I've been doing a lot of work and thinking lately on the online portfolio concept as I'm in the process of putting together a webinar on how to use free online tools to create your own porfolio. (Email me or leave a comment if you're interested in attending). It occurred to me over the weekend that a tool that could potentially be very useful for creating a presentation portfolio is VoiceThread, so I did a little playing around. The VoiceThread you see here is the result. A few comments on the process:
- I'm seeing this as an option for putting together 2-5 minute mini-presentations that either demonstrate key skills/competencies or to illustrate your work on particular projects. These are the stories that you want to tell to a particular employer about the kind of work you do and how you do it. By creating these mini presentations, you can put information together in a way that makes that story more compelling.
- Ultimately you could actually have your online portfolio be a combination of several VoiceThread mini presentations, along with links to key documents or other work samples. I could see, for example, a wiki page that has a VoiceThread presentation on a project embedded and then underneath you could have links to some of the key documents from the project that you wanted to share.
- One VoiceThread feature that makes this tool particularly useful for portfolio work is that you can make your VoiceThreads private, only sharing them with people you invite. So if you'd like, you could create a whole library of VoiceThreads that illustrate particular projects or skills and then pick and choose those particular VoiceThreads that will tell the most customized and appropriate "story" about you to a particular employer.
- When you share a VoiceThread, you can choose to allow comments so it's possible that an employer could actually interact with you through your VoiceThread portfolio. You could also get feedback from others on the stories you're telling about your skills and your projects if you chose.
- Notice that I can create a link to a web page to go with each image, so on the first page of the presentation, I did a link to my "About Michele" page. Then on the Bamboo Project page I have a link to the blog. This way if I'm sharing my VoiceThread as a sort of stand-alone portfolio, I could be sure that there were links back to key online information about me, like my full portfolio or my blog.
- On a technical note--for some unknown reason, my microphone was not working to create recordings, so I had to use the VoiceThread phone commenting option to get the audio on the first two photos in the VoiceThread. Unfortunately, I quickly ran out of my allotted time, so I had to resort to written comments on the remainder of the photos. Think of it as demonstrating the two ways of commenting and how it's much more effective to use audio rather than typed comments for this sort of thing.
I'm curious to get your feedback on this. Feel free to leave something in comments here or you can practice actually leaving something on the VoiceThread by either recording using your computer's microphone or webcam or by typing your thoughts. Notice that you can comment on each page, so you don't have to confine yourself to the first one.