Help!! Electronic Portfolio Confusion

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by DressageLady, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Feb 4, 2013

    Okay, I am finishing up my last few weeks of student teaching now and will be done in four weeks. I have been collecting "artifacts" for inclusion in my teaching portfolio for a couple of years now. The portfolio is required by my university, with multiple pages of directions (set in tiny font) that lay out what needs to be included.

    For the first time ever, the portfolio needs to be electronic. My university liaison/supervisor does not have much experience in creating an electronic version, and her advice has been less than helpful. My fellow student teachers are as lost as I am. My mentor teacher has no idea what I am talking about.

    I have a good idea of what needs to be included. Where I am having problems is finding a site that is easy to navigate and is user friendly in general. The liaison from last year advised we use Google sites, but I hate it with a passion. I have had to use Google sites many times over the past two or three years for course work and I just hate it. The current liaison recommended Livebinders, but I can't seem to navigate it to save my freaking life.

    I stumbled upon Weebly, but I don't think I am technologically advanced enough to actually use it. I am getting so frustrated at this point. I have done some great work in the past couple of years, and yet I can't seem to find a comfortable fit regarding a site to build my portfolio in/on.

    Does anyone know of a hosting site that is easy to navigate and user friendly on the creation end? And if anyone would like to share the link to their on-line portfolio, please do so!

    I am grateful for any help offered.
    Sheilah
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Multitudinous

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    Feb 4, 2013

  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Multitudinous

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    Feb 4, 2013

    Bear in mind also that, if your university liaison has no idea how to help you, it probably suffices to have SOMEthing up on line - so get the essentials up there as links, but don't worry so much about making the portfolio flashy.
     
  5. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Feb 4, 2013

    Thank you! I have bookmarked the website and will start exploring it tomorrow, when I no longer have smoke coming out of my ears and my blood pressure has risen to the point where it feels like my eyes will pop.

    I wish I could just stick up something somewhere and call it good. But the longest section in my university's student teaching handbook is the expectations for the portfolio. It is just my bad luck to have a liaison that doesn't seem to have much experience with e-portfolios and has no guidance to offer, other than the mention of Livebinders months ago.

    I have heard that some students in my program have actually hired IT majors to design their own websites, and showcase their portfolio that way. My frustration level at this point has now reached a level where I understand the reasoning behind doing that.
    Sheilah
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Multitudinous

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    Oh, hugs!
     
  7. HeartDrama

    HeartDrama Connoisseur

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    Feb 4, 2013

    DressageLady, would you mind sharing with me, here or via PM, the requirements for your portfolio? I've been trying to decide what to include in my own since I finished student teaching a few weeks ago.
     
  8. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I vote Weebly, it is very user friendly, we even have our students using it .
     
  9. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    I'm being forced to use TK20 for my portfolio and am about to scream in frustration at how difficult it is to use. So clunky and non-intuitive.
     
  11. TeachTN

    TeachTN Comrade

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    We use TK20 at my university too, very non-user friendly!
     
  12. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Feb 7, 2013

    I am so sorry for disappearing from my own thread. It has been a busy week.

    I will continue to check out recommendations, so keep them coming if you have one to add.

    HeartDrama, the requirements for my portfolio is structured almost entirely around my state's teaching standards. There are ten of them. Each standard requires an artifact (either a lesson plan I have used that meets that standard, along with pictures of me teaching it or an example of student work that resulted from that lesson, or a document that shows I have met that standard). Along with the artifact, I need to write a reflection that touches on the lesson, the product and/or the standard itself. Each standard requires an entry slip that explains why I consider each included artifact to be indicative of each standard.

    For instance, one standard spells out how the teacher is to communicate effectively with other teachers, students and parents. So I have included the letter of introduction to the families in the room I have been student teaching in, an example of my weekly classroom newsletter and my reflection on that process.

    I am required to provide a section that covers my classroom management plan and process, and a section that spells out my "Philosophy Of Education". And of course, there is a section for professional development and letters of reference.

    I have probably forgotten something, but that is a basic overview of the required elements. I think if I had a host site that I was comfortable using, that provided me with the look I have in my head, this would almost be a pleasant activity.

    Up until now the portfolio has been a hard copy, put together in a binder and lugged around from interview to interview. But we are now required to do an electronic portfolio now, and it has been so difficult to find a host site that is user friendly on both ends, and able to upload documents and pictures.
    Sheilah
     
  13. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Feb 8, 2013

    I was going to suggest Weebly. It is, by far, the easiest to use.
     
  14. DressageLady

    DressageLady Comrade

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    Feb 9, 2013

    Maybe I should continue to play around with a practice portfolio on these various sites. I get so frustrated, though, when I start to really get into it and then hit a speed bump and can't figure out how to recover.

    I want to be able to have pictures and clip art and scanned documents and some basic design elements tying it all together. I want tabs for each standard and required element, along with subtabs for the artifacts and reflections that fall under that standard or element. And I want it to be easy to navigate for the user. Ideally I would like to be able to include the portfolio's web address on a business card or brochure, with the invitation to hiring principals to visit for an in depth look at my work. So I need for them to be able to plug that address in to their search engine and go directly to my portfolio, without many steps in between. I would also like to be able to burn CDs of my portfolio and hand those out at interviews, too.

    I really wish that my university provided more support for this.
    Sheilah
     
  15. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Multitudinous

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    I'm told that one can save one's portfolio on a CD as what amounts to a Web site: then the viewer's browser plays it like a site that happens not to be on the Internet. One needs to be careful in one's choices in fonts, however, or one needs to convert fancy fonts to images.
     
  16. Teacher Gii

    Teacher Gii Companion

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    Feb 10, 2013

    For our electronic portfolio, my university used a site called LiveText. It is fairly user friendly..more so on the end of the viewer when you give them a guest pass to view your portfolio. They have made great improvements to the site though if you haven't found anything yet, it may be worth checking out.
     

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