School-leavers will have an electronic portfolio showing their achievements and best work, giving a clearer insight into what they can do in the workplace (DfES, 2005, p 12).
Without the support of adults this is futile. Too often technology tries to eliminate the need for relationships for things to happen. Sometimes the technology is an attempt to replace people with things, with stuff, with systems.
An e-portfolio won't say well-done; an e-portfolio will no identify strengths and weaknesses and with care offer positive feedback; an e-portfolio might use up time, but it doesn't give of its time ...
Who historically has known what a person can achieve? Their teacher, parent, or grand-parents, a close friend or partner?
What do e-portfolios lack?
A heart, a head and a hug.
In the early 1990s something called 'The Choices Card' was launched across the North East of England by the now defnct Tyneside Tec. This creidt card and chip held a basic CV, had training credits on it and was meant to be a young person's passport between school, training and/or a job.
This was an e-portfolio in microcosm. The most important component of it was the person, the adviser who took the 'candidate' through the process.
There are plenty of people in the country, many of whom will have more sense and achieve greater 'stickiness' then a collection of amorphous software.
It is tool. A clever too. An engaging tool. A valuable tool. And a resource. And a gateway. But it is about a person and should be applied through engagement with the right 'other' people. If guided alone through social networking sites what kind of decisions will be taken?
We'll see. Because this is what will happen.
It's easy enough to be on Facebook while doing homework, to be on Facebook while completing a job application or writing a CV. Who are the influencers here?