Why is technology so complicated? My first step in creating my ePortfolio was trying to pick a theme. While this was simple enough, I struggled with understanding the details of creating the individual pages and making sure pages can be created in a way that fits the idea I have in my head. The limited options and themes that are available make it harder to settle and decide on how to format the page.
The experience was very difficult with the limited instructions located on the site itself to help with the customization process. I spend about three days alone trying to get my ‘About Me’ section to show in the correct space. My portfolio is still being developed and as I become more familiar with the platform and the limited resources it will reflect the ideas I have for the final project.
I love the simplicity of my ePortfolio site. The photo that is currently on my site is from year ago, its of my favorite flowers, peonies– a rare beauty. I made minimal changes to my ePortfolio because I like a minimalistic approach to themes and a did not really understand the nuances of WordPress on OpenLab. Surprisingly on my personal blog, I have not explored creating new tabs or other sections. I always feel the less is better. As my favorite color being black, I kept the background in black and then the peonies splashed across the screen in pinks and white. It looks beautiful.
I like writing about myself, strangely I think it gives you a chance to express who you are. It’s not often where you get to write about yourself and play around with creating your own website and a fun layout. I really enjoyed it. Also, I really enjoy stepping into the shoes of a designer, you get to see another aspect of creating a unique user experience. I believe there are OpenLab classes to learn how to maneuver around the site and create cool fun things and I’d like to do that. It’s important not only for class but also for job seekers if you want to showcase your academic portfolio– it can make a very big difference if you get the job or not.
My ePortfolio is not quite where I’d imagine it to be but in the coming weeks I will be sure to work on it, it will be a completely different site by the end of the term. Originally, I first used the ePortfolio site in ENG 2700 with Professor Patrick Corbett to create a blog where we wrote many reflection pieces on our transformation over the semester. For my portfolio site I also created a few new tabs Jodieann’s Fashion Tips and updated my career section. I will try to regularly contribute to the new tabs created.
The idea of having the opportunity to design my e-portfolio to my specifications was exciting. I knew what I was going for and I couldn’t wait to get started. I knew I wanted to start with a color scheme that was both simplistic and minimal but because of the themes, I was limited to what I could do.
However, the work I had to put in, in order to make my vision come to life was beyond frustrating. Nothing was working for me at all and I felt myself going in circles with trying to put my page together. I thought my e-portfolio would be the best way to brand myself rather than having to resort to a social networking site but I struggled continuously. I definitely need help because I’ve realized I can’t do it alone. Hopefully, with time and with much needed help, I can get my e-portfolio to where I want it to be and it can be something I am proud of.
Because I don’t participate in many social networking sites, I want to successfully display my e-portfolio that will be beneficial towards my future and maybe even my career goals. Moving forward, I plan on doing this by:
- Picking a theme that works for me; a theme that will allow me to structure my work in a way that is easy for viewers to navigate.
- Using (good) images; I am not a photographer whatsoever but people associate a good photo which helps draw viewers attentiontherfore, it would hurt to include some visuals in my e-portfolio.
- Filling my e-portfolio with my best content/work
- Keeping it up to date
- Connecting via social media platforms
Creating a perfecting my e-portfolio was a process, having OCD made me super detail oriented and I poured over making it just right. Though it will never be “done” I will say I am happy that it’s on an upward path. I have changed the theme half a dozen time moved and reorganized content and played with all the settings and widgets I could find. After toying around myself and getting rather frustrated because I kept wrecking the home page I went to seek some help, first in the Itech lab on the sixth floor and then with Professor Belli.
The tech lab had some helpful tips to making the pages easier to manage when you’re brand new to the site and he was also able to reset the menu bar which I managed to mangle. The lab is good for quick tips and fixes but as Professor Belli mentioned it’s probably better to seek out the open lab team for all the widgets and plug ins because for I for the life of me could not get the twitter plug in to work right.
Today I went and met with Professor Belli to discuss content revision and placement and she also tried to help with the elusive twitter widget, to no avail though so ill be visiting the open lab team. I also learned how to customize my menu bar and make functional categories so my content can be grouped similar to how our class page is. Learning a few tips and tricks were helpful but I want to learn more about open lab and the features of it so I am able to maximize its benefits.
(added 11/17)When creating my about me I aimed to highlight my background info, where I came from, the important things about myself and my academic and career goals and then finally my hobbies. I aimed to make my professional stance known but also give myself a human side. By adding hobbies it shows what I enjoy and what balances my work and school life out.
Overall I think it’s a good way to keep track of your work and what potential employers may want to see or be looking for. I will add that i got my content to be featured on my twitter so thats pretty cool and i’m hoping it will gain some exposure. I think it would be helpful though if categories came pre populated and we were able to rename and use them so we don’t have to muck through so many different settings to get them to work. Meaning similar to how the pages come set up the categories should too. AND like i’ve said since practically day one I would love it if this site had its open app or at least was able to be signed into via the word press app. Being able to move and view content mobile would be huge! I plan on adding content both for classes as well as my own preference to showcase the best abilities i have both academically and personally and i’m hopeful that in conjunction with my twitter project that I will be able to share my content more freely.
While it is still a work in progress, my attempt to revamp my ePortfolio was successful. I like having the ability to control the aspects of the ePortfolio specifically what to share and how to organize it, and with help from the lab, I was able to change the theme and customize some of the headings. I wanted to have a welcome address as the first thing seen so I created a welcome message on the home page. I also created a mission statement, reflecting my ethics and personality, which I added as a tab. Other tabs I added are a blog tab and a course tab. Under the course tab heading, I added two my two writing courses.
The theme I chose is Twenty Eleven: 2.1. I like that it comes with a showcase page template that I intend to upload my own images to in the future. Under courses I have added ENG 2700 and ENG 2720, each having assignments tags. I intend to post selected assignments under the headings. Under the career heading I have added blogs resume and accomplishments. I intend to add my professional accomplishments in this section. I also changed the color of the welcome address text to blue and intend to experiment more with color. Unfortunately, I found out that I cannot change the font style or size.
Although I gained a lot of helpful tips to make my ePortfolio more interesting and look more professional, I am still far from satisfied with the content and appearance. Part of the problem is that I do not have a full concept at this time. It will take time to explore design, develop concepts, and that added that, the learning curve.
Nevertheless, I am looking forward to spending time working on my ePortfolio because I know the importance of having a quick representation ready to go if there is a job potential. Also, through commenting and blogging, it’s another way for to communicate with others through discourse and writing interaction.
Working on customizing the e-portfolio has honestly been one big giant headache. Not being familiar with the platform has caused me to time and time again start over. The first problem I encountered, was not being able to match the way I imagined my academic platform to the limited themes that were to choose from. I found it frustrating to begin the process so late and only have such a limited amount of time to come up with a vision. I was hard to figure out what was best for a project when I did not have a great direction of how exactly I wanted the project to look.
This experience not only frustrated me but challenged me due to the fact that customizing the chosen theme did not come with exactly instructions on how exactly to change the header. The easiest part of the customization process was choosing plug-ins and enabling widgets. The rest of the process strongly needed a tech or someone who was knowledgeable of to maximize the allowances of the platform.
The over all design and concept has taken some shape of my E-portfolio is still under construction. I am still having a hard time editing and customizing the attributes of my chosen theme, however I do believe that my chosen theme fits the concept of my project. I hope to keep editing and building this to completely fit the project and all it encompasses.