Can Web 2.0 tools provideÂ graduates withÂ aÂ way to create an online portfolio of work, at no cost, andÂ help to position themÂ for job search success?
I believeÂ thatÂ allÂ studentsÂ who graduate withÂ degrees in Digital MediaÂ or related disciplinesÂ should have an onlineÂ representational electronic portfolio when they complete their studies. This type of tool, accessible to any potential employer, can play a critical role in the job search process. An online portfolioÂ canÂ also be a powerful resource forÂ students in manyÂ other academic disciplines.
While there are many tools available in today's marketplace that canÂ provide this sort of functionality,Â some students are very pressed financially (who isn't these days?).Â It would be greatÂ to be able to directÂ students to a freeÂ site for creating and hosting such a portfolio, that they could keepÂ and maintain after they complete their studies.
Unfortunately, many free Web 2.0 tools areÂ advertisement-supported, and this lends an unprofessional appearance to a portfolio of work. My goal for the next few weeks here on EmergingEdTech.com is toÂ look intoÂ some of the ways in which today's students can create an online portfolio of artwork and other creative expressions, at no cost, and select at least one that I think provides professionalÂ results and will support their career aspirations.
Is Google Sites the answer?
WhileÂ searching the web for information about such resources, and reading manyÂ blog posts and web sites, I came across the presentation below (since removed – the link stopped working – KW, 4/5/16), from a professor Helen Barrett, who is apparently quiteÂ active in pursuing theÂ functionality I seek. Ms. Barrett's presentationÂ providesÂ a thoroughÂ overviewÂ ofÂ e-portfolios, andÂ recommends the use of Google Sites as aÂ very goodÂ tool for creating them.
I am going to leverage the excellentÂ work that this educator has done, and try this out as a solution.
Setting up your own Google Site
My next step isÂ to see what it takes to set up a Google Site, and how easy it is to use to create an e-portfolio.Â Â I quickly found this information page about Google Sites.Â This page includes the overview video below.
The functionality hereÂ appears to beÂ kind of similar to that provided by various free wiki applications, but the end result isn't burdened by advertisements. I know some Wiki sites provide advertisement-free sites to educational institutions, but Google Sites does that for everyone, and has less menuing clutter, providing students moreÂ control over the presentation of theirÂ work. I should also clarify that I am suggesting the personal tools set from Google, as opposed to their Education Apps, specifically because this provides the user complete control over their work after they move on from their alma mater.
It looks like Google Sites mayÂ be a pretty good solution.Â Over the course of the comingÂ week I will set up a site and see how well it lends itself to the creation and hosting of an e-portfolio.Â I will also seek input fromÂ faculty and administration at my own institution, toÂ see if they agreeÂ thatÂ this may be a good option for many ofÂ our students.
I look forward to sharing my findings here, and even more so to providing students with a solution that can help to position them for career-buildingÂ success.