ePortfolio – Connecting the Dots

Lamar University Course EDLD 5303, Applying Ed Tech Portfolio, was one of the two initial courses I took towards earning my Masters Degree in Digital Learning and Leadership. The course syllabus states that each student will  create an ” ePortfolio to share their work, reflect on their growth, and develop their voice.“ The outline of information provided by our fearless leader, Dr. H., really highlights the WHY and some amazing ePortfolio examples. The initial shock that I am truly on my own in all the decision-making – what program to use, the layout, the information I provide, my colors, my artistic flare (or lack thereof!) – was all on me! I am eternally grateful for the new relationships I have built with my fellow learners who have all shared insights, encouragement and critiques to help me grow. My small learning community (not really that small – Michelle Richey, Maria Rodman, Danielle Pyle, Lindsay Hoerig, Avery Nihill, Lindsey Wallace, Aliscia Drummond and myself) met once a week via zoom (sometimes twice a week!) and communicated 24/7 on Group Me as we shared helpful tips, videos and explored the endless amount of choices that the ePortfolio demanded. Since we are all brand new to the Masters program, we were able to use our ePortfolios as a platform to share, critique and review the pieces of our innovative project from our other course (EDLD 5305 Disruptive Education). The two courses worked so well together, when our small group met and communicated, we did not have to differentiate what we were working on! The ePortfolio project though was challenging for me because I like to have all my “ducks in a row” and have the end in mind when I begin something new. Since I am not able to predict the future – creating a public platform that encompasses everything I WANT it to be (for my audience) while opening myself up and presenting myself in a new light was stressful and terrifying! The little voice in my head kept asking “who would want to read your blogs anyway?”! Now that I am nearly completed with this initial 8-week course, I can, without doubt , confirm that I have learned more than I expected these past few weeks not only about the WordPress program (webpage creation system) but mostly about myself and my potential. Although I started off a little shaky as this self-directed learning is really DIFFERENT for me, I am indeed self-motivated to navigate, explore and learn with little to no guidance (i.e. auto didactic!!). I realize now that my ePortfolio will NEVER be complete – I honestly tweak it every, single day. I definitely have strong feelings and frustrations about the current state of education and am often still questioning whether I truly have the ability to make a real change in my current position. However, I desperately want to make a difference and be the example that I wish to see in other educators so I am committing to continue with the Masters program and with the GOOD FIGHT! My ePortfolio is just one way to express, display and convey my excitement about what the future of education might look like. And I might add that, as of today, I am pretty proud of my ePortfolio as well – check it out: www.robinballard.org

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