I began my digital portfolio three years ago when I entered the Master of Arts in Educational Technology (MAET) program. At that time, I did not think of writing a blog as a form of assessment. Being used to culture of learning from elementary age up that did not accept failure as an option, I had a difficult time initially adjusting to feedback from a professor or peers that was not in the form of a grade or prescribed the exact necessary fixes to make the work “perfect”. However as a result of encouragement through feedback from others to begin to reflect on the quality of my own work, I have a deeper understanding of and interest in what I am learning and how I am learning it. Having the experience of this digital portfolio as a place to experiment wearing the learner hat has helped me to grow and see the value in utilizing portfolios and varied assessments as a teacher.
Looking forward, I will continue to utilize my digital portfolio as a digital representation of my professional work, a platform to create and share, and the most easily forgotten yet in my eyes the most important for personal growth- a place for self-reflection on my learning and experiences. My digital portfolio has provided a platform for the ability to share my work publicly and receive feedback to make changes and improvements especially important as a I try out new ideas or concepts. Having the ability to go back and make improvements to work that I had completed helped me to become a more self-directed learner and encouraged continuous improvement rather than the traditional one-shot assessment. This platform allows me to continue to document my experiences and learning anytime and anywhere. Right now, I have the crutch of my MAET coursework to support and remind me to self-reflect on my experiences as a learner and teacher. Moving forward I know that I will need to be more systematic about the way that I reflect on my learning so that I make self-reflection a daily habit as it does quickly slip through the cracks without a plan or intention.
Finally, in developing this portfolio, I have had to narrow in on the skills that I believe are most important for me to illustrate in a professional display of my work. This process helped me to justify what artifacts are displayed on my showcase and which are instead perhaps a part of my “learning in process” blog. It has afforded me the opportunity to walk through the digital portfolio process myself as a learner to better understand how teachers and students can utilize digital portfolios as a form of assessment.