Artistic, eclectic, and international are just a few words that come to mind, when attempting to describe my learning and experiences as a student. Although a traditional art portfolio or curriculum vitae might suffice for certain phases, it tends to be rather challenging to encapsulate the experiences in their entirety and share them conveniently, whenever desired. It is, therefore, specifically because of the flexibility and range of an ePortfolio that makes it an appealing alternative and useful vehicle for me to employ in reflecting on my years as a student.
While the World Wide Web has been flooded in the recent years with various social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr, their purpose has been largely for people to network on a social and personal level. Whereas professional alternatives (e.g. LinkedIn) do exist, the option of an ePortfolio appears to allow for many of the functions (i.e. sharing of thoughts, media, links and documents) offered by the social networks, whilst providing a platform that can be applied on a professional level as well. It is precisely in this manner that I hope to use the ePortfolio. Not only do I want to utilize it to sustainably showcase my work, store documents and share media, but I hope to also focus on using it to keep track of the various processes, inspirations, thoughts and feedback that led to the final products.
Stating an achievement or skill on a resume or in an interview etc. may initially seem impressive, but it is probably also fairly fleeting for the audience in question. Visually seeing the related end product, as well as the steps leading to its fruition on the other hand, is far more multifaceted and in my opinion, a much better representation of one’s abilities and experiences. For someone who feels like their student journey often mirrors the old adage “Jack of all trades, master of none”, I hope the ePortfolio might reflect that I am on my way to perhaps mastering a few “trades” or at the very least, track the journey I took in endeavoring to do so.
Christina, your post really spoke to me in that for as much as I put into my ePortfolio there is so much we can gain as professionals from the ePortfolios of others… especially in regard to sharing of information and resources. I also agree with your comments about how employers actually see the steps leading up to the end product. I think it solidifies the we are all still human and we may have had some bumps in the road along the way, but it is how we grow and rebound from them that show our true character. Very insightful post!
Thank you for your thoughtful reply! I definitely agree with you that the “bumps” and our response to them are an incredibly important part of one’s journey, and perhaps in some instances, even more important than the final product. I, therefore, look forward to gleaning diverse nuggets of knowledge from the host of ePortfolios to come, while learning from the various “bumps” their creators might have encountered. I am also rather curious, and even somewhat anxious, about the direct criticism (hopefully constructive) or comments that might arise. Unlike a resume or traditional portfolio, where there is often little useful feedback provided from the party it is presented to, an ePortfolio’s interactive component allows the viewer to become more of an active agent, rather than passive. Although, I am somewhat uncertain as to how this aspect of the ePortfolio will play out and how beneficial it will end up being, I am definitely looking forward to the journey – bumps included. I do, however, wish everyone a largely smooth road ahead!