Hi, everyone -- I am writing this as the countdown to launch of AAEEBL's new website platform is at 6 days and counting. And I am wondering what a year's worth of work, expense, and anxiety will deliver.
What is a 5-year old non-profit with only 121 institutional members and 17 corporate sponsors, with a full-time staff of two plus some part-time staff, doing with such a large enterprise-scale platform?
But, at the same time, eportfolio advocates are always looking ahead, imagining what great changes and what wonderful new worlds of learning are down the road. Would the eportfolio community want AAEEBL to be modest in expectation, plan on modest growth, look for modest impact on education? I doubt it because implementing this new site is anything but modest. Judy Williamson Batson, AAEEBL's Vice President, devoted almost a year to creating this site, as much an engineering undertaking as a design undertaking. At times she must have wondered if we should have opted for "modest."
But, AAEEBL has always had an imbalance between the size of its staff and its aspirations. The times do seem to demand leaps of faith. What was AAEEBL doing in its second year hosting a world-class conference on Boston Harbor? And, now, what is it doing in its fifth year launching a website platform with such a huge capacity and so much functionality?
However, AAEEBL leaders do not see size or ambition as an end unto itself. I have heard our Board tell me that our impact, our influence,and what kind of influence we have as an Association is more important than numbers or revenue.
But, and this is very important, in this new website, our dozens of groups, networks, blogs, forums will be created by the Community. AAEEBL members and the ePortfolio Community can create the "story" of this website. This site, a grand eportfolio, belongs to the Community, as it should. This site is like The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul: all under one roof but managed by hundreds upon hundreds of individual shop keepers.
Our ambition may have been for the Community to create an eportfolio even though we were not aware of that until now when we reflect on what this site actually calls us to do. In each group, the group members and administrator can collect artifacts, discuss ideas, reflect, and, in essence, create a group eportfolio. The group space is owned by those who join the group. You will discover all the ways you can socialize and work within this site and see if it seems like a grand eportfolio to you.
See you around the site . . .