ePortfolio Thoughts

After reading this week’s assigned articles about ePortfolios, it occurred to me that web 2.0 technology is finally making it so that everyone can do what media people have been doing for years (though with more primitive technology).  When applying for jobs, artists always needed to bring with them a physical portfolio containing samples of their artwork; in radio and TV, job applicants needed to send a resume tape (audio cassette or VHS) with samples of their on-air or video editing work.  Regardless of its physical form, all the work was in one semi-portable format.

Now with web 2.0 technologies, everyone can create an online portfolio showcasing their work–regardless of the media, and it’s completely portable.  Instead of lugging around unwieldy stacks of articles or other writing samples, all this paperwork can now be digital and all in one place–accessible with the click of a mouse.  And–more importantly–it can be mixed media.  A teacher who wants to showcase a particular project or lesson-plan can now incorporate multimedia slideshows consisting of samples of their students’ work along with video and audio clips–all to create a more engaging presentation.  And of course, video editors, radio talent, and artists no longer have to be constrained by physical media–they can now send their prospective employers a simple URL to their ePortfolio, which can be a personalized presentation of their work, including links to audio files and/or embedded videos–or even Flash-based presentations.

I have no doubt that as ePortfolios become more ubiquitous, they will change the job application/selection process–even more than they already have–giving people an improved method for showcasing their talent, and making job hunting more competitive.

3 thoughts on “ePortfolio Thoughts

  1. Yes, and what’s more, it is possible for different audiences to see different ‘views’ of the same e-Portfolio at the same time. In the school setting different staff can all see the same e-Portfolio relatively concurrently or from home at their own convenience. Another aspect of the e-Portfolio is that of organisation. The way the e-Portfolio is organised and formatted can often say more about the owner than what they actually might intend.

  2. Scott, I agree with you that ePortfolios are really going to change the job application process. As I went through the process last year, I was very confused as to what to bring to my interview. When asking advice from various peers, I got a whole range of answers/ideas. I was given a whole bunch of ideas: single page resume, two page resume, 4 page phamplet – so many options and it was even more frustrating because I didn’t know what was “correct.” I hope various disciplines move more towards a portfolio, which I believe gives each individual the opportunity to showcase all their diverse talents.

    On a different note, I started thinking about what if my current seniors had to create an ePortfolio for graduation. How could they contribute something from their math class? Would I need more projects and less tests? The traditional math test would not suffice in a portfolio. The whole curriculum would have to be modified and while I believe many teachers would be open to this idea, I’m certain this idea would not be embraced by all.

  3. Julie, I do not think that you should change the curriculum nor traditional tests to match the e-Portfolio. However, your question does raise a particular issue about whether your present curriculum is generating the sort of artefacts of which your students might be proud. And what of all the other subjects your students follow? And what of all their extra-curricular experiences that should have a place within their e-Portfolios?

    It is my belief that the student should choose what to put in their e-Portfolio as much as you were thinking about what to put in yours. I am sure that when you finally decided what to include in your portfolio it whas only the selection that best represented what you wanted your audience to see.

    So, in simple terms, may I suggest that you think first about how the student might want to represent him/herself and to what sort of audiences. Then, as you implied, there might be the need to examine whether the curriculum that you deliver and the processes used are actually meeting their needs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s