The e-portfolio, otherwise referred to as the electronic portfolio, has become a significant requirement in many teacher preparation colleges and universities. Whenever it is linked with field experiences and internships, the e-portfolio is referred to as a digitized collection of artifacts created by the student. Andria Antiliou, a Graduate Student Affiliate from the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, has stated that “Electronic portfolios are dynamic and sustainable tools that allow a graduate student to be creative, reflective and collaborative.” This definition would hold true for preservice teachers as well.
In the past, education majors would organize their personal portfolios into binders. That is changing and students are now creating “virtual identities”. During interviews…since binders of information cannot always be left with administrators…a student is now able to give a personally digitized portfolio to the interviewers so that they might learn more about the candidate’s expertise and experiences linked with teaching.
Many colleges and universities, including Saint Vincent College, continue to require their student teachers create e-portfolios that serve as their “digital resumes”. A team of education faculty members from Indiana University of Pennsylvania stated, in their paper Electronic Portfolios on a Grand Scale, “the benefit of the electronic portfolio is that it allows for a wider range of artifacts that can be included in a very compact archiving format”.
Preservice teachers who have engaged in creating e-portfolios are also able to share, during interviews, the fact that they have become more versed in technology. In an article written by Boggan and Harper (Mississippi State University), they stated that “prospective employers are introduced to the candidate’s technology skills as they review e-portfolios”. They also found in their research (see link below) “teachers who create e-portfolios are more likely to infuse technology in their classrooms and require their own students to develop e-portfolios and projects”.
Northern Illinois University has encouraged their students to “collect, select, and reflect” when creating electronic portfolios. This blog author supports the idea of preservice teachers molding their virtual identities and discovering, as students actively involved in assessing their own learning and experiences via the e-portfolio, their potentials as future teachers.
Be sure to check out the links below for more information about electronic portfolios:
(Boggan and Harper, Mississippi State University)
(Overview of e-portfolios)
(Multiple resources linked with electronic portfolios)
Donna Hupe teaches ED 101 – Field Experience I and has been a Pre-Student Teacher/Student Teacher Supervisor at Saint Vincent College for the past five and a half years.