Initially, I wanted an e-portfolio to demonstrate specific technology skills because I want to shift my business more toward technical/software writing and training. My degrees are not in programming, engineering, or other traditional IT fields. I’ve held technical writing jobs and projects (see Resume) periodically over the past 18 years, and I’ve worked as a trainer and delivered many, many workshops on a variety of subjects. In addition, I’ve been involved with online tools since about 1992. All of that, to me, comes together to move me forward, but I don’t think it’s an immediately recognizable next step to other people. (That is, it’s a hard “sell” to potential clients.)
In December, I enrolled in Jane Hart’s online course in professional learning portfolios in order to gain some ideas about how I could create an online presence that would get me more work in these areas (my planning is here). I didn’t get too far, although I did set up categories about specific things such as WordPress and Information Design. I never quite got to the point I was happy with this structure; I think I’ve concluded that I really want to demonstrate that I can learn to use about any kind of software and that I can effectively help others use it. Literacy rather than a specific tool is the point.
Having to follow the Digital Literacy course’s outline for my e-portfolio was a little constraining because honestly I don’t need to demonstrate (for my work) my writing skills at this stage in my life, so having a lot of words on these pages is less helpful to my goal than the multimedia “artifacts” I have. But the process helped me clarify that, yes, I still wasn’t quite there yet with my structure and demonstration. So in a very Zen way it has helped me progress in creating this portfolio because it made me think about what I didn’t quite want to do.
My next effort, then, will be to figure out how my e-portfolio will emphasize “digital literacy”; some of that will certainly involve tools, but I’d like to find a way to emphasize that the tool I’m using is basically just an example. I don’t want to emphasize “I can use X Tool” but “I can do Y and now I’ll find, learn, and use X Tool to help me do it.”