A few weeks ago I sent a message to the Naacetalk Advisory list - the general mailing list for members of Naace. The message went something like this...
If you're in a Local Authority or RBC and are considering implementing or have already implemented an ePortfolio system, I'd really appreciate it if you could follow the link below and complete a brief survey (consisting of 10 questions) about your approach. I'm interested in the various parameters that might affect how an ePortfolio is deployed on a medium- to large-scale...This used a fairly simple online survey to ask the following questions:
- Who would be the intended users of an ePortfolio system across your LA/RBC?
- How many potential users (both staff and pupils) would use an ePortfolio system in your LA / RBC at any one point (i.e. the total number of staff, pupils and LA employees if you are counting these)?
- If you are planning on offering ePortfolio functionality to both primary and secondary age pupils, are you planning on using different ePortfolio systems for each of these groups?
- What potential online storage capacity you would consider making available to an individual user in the following categories: primary staff, primary pupils, secondary staff, secondary pupils, LA/RBC staff?
- Would you supplement this storage capacity by allowing your ePortfolio to access existing resources on the internet (such as Flickr, Bebo, Box.net and other online storage services)?
- Have you selected or implemented one or more ePortfolio systems to offer to your schools?
Thirty six people filled in the survey to some extent, although only about 19 filled in the majority of the survey to count as what I'd call "complete responses". I asked the questions as a result of a previous post entitled Thinking about MyStuff which asked (among other things) How much storage space should each user (staff and pupils) be offered? Some quick points from the responses are (all links are to a Google Spreadsheet summary of the responses):
- There's an approximate 50-50 split between those who have selected and have yet to select their ePortfolio system;
- Most respondents are planning on using the same system for both primary and secondary phases;
- The majority of respondents plan on offering an ePortfolio to both pupils and staff;
- Two respondents anticipated that their system(s) would have more than half a million users; the majority anticipated under 100,000 users;
- Most respondents anticipate supplementing their core provision by allowing their ePortfolio system to access other (external) online storage services;
- Unsurprisingly, there's a vast range of ideas about storage capacities for staff and pupil users at primary and secondary phases.
While this questionnaire was closing, it's all kicked off on Naacetalk about ePortfolios, with the usual cycle of statement-opinion-counter-opinion-misunderstanding-clarification which accounts for many of the 97 unread messages in that folder in my mailbox - possibly why an ex-colleague of mine referred to it as the "Naace will eat itself" list before they unsubscribed. However, there are some good points on the list, maybe when I get a second I'll think about them.
It's worth pointing out that these issues of storage, capacity and availability aren't all I am / we are thinking about as regards ePortfolios, however they're critical so that we can enable things, hence my interest in the answers to the above questions.