Why Creating an Online Portfolio can be Refreshing

Creating an online portfolio is challenging, but it can also offer many benefits. Here are the top two questions that I had when I started on this journey:

  • What do you feature in your website or portfolio?
  • Why is this beneficial?

I decided to use WordPress as my platform. Though I am decent with technology, I am not a programmer and I do not understand code. WordPress, offers many features and customizations to its users. You can select a pre-made theme, or start from scratch. I like simple sites, so I chose a simple theme and went to work. Portfolios should display the work that you are most proud of. In many ways, creating this provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your past projects, their successes, and their areas of opportunity. Personally, I decided to include my work experience, or resume, a section that offered more insight into my personal and professional life, my favorite projects, and even some thoughts on the latest trends in my industry. I linked some of my social media accounts to my blog to create a more unified and connected feel for my users. Including personal images also bridged a connection with my audience. If you are unsure if you can share your work online, ask! We all know that it never hurts to ask.

There are many benefits to creating a site, such as showcasing your talents and prior work. Though you may not be currently looking for a new position, updating your work experience will help you reflect on your personal and professional growth and development. Did you forget about that project you spent hours perfecting months ago? Me too! Displaying this information within one site will help you find your strengths and advocate for yourself. If you are unable to post your projects online due to confidentially, create a private site or folder to remind yourself of the work you’ve accomplished.

Another benefit to creating a website or portfolio includes connecting and engaging with some of the thought leaders in your industry. Posting about and reviewing their information will help keep you engaged with the latest and greatest trends. This site allows you to process through some of this information and is a platform for you to express your opinions. In other words, it provides you with a voice you may not have otherwise been comfortable sharing.

You’ll have to find what you are comfortable with, but you should also find a way to take this opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone. Portfolios and websites can be edited and revised, so if you try something and decide it’s not for you, it doesn’t always have to be public. I’d give it a shot. It’s always refreshing and rewarding to take a step back and look at how far you’ve come.

The Ongoing Discussion of How Technology Alters our Brains

Connectivism emphasizes the importance of networks and connections. In general, George Siemens and other advocates state that seeing connections between fields is a core concept and that learning involves the ability to navigate these complex networks. In many ways, Siemens argues that technology is altering out brains.

When reflecting on this topic, I noticed that I have become lazy! Social media and technology has made finding information easy and efficient. Search engines have been programed to provide you with the most relevant information. Though many argue that social media was created to spark active and engaging discussion, I’ve noticed that many users chose not to participant in this way. I hardly ever search for opinions or debatable topics, and I’m positive I’m not the only one. I’d say 90% of what I search is factual, like how many ounces in a cup, or how many kilometers in a mile. In fact, because I know I can just look up the information later, I hardly make an effort to remember these facts. On another note, I think I seriously lack the self-discipline to actually use my social media resources productively. It can be challenging to find relevant and useful thought leaders in your field. Not only this, but I enjoy “checking-out” when I scroll through these platforms.

If there is one educational benefit to these platforms, it’s that they have sparked my curiosity on credibility. I’ve become rather critical and I’ve learned to question whether the information I am reading is credible. With the accessibility of these resources, anyone can really post anything. There are hardly consequences to if that information is accurate. Perhaps a next step involves educating users of ways to use these platforms productively.