Googlios – pulling it together

One of the things that many people spend a great deal of time and effort in the classroom is the development of an appropriate digital footprint for students.  In this footprint, there may be a little of this and a little of that and by themselves, you end up with a collection of individual artifacts.  The litmus test, as you’ll see when you go to listen to a speaker who is big on this is to “Google Yourself” and see what you find.

The results that you get from this “Googling” may be good or may be not so good depending upon your name, the quality of the search, and the quality of what you’ve created and shared on line.  In essence, this digital footprint should be a portfolio of the work that you’ve created.  However, in terms of portfolio management, it does fall short.  When we’re working with students and portfolio development, we should be encouraging them to review it periodically.  During that review, they comment on their efforts, mark artifacts for rework, discard old content, and add the latest and greatest content.  When you assemble a portfolio through “Googling”, that just isn’t possible since Google wants to manage everything.

So, the next logical step would be for you to manage it yourself.  The concept of a Googlio is intriguing to me.  Touted as a marriage of Google and other social sources,

Goog•lio  noun (1) a hybrid next generation e-portfolio that utilizes emerging open, social, web2.0, and Google applications such as blogs, wikis, social networks and software to create a student created and controlled personal learning environment and lifelong content management system that can be shared and viewed from different perspectives, within various contexts, and for multiple purposes. noun (2)  a free and easy to use portfolio web site for individuals to design as a space, story, and system that functions as a workspace and showcase for learners to collect, select, reflect, publish, link, archive, and demonstrate knowledge, skills, reflections, through multimedia artifacts.   verb (3)  “googlio it” to publish and connect a digital artifact to your webfolioorigin: rooted in the word folio (as in DaVinci) + Google (as in all the free Google Apps & Tools) and evolved from portfolio –> electronic portfolio (e-portfolio) –> webfolio

         (from the Googlio definition page)

the definition is interesting in its creation of both noun and verb!

Dr. Helen Barrett and Alex Ambrose offer their own personal examples of what the concept might look like.  They’ve used Google Sites as a platform for pulling this together.  It makes sense to use sites if you’re creating a Googlio by not only name but with the ease with which you can edit your Google Site after starting from scratch or using any of the freely available Google Sites templates.

The key to all of this doesn’t lie in the technology – although it can be very powerful – but in the development, collection, analysis, and review of the artifacts that lie in the portfolio.  Think of all the good things that are possible with the critical analysis and thinking that goes into this as an evaluation tool.  Think of how powerful portfolio review is in the arts and then begin the process of moving the concept to activities online.  In my Computer Science classes, each of my students had their own portfolio of their best projects.  It allowed them to review success and to pay some of their logic forward for future projects.

It’s got great potential and time devoted for students to regularly update their electronic portfolio after any classroom activity leads to a very content rich creatiion and it won’t allow that inspirational activity done in September to become lost in April.  It’s still early in the school year – why not experiment with the concept and build upon it with each electronic activity that you do this year?

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links for 2011-09-19