Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Portal 2.0 for setting up ePortfolios

Over the last week, I have been evaluating several ‘personal portal’ / portal 2.0 type sites and comparing them with Windows live, the original site I have been looking at using. All of the the sites look very promising, with each site providing opportunities for setting up a good collection of photos, links to blogs, RSS feeds etc.
So here is a ‘first impression’ viewpoint of them.

Pageflakes - Had a nice email from Ole Brandenburg from Pageflakes, encouraging me to set up an account and have a look. Pageflakes is similar to Windows Live, in that is is an aggregation page. It allows you to set up links to a host of other Web 2.0 applications including, flickr and metacafe & youtube video. You can also link up with Google search, Google maps and add feeds from various popular news and techie journals or put I your own feeds.

There are also ‘flakes’ for address book, a dictionary, to do list, chat, sending SMS and email. There are 110 flakes to choose from. Setting up a page with the flakes you need takes a few minutes and the process is very intuitive. Will Richardson describes an interesting way of using pageflakes RSS feed to set up a site that provides students up to date / regularly updated information about topical world issues.

Vox – a personal blogging tool from Movable type. It provides an easy to use interface to blog, store your photos, videos, music, book lists etc. For photos, you can upload from your computer or link to flickr, photobucket & iStockphoto. Videos can be linked to your computer or Amazon, youtube & ifilms. There is also an interesting tool to set up ‘collections’ which could be photos, videos, music etc based around certain topics. This makes Vox quite usable as a eportfolio site as each collection could be an eportfolio with the evidence collated from the photos, videos or blogging area.

Multiply – like Windows Live but allows imports from Flickr, Yahoo, Shutterfly, Kodak live gallery & Windows live. Photos can be emailed directly to multiply so it is possible to email photos from a mobile phone. There is a good interface but not as easy or as fast to use as the others.

Netvibes – provides many RSS feed type links plus links to your email, flickr, writely account etc. This has a more crowded look. It looks very much like my personalised Google page with a similar range of feeds.

All the above sites, are accessible on my Treo 650 using Opera Mini – a java enabled browser. However, not of them display well. I will therefore do some further work on evaluating theses and pick out 2 to 3 to use in our pilots for next year.

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