Read here a short article on how we are using WordPress to curate digital professional portfolios as part of our teacher growth and development program:
This post outlines a simple recipe for an effective digital portfolio of PD – reflecting both the very wide range of PD opportunities that exist (many online), the continuous nature of PD, and the need to be able quickly to record and organise thoughts, ideas and reflections for multiple audiences.
There are dozens of tools that do very similar tasks, so it is the function rather than the tool that is important to me. I’ve chosen these three basic ‘ingredients’ either because they are very flexible, or have a particular feature that is easy to use:
- Diigo – find, extract, annotate, share/ curate (Bookmarks, Highlights, Sticky Notes, Tags, Lists and Groups)
- Twitter – monitor, compile/ curate, engage, question, respond (hashtags, following/ be followed, retweet, lists)
- WordPress – record, collate, organise, collaborate (Pages, Posts, Comments, Categories, Tags, Menus, Widgets)
Having prepared your Diigo account earlier, liberally scour the internet for articles, projects, etc. that you find address your professional growth aims. YOu may encounter open groups with similar interests, When these are found, use Diigo’s highlighting and bookmarking tool (I find the context menu approach to be the most efficient) to highlight something to remember the page by, and remember to add tags for later use. You can also add related bookmarks to a particular list, if you want to collate (and share) them that way, or add to groups, for like-minded users to collaborate. Tags are essential to get the most out of the tool. Add further comment if you wish (now, or later).
When Diigo is simmering nicely, use hashtags to drill through the ephemera on Twitter to find links to other great resources – including people with similar interests. Start with some popular hashtags at first – here’s a link to some with an Australian bias. Build lists for particular topics, too. (Once you have several hashtags you’re monitoring and/or people you’re following, think about an optional tool like Tweetdeck to see them in a single interface.)
This mixture gives you a substantial resource base to pull together into a WordPress blog in a way that is meaningful to you according to your purpose (and, probably, audience). By using the widgets in WordPress, you can display filtered lists from Diigo and feeds from Twitter in the one interface. Combine, finally, with your own ramblings – perhaps elaborating on one of the tweets or websites you’ve identified – and againk use tags to make filtered searching easier later on.
In my particular setting, I ensure that, where appropriate, any log entry is categorised according to the AITSL Professional Standards so that my blog functions as a portfolio of evidence of growth. As I encounter further resources of interest, I either add a new blog entry or update an existing one – reflecting the continuously evolving nature of my professional growth path.
The most important ingredient in a fruitful PD portfolio is, I believe, collaboration. At some stage, create a Group in Diigo to share thoughts with others; follow particular Twitter writers to benefit from what they find/ recommend; and share your WordPress posts with others. As your network of contacts builds, so does your confidence to share ideas and to try them out in the classroom.