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The Ghosts of E-Portfolios Past

Fred Perez
Western Oregon University
CSE 689: Creating Electronic Portfolios
Fall Term/2016

The Ghosts of E-Portfolios Past

In this paper, I will explain what e-portfolios are. I will examine and explore the widely
increasing popularity and purpose of e-portfolios as a communication tool, and their place in the
worlds technologically evolution over how we learn and communicate: past and present. I will
discuss how e-portfolios are used today and what important elements they contain. In addition, I
will explain how and why e-portfolios benefit learning in general, support and empower student
learning, and how they prosper in conjunction with the endless learning tools and opportunities
on the internet today.
It is greatly important to understand why things were invented and how things have evolved to
better understand them today. For example, the past origins and evolution over how human
civilization communications have evolved by means and use of telecommunication wire, radio
and/or other electronic signals for the purpose of communicating and sharing information. Our
world has greatly changed and advanced-especially in the last twenty years with the invention
and expansion of the internet-the newest form of telecommunication. From the first forms of
telecommunications dating back thousands of years ago with the use of smoke signals to
communicate over large areas of open land and water to send and receive information. Then,
over the span of hundreds years, new inventions like the printing press, the telegraph, the
telephone, and now the internet have continued to advance how we communicate and share
E-portfolios are now created and used in a fast-paced digital world that is driven by the use of
computers and mobile devices like smart phones and tablets to communicate, and now access
and use information instantaneously. We no longer are limited to saving and storing our work,

documents, files, photos, etc on paper, in photographs, hard drives, flash drives, or in bulky
files or other containers. We now have digital online storage capabilities like websites, cloud
servers and now e-portfolios.
An e-portfolio is a personally created and managed online tool that allows online learners the
capability towards an easy and accessible method to consolidate, store, and more efficiently
organize ones academic and professional content digitally all in one place. As more learning
takes place on digital platforms, data plays a larger role. (Susskind, 2015, p.59). E-portfolios
allow online learners more effective methods to share and showcase their academic
accomplishments and learned skills, and various types of stored content and data information.
This content may include ones personal biography, ones professional resume, documented
artifacts like word documents formats, files, media photos and videos, audio files and podcasts,
presentations, lecture and seminar notes, research notes, data results, evidence of learning and
skills acquired, and blogs.
E-portfolios are created through the use of an online platform like Wix, Weebly, or Wordpress
website. With e- portfolios online learners can quickly and safely store and manage their
information, data and content. All of this content, data and information is safely managed online
by the owner from just about anywhere and at all times through online platforms that require
confidential passwords to access manage. This way the owner controls who has access to
specific content while other content is kept private.
E-portfolios allow students, teachers, and just about anyone else who needs or wants a more
efficient organized and more easily accessible method to present, share, or showcase their work
and accomplishments. This will allow one to better communicate their level of competent skills,

their learning from experiences and how these accomplishments can be applied towards their
careers and lives.
In order for an e-portfolio to be an effective communication tool several important elements need
to be included like the purpose, the intended audience, and the content displayed and presented.
What is the academic or professional goal of the e-portfolio? Which specific audience my
teacher, classmates or potential employer? The content included needs to be relevant towards the
goal of the e-portfolio. Including what and how much personal information is presented is up to
the creator, because revealing too much or certain types of sensitive personal information can be
harmful towards ones privacy. The full presentation of the e-portfolio needs to be professionally
presented and visually inspiring. Viewers need to be inspired and encouraged to stay and explore
your e-portfolio. It needs to be colorful and well organized with easy navigation links and pages.
As an educator, I plan to use e-portfolios in the classroom towards supporting students learning.
With the use of technology and online tools e-portfolio can become an effective learning tool for
students to document and track their learning and educational experiences and academic goals
and accomplishments. Digital technology is a potent tool to for bringing the wider world into
the classroom. (Warschauer, 2007). The future of online learning tools like e-portfolios will
continue to evolve and become more technically advanced towards new forms of communicating

Susskind, R, and Daniel Susskind. (2005). The future of the Professions. United Kingdom.
Oxford University Press.
Warschauer, M. (2007, December, 7). A Teachers Place in the Digital Divide. Retrieved from