Digital portfolios – the place for all of your eduawesomeness

Teachers, administrators, and other education stakeholders want to see what you have been learning, sharing, and doing in the classroom. One way to showcase all your edu-awesomeness is by creating a digital portfolio.



Check out www.sfecich.com/20 for a checklist and additional sprinkles of edumagic to add to your digital portfolio!

Cue infomercial music here. Tired of lugging around a three-ring binder of notes, resources, lesson plans, folders, and worksheets? Is your binder full of ideas but you don’t have anywhere to store them or organize them? Do you love your edu-collection of awesomeness but have no idea where anything is? Fear not! Start your digital portfolio and start it now! A digital portfolio is an online repository and centralized place to show off your edumagic!


Start your digital portfolio and start it now!

The important thing to remember about a digital portfolio is that it is never complete – you can always keep learning, growing, and building. A digital portfolio has many magical powers and upgrades (Kappa Delta Pi, 2016):

  • It provides a future employer with a visual representation of you. It highlights who you are, what you are all about, and why you want to teach...a one-stop spot for a future employer that they can refer to at a later date and time at their own convenience.

  • It showcases your skills, strengths, field experiences, student teaching work, and work outside the classroom.

  • It demonstrates your technical savvy – just by creating one.

  • There are so many free technology tools available for you to create a digital portfolio. When searching for a technology tool find something that is

  • Easy to use

  • Professional appeal

  • Can be personalized to fit your unique self and is free

You may want to try Google Sites, Weebly, or Wix to create your digital portfolio.


Remember how I said the digital portfolio is always growing, as it is a process and not a product?

According to a webinar recorded by Kappa Delta Pi (2016), some foundational components that pre-service teachers include in their digital portfolios are: welcome, about me, contact, current resume, teaching philosophy, work samples, and more.

  • The welcome page is the landing page for your site. It welcomes viewers to your page and describes the purpose of the digital portfolio. It is a guide directing the viewer to what is found here.

  • The about me page is where you can get more personal with your content. Describe yourself as a person and as a teacher. Most pre-service teachers put their background, major and rationale for choosing it, graduation year, career goals, what they like doing in their spare time, interests, strengths, and other information. Consider adding fun facts about yourself to show some personality (this is where you can put in your secret talent that you play the ukulele)!

  • Your professional resume should include several categories (Snyder, 2018) such as contact information, education, student teaching, and field experiences, work history, and teaching-related experiences. Some additional (optional) categories include concise and clear objective, honors and awards, volunteer experience, professional memberships, and extracurricular activities. Snyder (2018) states that you must justify everything on your resume – it must be there for a reason. Be picky about what you showcase on your resume, as it should only be one page.

  • The contact page is self-explanatory. Be sure to include your professional email, embed or provide a link to your professional Twitter and/or Pinterest feed, and link to a LinkedIn profile if you have one. In my opinion, please don’t include your address or phone number– there are creepers out there.

  • One of the most important features of a digital portfolio is your work samples! Who doesn’t love a good sample? You want to include all the edu-awesome things that you are doing and learning, both in and out of the classroom! Be like a picky eater and only choose those materials that you are proud of and those that make you shine!

  • Remember how I said the digital portfolio is always growing, as it is a process and not a product? During your courses as you are completing assignments, consider adding them to your digital portfolio to showcase your learning – your future self will thank you.

Let's hear what these teachers have to say...

https://giuliapucci.weebly.com/


Giulia Pucci, PreK-4 elementary education major, adds to her digital portfolio now, instead of waiting. She spices up her portfolio with nuggets of awesomeness. She really owned her digital presence by creating her digital portfolio to have her own personal look and feel. She customized pages and content by adding images, videos, and playlists. The style and artwork displayed on her site express who she is.


As you turn in an assignment for a class, ask yourself: Is this something I would want a future employer to see? If you can answer “YES” then put it in there! But don’t just throw it in willy-nilly. Add some context around why you selected this piece, what you learned, how you can use it in your own classroom, etc. Make sure that you are always going back and growing your digital portfolio with lessons learned and new ideas.




https://kaitlingiontaedu.weebly.com/


Kaitlin Gionta, secondary English major goes on to share,

Your digital presence is a reflection of your work in the classroom and what you have retained. Don’t be afraid to share what you know, get involved in the online community, tweet out your portfolio, etc.! These are things that you will put so much time and energy into that you should be confident in the final product; however, it’s important that while you are confident you stay humble.


You are involved in a community of constant learners, and no one is better than anyone else. There are going to be things that you can teach to others, but there are also going to be things that you can learn from others, and that’s what is so beautiful about the online community.









https://twitter.com/MsKingCreates

Christina King shares one way that she integrates her digital portfolio into her interviews, “ I don't take a paper portfolio to interviews; I take my iPad. With the abundant use of technology in classrooms, this is a major hit for administrators. It's also very easy for me to upload teaching videos, pictures, lesson plans, evaluations and more.

When I am discussing something I have done in the classroom, such as a virtual reality workshop, I am able to pull up my digital portfolio and show a video of myself and my students participating in the workshop.”


Check out www.sfecich.com/20 for a checklist and additional sprinkles of edumagic to add to your digital portfolio!

So, Now What?
  • Create a digital portfolio now! It is never too early or too late to start.

  • If you already have a digital portfolio collecting dust, blow some dust off it, jazz it up and make it sparkle. Add in assignments that you are proud to showcase.

  • Get it out there: Link your digital portfolio to your professional social media accounts (Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn).

  • Consider adding a link to your digital portfolio to your resume via QR code. Spread the word!

  • Already have a digital portfolio that you created for a class? Then update it. Change the words to present tense. Update it from an academic and student perspective to a professional perspective – you are a professional, time to make your digital resume sound like it.

  • Don’t just let it sit online – use it. For instance, when you are asked by a future employer how you managed a classroom or what ideas you have to integrate technology, pull out your digital portfolio and show an example!

  • Google yourself often – you want to know what is out there about you.

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