|A Sampling of ePortfolios|
This webpage presents three students' ePortfolios, all selected for different reasons. Before you choose the one ePortfolio that you will spend time with, please watch the 2-minute video at the left showing you a variety of ePortfolios (this is required for students in my classes).
How to read the ePortfolio
The request I am making in this workshop might seem a bit strange. You will not have time to read the entire ePortfolio closely, but you will have time to get a sense of what the student is trying to create (examples of close reading of ePortfolios can be found in the two articles on the webpage under this one at the left).
Here is the strange part. When you read the ePortfolio, imagine that this is your student at the end of the semester. This means that you have read each and every text that is on the ePortfolio (maybe even multiple times): it was emailed to you; you collected a print version; or it was uploaded to a communal platform (like blackboard). You already graded/responded to what you see on the ePortfolio. Nothing on an ePortfolio at the end of the semester should be new to your eyes. The ePortfolio simply allows you to see how a student is making the broader and wider connections between all the goings-on of a semester.
What's been different for me with ePortfolios?
Don't believe the hype! A print ePortfolio is nothing like an electronic one. For now, I will just say that there are two main differences for me:
- ePorts have the potential to transform student writing into a public rhetoric that reaches wide audiences (if students choose to go public--- none are required to do that in my classes);
- given the "technology challenges" of JJay, students start their ePortfolios early in my classes so their design begins to influence their content decisions and cohesion early on (in ways that are deeper than at previous non-JJay settings).
Your Choices (please click title in box and use your worksheet as you read)
I literally changed my eportfolio design once a week since I made it in February 2014, but I'm content with my eport as it is right now. Maybe, I will tweak some things here and there, but it's looking promising. I chose the color purple, because of my previous experiences. I remember hearing a joke sometime during my childhood stating "you're so black, you're purple". At the time I found it hilarious. I just remember laughing. When I got older, it came back to me, and I reassessed it. Obviously for the comparison to be considered a joke, "you're so black" would need to be considered a bad thing, a "funny" thing; but the way I see it, purple is a beautiful color and black is a beautiful skin tone. "The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice" as hairspray would put it. So, for the effects of making this profile beautiful, of course I will be choosing purple. The picture on my top footer reminds me of my textured hair which I read has as much as 27 different feels.
My welcome page is a picture of myself where I spend most of my excess time. I also found it fitting to invite my viewers to contact me with ideas. I want to make a huge effort in learning from you, just as I'd hope you could learn from me.
I would also like to bring your attention to the bottom of every page with a quote that is very dear to my heart from a woman, Audre Lorde, who has taught me so much about myself:"...It is axiomatic that if we do not define ourselves for ourselves, we will be defined by others- for their use and to our detriment.” With That being said, Welcome to Pretty for a BLACK GIRL.
I was a shy, sheltered child who grew up in upstate New York. Life was pretty comfortable; I used to ride a "cheese bus" to and from school. As far as I was concerned, everything was laid out for me. This later became a problem as others took the opportunity to define who I was, without taking the time to genuinely know me. In the classroom, I was the perpetual foreigner. For some teachers, I was a student that they didn't expect much from. It was more disheartening that they didn't really care about what I had to offer to class discussions. It took some time until I realized that I was living in a false sense of security. Once I did, I left.
I am now the person my younger self hoped to be: adventurous, inquisitive, and non-conforming. I'm always exposing myself to new experiences, such as creating this website. I also like sharing my experiences with others. Stagnation, boredom, apathy—feelings I experienced while I grew up in the suburbs—are my enemies. I am more inclined to let my voice be heard in some shape or form rather than let my thoughts remain shy and silent. I look at each day as an opportunity to learn something new about myself, others, what I'm capable of, and what I can contribute to them.
During her visit at John Jay, we were asked by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to find our passion for justice. My personal definition of justice is supporting the underdog, the indivdual(s) who have a fighting chance at succeeding. This is inspired from my childhood experiences of dealing with microaggressions and soft discrimination. No one should be put in that situation.
I will be someone who will fight for and advocate for the underdog. I see myself contributing to a greater body of knowledge and working directly with people to create solutions. I visualize a career where my personal passions for social justice and natural science will inspire others to seek solutions to their unique problems and illuminate their lives.
This is a completely different approach to an ePortfolio, but maybe you will find it interesting. It is an ePortfolio maintained by a group of students and myself who will showcase first year college students' work that we think does interesting things. Here is the description of the project:
"DIGITAL SPECTRUM: Multimedia Essays & Projects from the First Year" was created in fall 2013 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY by Carmen Kynard's second-semester freshman composition class. The goal was to collect the digital writings and projects of first year college students. In Spring 2014, the journal expanded with a group of founding editors, all of whom are students who have completed their first year of college at John Jay: Luc Pitre, Christina Tsetsakos, Stephanie Velasquez, Denice Vidals, and Nicole Vitrit.
The first year of college often overflows (as it should) with new ideas and new ways of thinking about writing. In the 21st century, digital composing is a vital part of that conversation if not the most vital part. The digital stories and projects collected here are meant to serve as models and points of discussion in first year writing classes to help writers think more deeply about digital writing in our current context.
We publish in January and June of each year and accept submissions on a rolling basis. We are a peer-reviewed journal which means that multiple readers from the editorial staff look at and work with a submission. At the end of a fall and spring semester, new works appear at the site. We will continually evolve and span the whole digital spectrum as we archive ourselves as digital writers and thinkers.
Contrary to what many people may say, first year college writers have important intellectual, social, and political contributions to make and are not mere passive vessels waiting for the imprint of their professors' rules and formulas for writing. We celebrate and salute that energy here. Please read the submission guidelines for more information.