15 October 2013

Breaking Away from Solitary Learning

There are times when learning is an endless ocean, knowledge so intangible, so unattainable,  that only failing appears possible. 

There are times when learning is so complex, that one shudders to  admit to being lost in the webs of learning. 

And there are times when learning is so much richer, so more vaster and deeper than merely passing multiple-choice exams. 

This is where a wiki or students' e-Portfolios step in, not only as an obligatory activity to tick off, but where they can show and share their learning with others. 

Blogs are an immediate choice for showcasing students' work (with all the other elements that blogging includes). However, there are contexts where there simply isn't time to guide and give students the benefits of blogging. 

One alternative is to have students share their creations (e.g. presentations, visual creations ) in their LMS or, to create a class wiki when a more private sharing is required. 

If learning does not happen in a vacuum, connected learning needs a means to share self-expressions which are often reflections of learning. This is where class wikis offer a safe platform for students. 

If students are more mature, then creating a E-portfolio is another means to share their creative achievements.  

is is a free online portfolio website which is great for photography and other creative projects. Students need to feel involved in their learning - why not give them scope to have a selection of photographs/images which may then be shared as writing prompts for their writing assignments? 

With so many free digital tools to explore, it is time that these are seamlessly woven into classroom practices, whether for assessment purposes, or more relevantly, for learning purposes. As Gerstein reminds readers:

"First and foremost, good technology integration is ubiquitous, transparent, not identified or labeled as learning about or using technology, and seamlessly integrated into learning.  Teachers, learners, and observers don’t typically notice learning tools such desks, pencils, and paper used for learning.  This should be the case for using technology in the classroom, too.  In other words, effective technology integration just becomes a subset or embedded component of good pedagogy."

Learning how to learn is essential.

By offering contexts and platforms to students where they can explore, share and learn from each other, may often be more motivating than solitary work for a generation who struggles with the solitude of always being connected.

Besides, who knows what wonderful ideas may be shared for further learning?

Futher References:

Narratives of Learning - on E-Portfolios

PortfolioBox - Create your Portfolio Website

Portfolios - Suggestions

Portfolios - Suggestions for Creatives

E-Portfolios - More suggestions

Wikia - Create, Collaborate, Be Original


  1. Thanks for the suggested links, Ana Cristina. We've finally started implementing portfolios where I work and it's nice to have links like this if/when we take these in a tech direction.


  2. Hi Adam,

    Glad you found suggestions of interest/useful; there is also the option of using LiveBinders if students want to keep their work private or only shared with a certain number of people. They can work on their portfolios privately, until they wish to make them more public.

    What I find interesting is that today there are a number of options for both students and professionals of all fields; it's just a question of seeing which format/platform is most convenient for the individual's purpose.