Thursday, November 25, 2010

My ePortfolio in the cloud

I am still thinking about the ePortfolio conference I went to a couple of weeks ago in Melbourne. When I was there, I presented my thoughts and experiences about being a health professional and having an ePortfolio in the 'cloud'.

The conference raised all the same dilemmas that I have been struggling with for the last couple of years like security of information, privacy for myself as a health professional as well as the people I work with, and digital literacy.

ePortfolio for nurses and midwives
As ePortfolio becomes more mainstream in education and professional practice, another issue nurses and midwives have to sort out is portability of ePortfolio and how it integrates between education and the profession.

Which way do we go?
So on the one hand I am personally committed to keeping my ePortfolio in the format I am currently a mix of blog, wiki, YouTube, Slideshare etc. But on the other hand I recognise why education and professional institutions, as well as hospitals and health organisations are moving toward standardised, closed ePortfolio platforms....places where midwives and nurses can reflect in private, and a technology that easily interacts with systems set up by professional regulatory bodies.

Bottom line?
I am about to get into discussions about implementation of ePortfolio in education and professional practice so feel I have to come to some sort of compromise. Yet at the same time, I do have several bottom lines, or at least, beliefs that I am really passionate about.
  • Nurses and midwives, including students, should be allowed to have a choice about how and where they develop their ePortfolio.
  • ePortfolio should have the facility for people to share in a community of practice, not just with individuals like a potential employer or lecturer.
  • There needs to be collaboration between education providers, professional bodies and health organisations to make sure there is as little fragmentation as possible between systems and platforms.
I would love to hear from any nurses and midwives who are interested in this area and/or are working to implement ePortfolio, especially in Australia and New Zealand. What are you using for ePortfolio? How do you see hospitals implementing ePortfolio? Do you know of any collaborations between educational institutions, hospitals and professional bodies to implement a "standardised" platform across the board?

In the meantime, here is the presentation I gave last week.


Jean Jacoby said...

Hi Sarah
I have been following your posts about e-portfolios with interest. We are looking at introducing e-portfolios for our undergrad nursing students, and face many of the same issues such as balancing ease of use and confidentiality, portability, etc. We're investigating Windows Live as our platform... we're in the early stages and it will be interesting to see how it pans out!

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Jean, I don't know anything about Windows Live but I did hear someone at the ePortfolio talk about it. What are the advantages of it compared to something like Mahara?