Digital portfolios – ePortfolios – Children as reflective learners

“A reflection of the student as a person undergoing continual personal development – not just a store of evidence”  Helen Barrett

I have been involved with the development of digital portfolios before, but am about to start fresh with a new group of students.  In the time since my first try, Web 2.0 has taken over and the possibilities and potential of these products has increased.  Helen Barrett says “the boundaries between portfolios and social networking are blurring”.


Previously,  we chose to use familiar and easily available software as the tool (MS Powerpoint).  The results stayed on the school server with no real audience until parents maybe saw them when they were taken home at the end of primary school.  Nowadays, the world of blogging appears to be the tool of choice and immediately this brings ePortfolios into a different light – the potential worldwide readers with the responsibilities that that entails and the potential of feedback from a wide audience.

There is an enormous array of material available and examples of success stories abound.

Basically, my aim will be for the students to create an electronic record of their learning – reflective in nature, including work samples and written or oral reflections.    My experience tells me that the hardest part is encouraging thoughtful reflection in the children.  The mechanics of scanning and photographing work samples and adding text etc is simple.

Some of these questions I know the answer to, while others I need to answer

I also add my own further wonderings


  • How to include the whole school in the process?
  • How to establish criteria – or should we allow major personalisation?
  • Which tool to use? If blogs, how to manage with younger children (passwords etc)
  • Where to start ?
  • How to encourage the language of reflection required with the students?
  • Do we include goal setting?
  • How do teachers/parents/readers provide feedback

I have bookmarked many amazing resources while I am planning, pondering and researching and they can be found on my Delicious account.

Anyone out there with any ideas or experience to offer?