Of the second 1/3 part of Weller’s book, 2 points stand out in terms of their relationships with my current study and work. Firstly, the application of video has an underlying relevance to the promotion of distance education. From my personal experience in language training for international students, recording courses ahead of schedule has been proven to be a practical solution to deal with the time and geographical impediments. This is particularly practical when students enrolled in an online course inhabit different times zones, making it difficult for synchronous communication and meeting. The advantage of class videos becomes more manifest during the current COVID 19, when these premade materials allows international students to study at their own pace. When it comes to the weakness in synchronous communication, students can leave comment under the video page, and teachers will answer within 24 hours. Meanwhile, our school do offer options for online face-to-face communication via tools such as Microsoft teams, where teachers can have video conference with students. It is exactly the same case as the discussion of the “flipped learning concept.”
On the contrary, the practice of e-portfolios among students contradicts the expectation of the designers. As mentioned in Weller’s essay, e-portfolios are not appreciated by students due to various reasons, from complexity in operation to cost concerns (Singh & Ritzhaupt, 2006), the same is true from my personal experience with students. Few of them bother to record their development in the blogs spontaneously unless required, with many reckon the task as an extra time-consuming work. Also, apart from the reasons listed in the chapter (e.g. overcomplication, lack of ownership, etc.), the linguistic barriers for international students is another salient issue. For example, a lot of students in my school are from foreign students learning Chinese, most of whom are frustrated by the grammar and terminology in Chinese to express their feeling concisely. As a consequence, the academic blogs of students are usually deserted, rather than a digital domain of lifelong learning and development for individuals, as discussed in the chapter.
Singh, O., & Ritzhaupt, A. (2006). Student perspective of organizational uses of eportfolios in higher education. World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications, 2006(1).
Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. In 25 Years of Ed Tech. https://doi.org/10.15215/aupress/9781771993050.01