On Portfolios

posted Oct 31, 2012, 9:27 PM by jj pionke   [ updated Nov 11, 2012, 11:48 AM ]
I attended a portfolio workshop two weeks ago (I know, it's been awhile).  There was a bit too much stuff crammed into the workshop and honestly, there have been a lot of times when I wished that these things lasted for 2-3 hours and had a lecture and then do it and get feedback component.  Anyway, essentially, the workshop talked about how portfolios on the internets are a great thing and that depending on what your goals are, they can be used to really highlight your skills.  My issue with this is that portfolios feel like they are far more for professions where there are more tangible deliverables than for professions that are much more about background working.  As a teacher and a librarian, I can't grant access to my course shells for instance because it would violate FERPA for my students.  The option then is to screen shot the material which is doable but isn't going to fully depict what I have created.  I could post assignments/reports that I have written, but I can't post materials that deal with a specific company without permission this then is going to leave out a whole host of materials because many of my assignments have been about evaluating places and looking for problems and no one ever wants to admit to a problem.  What about creating fresh materials then?  I suppose I could give it a try but it's going to take a lot time that I just don't have right now.  And the list goes on.

The workshop advocated that all people should be doing portfolios and that they shouldn't be connected to personal websites, but I kind of disagree, at least in terms of the personal website.  My website isn't pretty but it is where I hang my hat and while I would certainly be happy to link to other materials on the web about myself, and I do, ultimately, when you starting googling me, this where you land up.  There is then a very substantial argument to be made to really develop my personal site, which in someways, I have.  It's simple, I try my best to keep it up to date, and it has my adventures on it.  It may not be a traditional portfolio website, but it is in part, who I am.