November 9th, 2011
"tool" to me is a hammer: something that lets you do one thing
very well. A shovel is a tool. But, for example, would we call our
car a "tool." That would seem absurd: "well, my car
is just a tool after all." The word diminishes what a car means to
people: auto-mobility, meaning physical and social mobility; it is a
private space; it often is part of your identity. It's a prestige item.
You can live in a car. We have built much of our country based on the
abilities and limitations of cars.
Likewise with eportfolios: calling them a tool severely diminishes what
they are. Using the word mis-leads those who know little about
eportfolios into believing that it's all about the technology.
Eportfolios, instead, could be perceived as the "car" of this century:
similarly providing your mobility, your private space, a place to keep
important items, a way to create your identity, to connect to society, to build
When seen through the lens of its capabilities, as I just touched on, an
eportfolio could never be thought of as a mere tool, a one-dimensional
technology that has a single purpose. We do not help ourselves by so
diminishing the importance of our work through using an unfortunate
And that's all I have to say about that .... :-)