past 2 weeks just how frustrating this process has been and how far I have come from day 1. I realize I am struggling with some core pedagogical ideals and am uncertain of how confident I am to buck the current education system to achieve some lasting change. I am trying not to focus on what is down the road though. I am enjoying creating my eportfolio and reflecting upon my own learning at the moment – as it is something I have definitely not made time for in the past. I have something tangible and real to show that I continue to learn and grow – evidence that I am in control of and OWN my learning.