Thursday, April 12, 2007

Electronic portfolios?

I've been searching around for documents about teaching portfolios. Most of the stuff I've found talks about what should be in there, which is good. However, it seems that largely favorable form of presentation is a paper copy. Do I need to say that that seems boring? I ran into one commercial software that helps teachers build one, although I know nothing about it: Teachers' Portfolio. Now, free is the word, so I look for other stuff. Should html be the answer? Hence, questions for math teachers out there. How do you make your portfolio? What would you suggest getting ready to come out of school not quite yet teachers use to make their own and what you suggest they put in there?


Darren Kuropatwa said...

Have you looked at using a wiki to create a digital portfolio? The wiki allows you to aggregate content using a host of online tools (Slidshare, Flickr, podcasts and more) in one place.

As a matter of fact, pbwiki has a button at the bottom of every page that, with a single click, turns your entire wiki into a portfolio in any one of three different formats: PowerPoint Slideshow, pdf file or MS Word document.

Mr. Carlin said...

In the MAC Program at U of Michigan, student teachers make electronic portfolios, using Sitemaker or, if students wish, other programs. Let me know if you want to hear more about it.

e said...

I did find somebody use wiki for it, but their wasn't particularly pretty. Maybe they just didn't bother to make it so :) I will experiment.

Mike: I just looked up Sitemaker, but only briefly. Do you have to be able to host your page at the um site for this? Well, you have to host it somewhere, so that may be a problem for people not affiliated with UM. Also, did you make yours? Can I see it?

One final thing: I just heard from a friend that it is no longer "fashionable" to have one of these. That is, they are no longer required when applying for jobs. True or false?

Dan Meyer said...

Just found this and thought of your post. I have never been asked for a portfolio, personally.

Lsquared said...

In our state all of the new teachers have to have portfolios to be certified, so all of our pre-service teachers make one. We decided on our campus to go electronic. This has some good and bad things about it--the electronic ones look cool, but paper is more convenient for job interviews.

We started out having everyone use Dreamweaver and make web pages. More recently we've switched to Chalk and Wire because it takes less time and expertise to put together.

The university is still happy about it all, because CD's are easier to store than paper portfolios, and we have to keep a copy. Does this address any of your questions?

e said...

Thanks, both to Dan and lsquared. Yes, that certainly addressed my questions. I was looking at some of the portfolios and can't escape the uneasy feeling that I had when I was writing my own teaching statement before applying for jobs. When I was writing my own I had this feeling of just repeating things people already know, and not really saying anything new. And I had teaching experience. What are the pre-service teachers supposed to put in and reflect about when they haven't done much teaching? Certainly they can say what they think they might do, but what does that really mean? Does it mean they really will? No. I'm afraid we're adding on unnecessary work, and not doing enough of other, possibly more useful, stuff.