With the rapid growth of the internet it is impossible to avoid a digital footprint. It is also impossible to control the entirety of that footprint. But we do have input in how we are viewed by others through the internet. Part of this control comes through what we create as our own digital portfolio. I have put effort into keeping my professional and personal lives separate, especially on the internet. The reality is that there is a great deal of crossover. Some of my colleagues have become dear friends and even a few of my friends are now colleagues. My family is part of the community where I teach. But, the effort will continue.
I have also had to put forth additional effort to separate some of my professional development presentations from the work I do for my school and district. One of the steps that will help is the creation of my own web page for professional use. After looking at some samples portfolios on different websites, I chose to build a site using Wix.com.
I used the free account and did not find that upgrading was necessary to create an attractive and clearly constructed site. It was far more difficult to decide what the content should be than to actually build the site. Editing a site is similar to creating a presentation in PowerPoint or Prezi. Some of the controls are different, but they are not difficult to figure out. I only used help once and found the answer immediately. There are many options for setting up and organizing pages. Creating buttons to link is simple. Adding videos and images is easy. Sadly, I did not find a way to embed content like Glogster pages, but creating button with a link was simple. Over all, the building experience lacked frustration and I am pleased with the result.
Choosing the content for the site was more challenging. I tried to categorize what I do to create individual subpages that make sense. With classroom technology tools and flipped classroom there is some overlap so I had to make some choices to define the classifications more tightly. The variety of items I wanted to include on the page made it impossible to just use a template without a lot of editing. I can envision this being a site worth maintaining as my work with educators increases. I am already finding that I want to add additional subpages.
It was an interesting experience to look through a digital lens and see what others see when they Google me, check my school website, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. All of them represent a different view of my life. I will add my own professional site to the mix with this site.