* As I approach the end of my Information and Learning Technology (ILT) master’s degree at University of Colorado Denver, I am taking time to create an online portfolio to highlight what I have learned and the cool projects I have created, this series of blog posts will document my reflections on this process.
I have been moving forward with the creation/updating of my online portfolio. My goal for the through last week was to collect and organize my artifacts for the sight and to review the overall aesthetic and layout of the site. I was shocked with the volume of document, websites, and digital media projects I have made for my masters classes or professionally over the last few years. It has been fun going through and choosing the pieces that reflect my potential, growth, and successes in designing distance learning opportunities and with learning technology.
Looking at the site, however, has been more frustrating. I made the shell of my online portfolio as an assignment in my first ILT class and was experimenting with drag and drop website platforms at the time. I made the original portfolio site with Weebly but quickly learned that I prefer to use Wix for my website design. I went back and forth but decided that the portfolio I had created was simple and did a nice job of highlighting the artifacts, and thinking pieces that I am planning on sharing. Trying to recreate that was going to be time not well used, besides, going back to working with Weebly gave me an opportunity to practice with this platform and help to diversify my skill set. I have come to like most of the features in Weebly, for one it was very easy to link this blog to the site as my current blog, and to then set up an older blog, that was part of the original portfolio, as an archived blog available for visitors.
I also took steps to organize and expand my personal learning network this week. I mostly connect with peers and thought leaders through Twitter and looked into some twitter tools and features to help organize how I access those individual users. I decided that I first needed to expand the uses I was connected with in my PLN. I knew that there were general education and learning technology thought leaders I would benefit form following so I did some research from Edutopia and Education World to find suggestions of engaging or cutting edge posters. I also have been interested in the social medial presents of institutions of learning that are not schools, such as museums or libraries. It is my belief that these institutions can leverage the content they house in physical locations to expand and extend the user experience online, I found and followed the institutions that I see as either being an example of how to communicate with social media and those that have the opportunity to do more with their presence.
I used Twitter’s list feature to organize by PLN into three subcategories. The education thought leaders that I interact with mostly thought reading their tweets and following their links. Next the organisations that I am following to keep a finger on the pulse of social media and learning institutions. Finally I made a list of the peers that I collaborated or had conversations with, both professionally and as a UCD student. I also was able to embed the twitter feeds from those lists on my portfolio, giving visitors to the portfolio a glimpse into who I am interacting with and who I am learning from.
Tomorrow starts the final push to finish and polish the portfolio before I turn it in on Friday. Last steps are making sure I review the written sections of the portfolio to make sure the text is typo free and that it accurately represents my philosophy and experiences in my educational journey, updating the options for contacting me and making sure my resume and social media contacts are up to date, and finally double checking to make sure all links work. If I can get all that done then there maybe other areas to make the portfolio more engaging but I want it to be finished and solid before I worry about bells and whistles.