What is PebblePad? Charting the epic journey from fledging eportfolio to Learning Journey Platform.

by Shane Sutherland


What is PebblePad? Charting the epic journey from fledging eportfolio to Learning Journey Platform.

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MARCH 13th 2019· by Shane Sutherland

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In the early days we referred to PebblePad as 'a portfolio'. That seemed to be the camp we were joining.

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Reflecting on how we have arrived at PebblePad: The Learning Journey Platform, our Founder, CEO, and Chief Mischief Maker, Shane Sutherland, has put pen to paper (or fingers to computer keys) to tell the story of the PebblePad journey.

In 2007 at the EIfEL ePortfolio Conference in Maastricht the following description of PebblePad was first posited:

A system which allows users to record abilities, events or plans which are personally significant; allows these records to be linked, augmented or evidenced by other data sources; and promotes reflection on these entries. It allows users to integrate institutional data with personal data that are recorded and reviewed over time, and have been enriched by commentary and feedback from the recipients of shared assets.

It is a system with tools for aggregating assets in multiple forms; for telling myriad stories to diverse audiences and provides absolute user-control over what is shared, with whom, for what purpose and for how long. It is a personal repository; a personal diary; a feedback and collaboration system; and a digital theatre – where the audience is by invitation only.

12 years later this description is still as applicable as it ever was. Despite this consistency in what the system DOES, the definition for what the system IS has had a journey of its own. This journey not only reflects the evolving educational context in which PebblePad was being used, but also the evolution of our own understanding of the unique attributes of the system and what it offers to learners, educators, and organisations.

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Charting the PebblePad Journey

Amidst anecdotes of abandoned bottles of sherry and lever-arch binders (whilst quoting master poets), Shane situates the various descriptions and definitions of PebblePad within the contexts and conversations of the times and describes the evolution of thinking and understanding. He concludes by introducing a comprehensive model for ‘The Anatomy of PebblePad’ that we hope will assist everyone to better respond to the inevitable question “What is PebblePad? You can read the full version of Shane's reflective and instructive story here.

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Our Learning Journey Platform

If you'd like to view a range of case studies and learn more about how our Learning Journey Platform is helping educators support, guide and develop students – from induction to graduation, and beyond, then download the guide below and add it to your must-read list.

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CEO and founder of PebblePad, Shane has been a big presence in the world of portfolios and personal learning ever since the company's inception in 2004. It's not just his boundless enthusiasm and towering capacity for innovation that keeps PebblePad at the top of its game ... when you're 6' 10" having a list of great ideas 'as long as your arm' is somewhat of a competitive advantage!