Digital Portfolios for Educators

When I was obtaining my Technology in Education Masters we were asked to keep a digital portfolio of our course work.  This acted as a culminating artifact that showcased projects, philosophies and resources we had acquired throughout the program.  It was a great idea and I enjoyed the process but unfortunately never returned to it.  When I teach undergraduate and graduate pre-service educators I make this portfolio a requirement in my courses.  My hope is that these future educators will continue to add resources and artifacts as their careers progress enabling them to walk into new employment opportunities with a toolkit readily available to promote the use of technology in their curriculum.

Although I’ve spent my career in the same building I’ve always kept a “living” resume that housed my grants, presentations, experiences and accomplishments.  After twenty years you can imagine the content was lengthy.  This year with the shuttering of my school it was time to put the resume into circulation.  Problem was, most potential employers don’t want to read a 6-page summary of my qualifications.  I’m proud of my accomplishments and had a hard time deciding what was important enough to leave in and what I should take out.

I solved this problem by creating a digital portfolio.  As a technology advocate and an educator at the University level it made sense for me to model best practice and allowed me a place to store and showcase my work while not clogging up a resume.  This post walks you through my digital portfolio, which can be found at http://nmzumpano.wix.com/portfolio.

I chose Wix for my work.  I had prior experience with the free program when designing my TIE portfolio and liked the templates and interface so it was an easy decision. It’s also one of the programs I have my University students choose from so it's nice for me to have a model of a program I’m asking them to use as well. There are several free website creators available (and just as good) including Yola and Weebly.  Because I am using the free version you’ll notice that the portfolio has Wix’s logo on the top and bottom of the page. As a public school teacher earning a public school paycheck I don’t think it's inappropriate to have this banner displayed on my site. 

Contents of a Digital Portfolio

While my resume makes mention of everything that is contained in my portfolio the online version has specific content for principals that might be interested in learning more.  Below are examples of what I've included (and continue to add to).

Lesson Plan Blog

This page contains examples of the different types of posts I've blogged about.  I've provided examples of student work, units of study, websites used, presentations I've given and conferences I've attended. 

Resource Wiki: 

A part of my role as Lead Technology Teacher (prior to being placed in the computer lab) I helped gather resources for other educators.  I created a resource wiki that has over 35 pages of resources available on many educational technology related subjects.

Educational Philosophy:

When I was in my Masters program I actually struggled with this assignment. Still, everyone has an underlying reason why they choose one profession over another.  This offers future principals a little bit of insight into why I chose this field.  It also acts as an example for my students to work from when they generate their own.  I had the advantage of having 16+ years of experience before I wrote mine whereas many of my students haven't entered the classroom yet.

Presentations:

This page of my portfolio lists various presentations I've given at conferences, schools and other venues.  Where possible I've included links to get to the actual presentation slides.

Grants:

This page gives details on grants I've received from various organizations.


Lead Technology Teacher:

For the past four years (prior to this school year) I was released from teaching responsibilities to aide teachers in technology integration as well as to manage grants and technologies.  I really enjoyed this position and am hoping to return to it.  This page gives principals some ideas around the type of tasks I completed in three main areas:  curriculum and instruction, professional learning communities and schools of choice.  

Additional Work:

This page contains links to various blog posts I've completed in my Fellowship with Columbia College.  It also contains a link to my TIE portfolio.  

Adjunct Professor:

I included this page for principals to see the types of topics I cover in my University courses as well as some feedback I have received from past students.

Resume:

An online version of my resume (sans identifying information and references) is embedded using Scribd.

Contact:

Contact information should always be included.

Next Steps

I've created a PDF copy of my digital portfolio that can be shown on an iPad. If I am in an interview and it is going well it's easy to pull out my iPad and simply do a quick viewing of my portfolio for principals that may be interested.  Some of my colleagues that are interviewing do this as well and some even print out hardcopies to give to potential employers.  

My hope is to continue to build upon this digital portfolio as I continue to grow as a professional.  It shows my students that digital footprints can be positive and beneficial.  And hopefully....it will help me land a job!









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