A Mobile Portfolio to Support Communities of Practice in Science Education

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Abstract

Practice activities are a key issue for science education students. Typically, these activities are carried out by a community of practice (practicing students and professors) using physical or centralized electronic portfolios. However, these alternatives are limited when the community members need to share the portfolio resources, any time and anywhere. This limitation is also present when support for high interactivity among these persons is required. This paper presents a new kind of portfolio which is able to work in autonomous, client-server, and peer-to-peer manners. This mobile portfolio is fully distributed; therefore, it improves the flexibility to conduct interactions or share portfolio resources among the members of a community of practice. The functionality and stability of the tool have been tested by the developers and the results obtained are encouraging. The use of this distributed portfolio is expected to help science students and professors to enhance practice activities, interactions and interchange of experiences and resources.