Last month I wrote about my struggles with deciding on whether or not to create a digital or paper portfolio to use in my upcoming job interviews for teaching positions. Being the kind of person I am, I decided to tackle the challenge and create both.
Out of necessity I created a paper portfolio for an interview I had with a local school division two weeks ago. The process of deciding what goes where in your portfolio is a very personal and interesting process. Ultimately you are trying to represent who you are as an educator in a format that you can use to strengthen your points in an interview and to speak to someone simply looking through your portfolio at leisure. I found that the way I wanted to set it up was in a way that spoke to my strengths and my interests as well as being asthetically pleasing. (Get thoughts of tacky ABC graphics out of your head!). When I arrived to the first interview I made sure to be very familiar with what I had put in my portfolio and how to access it with ease and grace. In no way will I claim that I aced the interview, but I will say that there is something quite empowering about having something tactile to show when you are making a point in an interview.
Now onto my digital portfolio building adventure. After I had created my paper portfolio and had an idea of what I wanted to include in any format of the document I started the process of putting together my digital portfolio. Now because I blog on a regular basis I decided I wanted it to be a part of this site. I had decided on embedding a flipsnack presentation for each section of my paper portfolio. However as I found out, wordpress does not allow you to embedd flash content into your blog, I panicked for a bit but resisted the urge to ask my computer programmer of a brother to help me out after a while I figured it out on my own. (Just involved linking images to outside URLS).
As I have already mentioned each thing I wanted to highlight is presented in a seperate flipsnack presenation. Part of this is because I want to keep it short and snappy; there is nothing worse than having to flip through 100 pages of a digital document. The second part is I wanted to see if I could create a digital portfolio that would transfer across platforms. In particular I wanted the portfolio on my blog to transfer onto my ipad. After a bit of fiddling, I figured it out! I simply created PDFs transferred them to my iPad and opened them in iBooks. With no programming, the PDFs open beautifully in iBooks and people are able to quickly easily flip through the various pages.
The week I finally put everything together I had a series interviews and decided there was no better time to test out the new iPad portfolio.
How did it go?
Well, I was a bit nervous at first and wasn’t sure if I should just use it on its own or ditch it completely. In the end I decided I would ease into it slowly and just use the iPad to highlight the “Technology in education” section of my portfolio. I liked having the option of using my paper portfolio for a tactile example of my work and the digital version in the iPad. Having the iPad immediately gave credit to the fact that when I say I am at ease with tech, I have something that shows I really am!
As I start interviewing more I am sure that I will be using both again and refining each as I go along. I will also be keeping my online portfolio and am already looking into ways to improve it! I encourage anyone who is looking for a bit of a challenge and perhaps a way to stand out of the crowd a bit to look into creating a digital portfolio! There are challenges along the way but the satisfaction that comes from knowing you can work across platforms is quite wonderful!