Mrs. Ryan's Class

A Digital Learning Hub for students and parents

Digital Portfolio…Platform Considerations

on July 8, 2016

It is time to begin the initial planning for my digital portfolio. I have decided to use this portfolio to showcase my work in the IT/DML program and I intend to add to the portfolio as I develop additional content related to teaching with technology. I anticipate that my audience will be colleagues who are looking for ideas and/or resources, and any potential future employers if I decide to leave classroom teaching and pursue a different career, perhaps as a tech integrator? I am not going to design this portfolio specifically for job searching at this time, but I am open to the possibility that I may edit the portfolio later to serve this purpose.

Right now, my biggest hangup is with my domain name. All of my multi-modal tutorials and presentations end with a reminder to check out my blog for other resources. This WordPress blog (nicolelryan.wordpress.com) has been the location of my Digital Learning Hub since the start of this program, and I’m not sure I want to entirely shift my focus to a different platform entirely. I did a bit of research on changing the format/layout of this digital learning hub to one that would function better as a portfolio. This page, “Your Portfolio. Your Website” gave me some interesting ideas about layout and content.  I love the different portfolio layouts and find the templates provided here to be visually appealing and user friendly. I imagine that visitors to my portfolio would have an easy time accessing my content. It also seems to be customizable so I could have a lot of flexibility in the design. I do worry, however, about completely deleting/revamping my Digital Learning Hub that I already created. If I changed themes to a portfolio, I would lose a lot of content and organization that I worked hard to create. I want the students and parents in my class to have access to this site to provide important information and resources. I could, perhaps, create a brand new WordPress account using the portfolio layout, but then I would have a new URL anyway, thus defeating the purpose of sticking with WordPress.

My next thought would be to create my digital portfolio on Google Sites. I have some experience with creating sites (mostly from preparation for my Level 1 GAFE Certification Test), but I do not have a Google Site of my own. I have been interested in using Sites in the classroom, and eventually having my students create their own, but I have yet to ventured down this road. I’m thinking that using Google Sites for my own digital portfolio would give me an authentic and personal experience with the tool that will help me later when using it with students. I did some preliminary research to see what other teachers have to say about using Google Sites as digital portfolios and came across this helpful webpage, ePortfolios with Google Appscreated by  Dr. Helen Barrett. It is clear that Google Sites is a versatile and user-friendly resource for digital portfolio creation. Additionally, this site containing template descriptions was also helpful as I navigated the seemingly endless template options within Google Sites. One drawback of the Google Sites templates is they can be quite bland, and I wonder how much flexibility I will have when it comes to design. I could also choose not to use a template and try designing my own pages in Sites.

I am going to begin work designing my digital portfolio in Google Sites to try something new that I could potentially use with students in the future. I hope that I find some flexibility and room for creativity and personalization once I begin. I know, though, that this resource will change with me over time.

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4 responses to “Digital Portfolio…Platform Considerations

  1. keelygarden says:

    Nicole, I am facing the same struggle! Google Sites or WordPress are my top two so far. I am following the links you suggested to help me make my decision. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John Vieira says:

    Nicole, I like how you have identified the audience your digital portfolio will address, as most of us will be looked at by our employer as a technology integration “expert” at some point now that we are close to finishing the program. I think it is a good idea to step outside of your comfort zone and give Google Sites a try, as it will familiarize yourself with a new platform to host your content. One pro for Google Sites is that it will definitely play nice with most of the content you created in Google Apps from this program. I applaud your willingness to stray from the templates in Google Sites, but it could be a rather cumbersome and timely process creating your own template from scratch. I am definitely looking forward to seeing which site you choose. Good luck!

    -John V

    Like

  3. Nicole,

    Thank you for this detailed consideration of the two platforms. Your post helps me because I am also debating between the two. Having worked with Google Sites for a year, I can say that there is some ease with formatting/navigating that I struggle with when working with WordPress. I am also considering privacy controls and the role that that plays in presenting my work.
    Can’t wait to see your final product.

    Reggina

    Like

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