#epcop MOOC Level 7

Mission 7: Reflect on and evaluate your e-portfolio.

That’s it, sadly the course is over.
I progressed, gathered badges, participated in webinars, tweeted, blogged, reflected, commented, discussed topics in the Ning, helped others and received expert guidance. In so many ways the #epcop MOOC experience has been rewarding.

I’ve pulled together evidence of my education, work experience and professional development, demonstrated new e-Learning skills and have made a start on my story. The purpose of my digital portfolio is now clear, to gain employment in the area of e-Learning and to share my resources with educators.

Let me change direction for a minute….
This beautiful artifact was created by a distant relative of mine in 1867. In our family’s possession is a scrapbook, a personal account of Colonial Australia, exploration of new frontiers on horseback, Aboriginal resistance and young love. It’s a legacy, a treasure and still part of our family after 144 years. It’s my relative’s portfolio.

Now that I’ve been through the process of creating an e-portfolio I see another purpose. It won’t smell old and dusty, or feel light and delicate, but it should leave behind a legacy. Who knows, someone may be interested to read it in 100 years.

Thanks to EpCoP MOOC Design Team

Carole McCulloch
Junita Lyon
Sandra Stewart
Pauline Wilson
Allison Miller

Image courtesy of Shabby Blogs

#epcop MOOC Levels 4, 5 and 6

It took me some time to feel satisfied about grabbing these level badges as I struggled to complete them in sequence. I needed to take on Plato’s directive to “know thyself” in order to create a “big picture” to work backwards from.

Level 4: gathering evidence of your learning for your e-portfolio.
 What’s the purpose of having it in the first place? I needed to come up with this one before searching for relevant evidence. To make a long story short, my goals are to be employed in the e-Learning industry, to run e-Learning professional development for educators and to continue tutoring students in maths, science and computer skills.
At times I get the feeling that my passion isn’t always understood and evidence of the skills I’m gaining, while moving towards these goals, are rarely seen.

So, I thought it was time to create a Digital Portfolio with the purpose of:

  • making my voice heard and my interests understood
  • being transparent and accountable
  • centralising my work to share with others
  •  providing evidence of my teaching and learning
  • keeping a record of my professional development
  • communicating with and receive feedback from others
  • gaining employment in the area of e-Learning
Having made it this far, gathering evidence became easier.
I’m keen to include visual evidence of my learning, for a more engaging read.
Level 5: determine how you will engage in reflective practice.

Reflective practice doesn’t come easily to me and I’m never sure of exactly what it is. Thanks to Peter Pappas and his explicit  Taxonomy of Reflection, I was on my way.

Here’s an example of reflection using this model.After much thought I decided to include my Personal Learning Network, PLN, as evidence in my digital portfolio. This representation of Blooms Taxonomy provided the outline for me to reflect on it’s importance.
Please read my reflection here and, if you feel like it, leave behind your thoughts.

Level 6: decide on who to share your e-portfolio with and refine your collections.
One of the reasons for taking my time to grab this badge was making sure I had these “Key Elements” and “Must Haves” of an e-portfolio. After working on how to bring everything together on WordPress.com, with the option of making individual pages hidden or password protected, I’m happy to share. I still have a truckload of information to add over time but I believe the purpose of my e-portfolio has been met. Would you agree?                                                                                                                                                                                               

#epcop MOOC Level 3

Mission 3: decide where you will create your e-portfolio.

At the start of week 3 my thoughts about which platform to choose revolved around these points:

  • It’s my learning space, not linked with an institutional LMS.
  • It has the flexibility for me to send different, private (if necessary) views to people for job applications, assessment for courses, volunteer work etc.
  • Easy to navigate, uncluttered
  • It’s a fluid space, one that I can adjust/reconstruct as the social web evolves and my needs change throughout life
  • I can back it up and transfer it to other platforms if ever I need to
This week’s reading, discussing, listening and watching has led me to the conclusion that there is no “one size fits all” portfolio platform.
As an educator, currently studying and working from home, a cloud based e-portfolio best suits my needs.

In then end, it was a tossup between these 3:

Google sites are excellent, especially now that privacy settings can be applied to individual pages. I wish I’d discovered them earlier.

WordPress too, and there is a wide range of “themes” to personalise the look of an eportfolio.

For simplicity and ease of use, Wikispaces is a platform I have revisited…the only drawback is that, on the free version, individual pages can be hidden but not password protected.

In conclusion, I’d be happy to use any of these for my cloud based e-portfolio.

In the end, after solving the password problem, I’ve decided to go with Wikispaces. Rather than starting again on another platform, I’ll continue to work on the Wiki already linked to this blog.

Pinching Myself

Warning, this post is a shameless self-promotion 🙂

Yep…that’s right.

In a bit over a year I’ve evolved from Elluminate novice to Blackboard-Collaborate presenter. With a bit of a shaky voice, a few too many “um’s” and several multi-tasking slipups, I survived two presentations this week.

First up was Tech Talk Tuesdays. I was delighted to be invited by Anne Mirtschin to make a presentation about using technology as a maths tutor.

Tech Talk Tuesdays

If you feel up to it, here is the recording.

Then, as my role of Challenge Mentor for the ePCop MOOC, I had a chat to some of the participants about using wordpress.com for their eportfolios.

#epcop Challenge Mentors Presentation

 Here’s the recording if you need a few tips about wordpress.com and blogging.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank three tireless and supportive educators, Junita Lyon, Carole McCulloch and Anne Mirtschin for giving me the opportunity to present online. Building a PLN and networking with educators is worth it’s weight in gold for one’s professional development. It’s a must for education reform.

#epcop MOOC Level 1

Mission 1: Establish your own understanding of e-portfolios.

It seems that everyone has a different idea and vision about what one should be. Understandable really, we are all individuals with our own unique story to present online.

I looked at the gallery, read heaps, involved myself in the ePCop Case narrative as Agent Bentley, chatted on Twitter, had fun with some web tools and rearranged parts of my blog.

Having completed Reflect and Connect earlier this year I started to learn about the concept of developing my online collection of digital artifacts and reflections. As a consequence of using Mahara I understood and appreciated the purpose of creating and controlling access to different “Views”, depending on my intended “Viewer”.

I’m beginning to think that what I’ll be creating during this MOOC will be more of a Personal Learning Environment…sort of like a “Home Base” for all of the “stuff” and noise…my digital footprint…I’ve created online.

So, this is where I’m at now:

  • my WordPress website/blog http://penbentley.com/ will be my “Home Base”
  • I’ve created a wiki to contain my eportfolio content, and linked it as a page to my blog
  • I’m tossing around ideas about what Pages to have on the blog vs Pages in the wiki
  • I can lock pages and use them as Views when needed

I’m starting to feel more in control of my “stuff” as I pull it all into one place. That’s good, I’m on my way.
What are your thoughts about ePortfolios?

#ePCop What?

Image courtesy of the ePCop Learnspace.

As we approach the end of Level 1 in the ePortfolio Massive Online Open Course, I’ve been wondering if people have firm grasp on what an ePortfolio actually is.

We’ve been reading, listening, planing and networking all week, so can you choose one or two words to describe what it means to you?

Please type your words into the AnswerGarden below and select “submit”.

[gigya src=http://answergarden.ch/cloud.swf?cloudid=14790]

via AnswerGarden


It’s an exciting time for educators around the globe. Due to technology, the internet and people’s willingness to give their time and share their knowledge, there are many quality, free professional development opportunities available.

One such opportunity has the acronym EpCoP MOOC which stands for:
Eportfolios Community Of Practice Massive Open Online Course.

Designed by members of the VET e-portfolios Community of Practice, this professional development course is for educators interested in learning how to create their own e-portfolio.
Throughout August and September I’ll be a learner and mentor in this course.

As a Volunteer Challenge Mentor I was asked to write something about myself, so here it is:

I’m Penny Bentley, a Secondary Maths and Science teacher currently tutoring students in my community and working as a volunteer tutor for the Broadband For Seniors Program.

After teaching in the Secondary sector for over 20 years I decided to leave the classroom last year. Since then I’ve completed many professional development hours learning about web technologies and how they can be used to improve student engagement and motivation. I’m particularly interested in formative assessment and the use of e-portfolios to promote the skills and talents of students.

To integrate 21st Century digital pedagogy into the curriculum there is a need to support many teachers across all education sectors within Australia. To understand more about how adults learn I’m completing my TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, with an emphasis on online teaching and learning. I’m hoping this will lead to employment in the area of online professional development for educators.

My involvement in The Australia Series Community Connect webinar sessions led me into the role of EpCoP MOOC Volunteer Challenge Mentor. I’m delighted to be involved and believe that teaching and learning in online communities, such as this MOOC, is the way of the future for educators and their lifelong learning.

Welcome to the EpCoP MOOC….I look forward to meeting you online.