I always get excited when I find new tools that are simple, well designed, and FREE! Most of the time I come across these tools via Brian Lamb’s weblog in the in flux corner of the site. Stephen Downes’ site is also a good place for finding interesting educational technology related research and tools. Today’s discovery is timely, since it will address two of my immediate projects–the development of a “Digital Tools for Assessment and Feedback” workshop with TAG, and thinking about ways to showcase Faculty and TST efforts with educational technology in the Faculty of Dentistry.

I’ve just begun to delve into the KEEP Toolkit , a freely hosted and open source tool developed by the folks at Carnegie . The initial description got me curious…

“The KEEP toolkit is a set of web-based tools that help teachers, students and institutions quickly create compact and engaging knowledge representations on the Web”

but “knowledge representations” didn’t really tell me a whole lot. Neither did the description of what the KEEP toolkit can do..

With the KEEP Toolkit, you can:

Select and organize teaching and learning materials to illustrate some of the critical aspects of teaching and student learning.

Prompt analysis and reflection by using templates that provide conceptual frameworks, categories, and guiding prompts/questions.

Transform materials and reflections into visually appealing and intellectually engaging representations that can be easily shared online or in print.

Share ideas for peer-review, assessment, collective knowledge building, and others purposes to advance teaching and learning as a community of practice and reflection.

Simplify the technical tasks and facilitate the evolving intellectual processes involved in knowledge building and sharing.

…although I did start getting the idea that it might be useful as a portfolio tool.

I really began to like this tool once I started looking at the templates and the cases, which show how the tool has been used to showcase a redesign of a course or a group of courses, or to showcase a research project. It’s also pretty easy to see how this tool could be used for students to present their work, either as a collection ( a portfolio) or as an individual piece.