Blogs as Portfolios, Beyond the Digital Dump

I recently began to follow George Couros (@gcouros) on Twitter. Didn’t know what I have been missing! He published a recent tweet from an article of his called  “5 Reasons Your Portfolio Should Be A Blog”.

This was a very timely post for me because I have always loved the blogging media format, and I think it offers students the opportunity to write not only to wider audiences but also an opportunity to become versed in modern writing techniques often ignored in our school systems. I’m talking about tags posts with key works, categorizing self-created content, choosing publishing times, understanding permalinks, and observing analytics to better generate content for specific audiences.

Also, technology has created new and diverse lengths of writing, each with their own purpose. Small emoji-driven text messages, succinct tweets,  image-driven Instagrams, video snaps in Vine and Shapchat, discussion board posts, and long-form blogging all have precise purposes for all internet users, whether we are reading or writing. 

Couros’ article makes 5 solid points. The third point addresses a student’s ability to use a wide array of “literacies”. In order to share our voice, we need an opportunity to choose how that voice is expressed. There is no short supply of student papers with one in margins, but we are starting to see students in my district begin to use stop-motion video and whiteboard animations from elementary to the high school. Housing these media in an environment that goes beyond just the user-tied digital dump and into one that allows the student to comment on the thought process, creation techniques, and content is much more representative of the efforts that go the creation of these portfolio materials – and its a lot more interesting.

In a way that is kind of what I am trying to do here. Not sure where this site will go, but I like the idea of having a portfolio of my thoughts at specific periods of time as I go through my ed tech journey. Maybe I will add pages of my work, resources I find valuable, and more ramblings like this – don’t know. I’m just making an effort to find my voice, much like what we are encouraging our students to do.