Thinking about what multimedia writing might mean in my classes was not an easy task in my first semester using ePortfolios. If we were going to use an ePortfolio, then using the full range of the platform's multimedia opportunities was the only logical approach. Writing papers and then adding images is such a limited and limiting view of literacy and rhetoric in the 21st century so I presented all of this to students as an inquiry, one that we would work through together.
Critical digital pedagogy, in the Freirean sense, asks students to interrogate their local and political situation. Therefore, you generate content and knowledge with and among students; you do not bank it onto them, to use an old quip from the Freire theory vault. Students were, therefore, the source for defining multimedia writing.
I needed a vessel for our discussions so I created a shell of an ePortfolio, an ePort only open to the students in my courses. Together we worked on these projects and design, in an aloud protocol, and did live experiments on the webpages. That space with the live experiments became a website called Digital Spectrum by the end of the first semester with students directing me on its design and function. It is now an undergraduate, online journal.
Two critical turning points at what is now a journal, Digital Spectrum, shaped the progressive, forward-reaching design of students' ePortfolios:
1) Yodalin's interactive essay--- Yodalin's layering of a prezi, multiple images, videos, and multilingual hypertext links propelled more thoughtful use of images and weblinking ;
2) Uber's multimediated research essay--- Uber's parceling out of his research components with sidebars featuring relevant documentaries propelled new ways of presenting traditional research on multimedia platforms. (Both webpages can be found at the left.)