Although Vineet Madan does not even mention ePortfolios what he does say makes a lot of sense, for schools of all age-ranges, not just Higher Education, upon which he focuses.
I quote briefly from two sections of his paper:
"Creating a More Engaged Classroom
"Increasing engagement is about much more than simply entertaining our students with new devices and whiz-bang multimedia; it's about accomplishing the very real task of connecting them more closely to their coursework, to their teachers and to each other. Technology enables biology students to touch, spin and explore the structure of a molecule as they're reading about it in a text, watch a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King as they read about the civil rights era and ask questions of their classmates and complete their homework assignments all in a digital environment. By fostering these connections, technology can enhance and increase students' learning interactions, leading to better performance.
"Making Personalized Learning a Reality
"To teach our students effectively, we first have to learn about them. One of the best ways to do this is to use technology to collect data that tells us where they're strong and where they're weak, how they learn best, and use this data to create personalized pathways to help students build their knowledge and skills.
"The single hottest trend in education technology is the popularity of adaptive learning systems. These systems use student assessments to gather performance data and point students to course content that's specifically targeted to help them build their knowledge and skills. Formative assessment programs work in a similar way, only they provide insights directly to teachers, allowing them to more efficiently personalize their instruction for every student. When we talk about making the classroom smarter, this is what we mean....
" The simplest reason why we should continue our push to bring technology to our classrooms is also the best one: it works. According to the U.S. Department of Education and recent studies by the National Training and Simulation Association, technology-based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by 30 to 80 percent. In the world of higher education, where technology is adopted at a much faster rate than in K-12 schools, adaptive learning systems such as LearnSmart have already been shown to have a significant impact on student pass rates, retention rates and overall academic performance.
This improved level of performance has implications far beyond the classroom. Today we live in a global, digital society, and increasing students' exposure to technology can not only help them develop the skills they need to succeed in it but open them up to a world much greater than their own."
For those of us who understand the ePortfolio culture, we can say 'Amen' to all of the above. eFolio is one of the best ePortfolio systems for providing the feedback, ownership and flexibility that Vineet is writing about.