Free Statewide E-Portfolio Program Ends
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The dream that was sustaining the first free state-wide e-portfolio initiative, which heralded great promise in Minnesota, has officially died. Users received e-mail in the last week of May announcing that free e-portfolios were being discontinued and that existing users would have to pay an annual subscription fee of $10 to keep their accounts active.
Kicked off by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, digital portfolios were implemented in 2003 as eFolio Minnesota, to provide students and other state residents with a way to organize, manage and display their academic and career information on the Web. By January 2014 the number of users had reached 100,000. Now the system can "no longer provide funding for the program," the message to users stated.
Starting next month, people with e-portfolio accounts will have to pay an annual subscription to keep their sites active and available. Users will have until October to renew their accounts. By November, e-portfolios will no longer be viewable on the Web, though paid renewal before the end of the year will restore an account and make it available for updates and viewing.
The software is supported and maintained by Avenet, which also makes a version of the program available to users outside of Minnesota. Myefolio is priced at $19.95 a year.
"So ends an era," said Paul Wasko, who formerly managed the program at the state college and university system as director of eStudent Services. Wasko has moved on to become the e-portfolio coordinator for the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.