In the beginning there was grad school. That ended in 2010. Now what do I blog about?

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February 08, 2010

eportfolios

A cosmic occurrence in my PLN this morning. My email delivered an invite to a campus tech users meeting at the end of Feb on ePortfolios. Then I got an email in my regular email from grad school detailing eportfolio requirements for graduation with a link to Chalk & Wire.

Because I didn't know we had Chalk & Wire at grad school, I have been building an eportfolio on my own. I have tried several platforms - rCampus and Epsilen have decent packages, although I do like opportunities that exist in free-form atmospheres like wikis and blogs.

At any rate, so these emails come to me this week and then as I catch up on Twitter and Google reader to find that @sarahstewart has blogged about a preso on eportfolios. So I check out the SlideShare she linked to and find it to be useful and informative info. It also helps to review the basics as I finish up building my own portfolio, and it ties into my social media initiative and our campus need for eportfolios. Cool, I think.

It is interesting that (according to the work event invite) the people who will present their eportfolio project chose Adobe Acrobat Pro as the format. I wonder how long they have been working on this project and I wonder why they made the decision they did. I also wonder if they are sharing the portfolios via Adobe server. If so, does that mean we have a functioning Adobe server and someone that can manage it? Important questions, I assure you, and the answers could be helpful to many of us looking for an internal mechanism to share forms and collect form data.

I know that the Acrobat Pro portfolio tool does offer some neat and easy to use tools for formatting, layout and color scheme. It is also fairly easy to slurp a folder of Word Documents into the portfolio without having to convert each individual file. That's cool. But I wonder about delivery of the portfolio, or sharability. Acrobat does have easy tools to make things look pretty whereas with a web option like a blog or wiki you have to a now a little bit about web publishing (although there are some platforms that are simple to use). I just think about who the portfolios are for. Why build a portfolio that only you and your teacher sees? You both have already seen your work.

Having to email the portfolio as a file requires that you make a decision about who is going to see it, and/or hope that someone asks you if you have a portfolio to share and provides you with their email address. If your portfolio is online, it may be discovered when someone Googles you; it could be a link on your Facebook, LinkedIn or Blogger profile. Why email an Adobe folder when instead you could include a link to a website in your email signature? Your portfolio is supposed to be exemplary work that you are proud to share as proof of your ability and knowledge and skill. Share it! You worked hard. Show it off!

Even though my grad school did not provide guidelines or platform for online eportfolios last year when I began building, I am happy to see they have ventured that way.

Below, what Sarah shared on her blog (org slide source: Helen Barrett).

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

3 comments:

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi there

Glad to see that my references have been of use to you - keep in touch and let me know how you get on with your eportfolio.

I have chosen to use wikispaces for my eportfolio but problems do arise when I need to keep material anonymous and confidential. I think I might try google sites for this - password protected.

good luck, Sarah

Carri Saari said...

Thanks, Sarah.

The only thing I have wanted to keep confidential in my portfolio is my CV, specifically the personal info (home address, phone, marital status, full academic history).

For that I can simply create a 'web friendly' version, without the personal info, that still provides professionals experience, publications, research projects and accomplishments. Anyone who needs my full CV can ask for it.

Sarah - what do you have that needs to be kept confidential? I'm curious. We don't use an eportfolio requirement where I work so my exposure to methods, practices is limited.

Sarah Stewart said...

The reflections (cos that's what a eportfolio is about...reflections...as well as presentation of certificates, achievements etc)about people that would otherwise be identified eg students, and the women I care for as a midwife.