Welcome to the ePortfolio Express Series! In our sessions, we will be designing professional ePortfolios. We will use ePortfolios in order to create a professional, digital foortprint that can be updated across your undergraduate college years.
All of the work that we do in our sessions will be uploaded to an ePortfolio, like what you are reading and seeing right now. You can visit this site as much as you need to, but please visit before each session to know what you need to do or bring with you.
We will start designing our ePortfolios by choosing a set of images that best represent us. The images you select must convey a message that you want to send about your goals and aspirations right now in your life. We treat ePortfolios like websites that archive our professional work and accomplishments. The color choices and organizational scheme that you use are not simple; they are rhetorical, an issue that we will be examining.
Graphic images and design, especially in a multimedia world like ours, are never simple or neutral. From the very first decision that you make with your ePortfolio, you are communicating meaning and offering a message about your work and worth. Be clear about that. Before your audiences ever read a word of your writing here, they are enveloped in a visual space that is already communicating who you are.
The concept of Sankofa will guide both how and why we use ePortfolios in our sessions. Visually and symbolically, Sankofa is represented as the mythic bird that flies forward but is constantly looking backward with an egg in her mouth (see the image in the header and background as well as the symbol above). The egg symbolizes the future. In the Akan language in Ghana, the concept is expressed as: "se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki" which translates to "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot." Sankofa means that you need to reach back into what and who you “usedta be,” take the best of what your past has to teach you, and use all that to achieve your full potential in the future. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or have been stripped of, we can reclaim, revive, preserve, and (re)present. At its core, Sankofa is what ePortfolios offer us: a chance to look backward in order to simultaneously move forward.
This time in your life and this series of workshops compel you to think about and create the life that you want to lead. You are doing more than building a resume here. You are defining the professional, intellectual, and social identities that will sustain your time in college and beyond. In the words of Ledisi (the soundtrack to this ePage): Raise Up!
Image Credits: Sankofa in background by Drawn2theMoon