Myportfolio verses Wikispaces verses Superclubsplus

I have been using wikispaces for my personal learning environment for about three years, superclubsplus with children for eighteen months and Myportfilio for my eportfolio for about one month. I had read around the importance of having an online learning area where as a learner I can reflect on my learning, trial elearning tools and communicate with other educators. I know that I could have also looked at google tools, edmodo, symbaloo and even facebook and I am sure that there must be many more. I chose these three because I have trialed them extensively two I have trialed with learners and understand the system. I also have been reading around the legalities for us as educators for when we use online tools with primary school children and have 'back pedaled' in my own thinking about using web2 tools with children. So for the sake of time and limiting my comparison I choose these three online learning environments. I defined Myportfolio in my online space there as I was learning about the system.
Wikis are simple web pages that groups, friends, and families can edit together. Education accounts can be set up for children up to 13 years and wikispaces presumes that the school has gained parental approval. They adhere to COPPA which is The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
SuperClubsPlus is a safe, fully mediated social learning network for students age 5-14 years. I created a livebinder hereabout Superclubsplus. Superclubsplus also advises schools to attain parental approval before children use the site. Generally the school would register the children. Here you can read Superclubsplus principles.



Myportfolio
Wikipsaces
Superclubsplus
Define
My Portfolio provides a personal learning environment to record and showcase evidence of achievement, manage development plans, set goals, and create online learning communities. It is free to New Zealand schools. Schools need to register.
Wikispaces provides a personal learning environment to record and showcase evidence of achievement, manage development plans, set goals, and create online learning communities. It is free to New Zealand schools. You can register and set one up for yourself.
Superclubsplus provides a personal learning environment to record and showcase evidence of achievement, manage development plans, set goals, and create online learning communities. It is free to New Zealand schools. Schools need to register.
Describe
Each user gets their own site.
Still to discover if we can set up a school site in the system.
You can create individual sites that can be linked back to one farm.
Each user gets their own site and the school gets its own site.
URL
URL are numbers so are not easy to locate
Unique URL so from the URL the school name can be inserted.
URL are numbers so are not easy to locate
Tools
Challenging to navigate around the tools- too much information all at once
Challenging to navigate the tools, but the tools grow as you learn.
Tools are revealed as you progress through your online learning
Learning communities
I can see no difference between teachers and children. I can see no difference between the ages of the children.
Because anyone can set up a wikipspace, I can see no difference between teachers and children. I can see no difference between the ages of the children. Anyone can communicate with anyone with a wiki account.
I can see who is a teacher and what level each child is at. Ages 11-14 cannot communicate with younger children. Teachers can view other childrens pages, but there is no communication between teachers and children of other schools.
Security
I am unsure what monitoring is happening for bad language and what is monitored between children.
I haven’t tested whether teachers can email children in other schools.
There is no monitoring happening except within the community. We look out for each other and report any inappropriate content.
Every email, forum posting and web page is monitored using 25 hour 7 day a week online mediators who watch and observe all global activity. The site develops children’s capabilities too for looking out for each other. The children can attain Tech Team status. This allows them the opportunities of being online leaders.
Showcase evidence of achievement
Content can be hyperlinked to world wide examples.
Content can be hyperlinked to world wide examples.
Content cannot be hyperlinked to world wide examples because most web tools tools are for 13 years old and above.
Children earn awards so any visitor to their page can see how technical and safe they are.
The awards are instant and system generated and teachers are not required except in the case of school awards.
Manage development plans
Create within your own account
Create a unique site for development plans
Use forums in the school site, or pages within the school site. Can also contribute to global forums and global pages.
Set goals
Can make your goals visual or private.
Can make your goals visual or private
Can make your goals visual.
Create online learning communities
Global community is growing. Users can post feedback on each other pages. I am unsure if teachers can post on other schools children’s pages or can communicate with other schools children.
Anyone can post on anyone’s page. Using the discussion tab.
Global learning community is already in place. 200,000 children world wide are online. Teachers can talk to teacher on a global scale.
Teachers can set inter school communication.
Children can post a generic comment on each others pages. The drive is the clocking of site visitors. This encourages children to create more content and to be email and forum active.
Teacher student interaction
I have not tested if I can yet communicate with other children in other schools. But I can communicate with educators in other schools. I cannot see who is a student and the educators that I have chosen to communicate are the ones that I communicate with using other social media.
I can communicate with anyone who joins wikipsaces that I am part of or that I created. This could include children too but I would not know because there is no system in place to tell me who is who.
I can only communicate with children from my own school and with teachers and educators around the world. I am unable to communicate with children via email or on forums, but I can indicate what I think of their sites through a select drop down comment box. I can identify who is a child, who is a teacher, who is a mediator and who are Tech Team members. Tech Team are children who have proven that they can work in an online environment.
Age restrictions and terms pf agreement
Cannot locate any. So am guessing that they are following the New Zealand laws and are limiting access to children from ages 14 and above with parental permission. I am unsure how other adults are vetted.
http://myportfolio.school.nz/privacy.php
They follow the United States COPPA laws and limit access to ages 13 and above.
http://www.wikispaces.com/terms
Children under the age of 14 but intermediate school aged children do not communicate with primary aged children and vice versa. They can view pages but all personal communication is limited to their age groups. Children must be registered with their school and every adult who takes part must provide evidence of police vetting or teacher registration. Parents are not allowed access unless they have been police vetted. Superclubsplus Principles.
Single sign on
Yes, Myportfolio has the facility for SingleSign On
No, but maybe it could be because Google have come on board with the idea.
Not yet, still under investigation. I think they might allow it for educators but not for children as one of the rules it teaches children is to keep your password a secret from everyone. This includes your best friend. If an adult finds out your password you can change it.
Web 2 tools
Web 2 tools can be embeded but you need an understanding of html language.
Web 2 tools can be embeded using widgets.
Superclubsplus has an embedded set of Web 2.0 tools for children to learn online publishing, collaboration and communication. Other Web 2 tools are not allowed as they require children to be 14 and over.
PLE Personal Learning Environment
As a space for showcasing work, wikipsaces is just as good as Myportfolios. I have made global and national teacher friends through wikispaces too.

The challenges
Myportfolios has too many tools all at once. Everything is available at once and this can be overwhelming if online portfolios is a new area of learning. From the ground level perspective if teachers are not yet active online and we do still have teachers who are not users of social media, then Myportfolios will be challenging.

The positives
Myportfolio is a place for teachers to set up their resume and link to online evidence. But they can do this anyway in wikispaces. The advantages of Myportfolio over wikispaces is the instant communication to teachers around New Zealand. It is a New Zealand system and is being adopted by our tertiary institutions. As a teacher in primary schools I think that Myportfolios is a positive place to grow our teachers online capabilities. At our school we will begin with using it as a place to showcase and reflect on our learning. Because all teachers are linked together then there is a form of accountability.

My questions
Will it work with our teachers?
Maybe if we use it as part of appraisal. We did this too with Suoerclubsplus and this encouraged teachers to visit the spaces where their children are learning. But they continue to be well behind our children.

Will it work with our children?
No, because at this stage Myportfolios is not secure enough.
The ages of primary school children are less that 14 therefore I do not believe that Myportfolio is a safe environment for them. It is too open and there is little opportunity to grow their skills in a safe environment. As a classroom teacher I know how busy we all are. I also know from the volume of emails that have passed through Supercubsplus that it will be impossible to monitor every email. 36,505 emails between our 270 have passed through Superclubsplus in the past 18 months. I have read a few but no where near that number. 20621 registered log ins have occurred. When children log in they usually clear their emails and work on their websites. Each active child has edited their pages nearly 200 times. The online system of Superclubsplus monitors all activity for inappropriate language and personal information. The online mediators also monitors every single image that is uploaded. This is then passed as acceptable or rejected on preset criteria. I have yet to see how safe our children will be in Myportfolios. I would hesitate at taking my children into the Myportfolio environment because I do not think it is easy to monitor. I prefer the locked down, monitored environment of Superclubslus. As a parent I do not think that Myportfolio is safe enough for primary aged children.
Superclubsplus is a safe learning environment. I am confident at letting our 6 year olds work through the skills levels and build their pages on Superclubsplus. They make mistakes but because someone is always watching and their errors are corrected instantly and gently. There is a level of reprimand depending on the incident. This ranges from gentle reminders to instant dismissal and the school informed. They have a locked out period too that depends of the incident.

Will I give up wikispaces and transfer all my stuff over?
At this stage no. The main reason being is I need a place to make online mistakes that will not impact on my school. It will mean another site to maintain. I already have a personal digital footprint of nearly 50 sites. This does not count our schools sites. I also know how fickle online sites are and Myportfolio still has to prove itself online. The numbers are growing and with it will be ongoing challenges. Teachers need to be learning about cybercitizenship and I believe there needs to be systems in place on Myportfolios that remind teachers of their obligations about keeping our children safe. They also need to be learning about copyright, creative commons and their own personal safety.

As a school administrator
I am excited because Myportfolios might be the vehicle that pushes us as a school into the next step of our online learning journey.
At the same time I feel challenged by what can happen online. Even with just our teachers using Myportfolios. I know that mistakes will be made and inappropriate behaviour and discussion will take place. They will also not be aware of copyright so again systems need to be in place. We all need ongoing training in Cybersafety and in online publishing. So it is not just a matter of sharing our learning online. Because teacher are registered through schools who have set up their accounts schools need to be clear about why they are using Myportfolios.

In conclusion.
My recommendation to my school is that we continue to use Superclubsplus with our children because Myportfolios is not safe enough for our children. We continue to motivate our teachers to be active on Superclubsplus and look for how they can use the site as part of their teaching and learning. We continue to encourage our teachers to achieve their cybersmart awards and technical stars on Superclubsplus. Then running alongside their professional learning we introduce them to Myportfolios and as part of their appraisal we encourage them to use Myportfolios as a framework to link all their online evidence to. Then we encourage them to use Myportfolios to network with National and Global educators who are proficient e-learners. Next we encourage them to use Myportfolios to reflect on practice and we encourage them to set their learning goals by creating digital evidence of their learning. Finally we encourage our teachers to develop their personal knowledge of multiliteracies by using a range of e-learning tools.