06/27/2018 by Carney Sandoe Staff | Landing the Job
Creating Your Online Portfolio
It has become an expectation among hiring contacts at independent and private schools that faculty will have a digital presence that demonstrates a facility with new media. Classroom technology is prevalent in most independent schools, and knowing that today's students will be immersed in these tools when they reach the workforce, schools are using technology to support both teaching and learning. Homework is turned in digitally, classes connect across the globe via Skype, and students with different learning styles are engaged in exciting ways. Schools want to see that a teacher can use today's online tools not only in the classroom, but also to market themselves.
If you’re a visual or performing artist, it’s especially important that you showcase your work in an easily accessible way. Independent schools are wonderful places for artists to work; administrators encourage and expect teachers to continue cultivating their own work alongside their teaching.
Conveying your skills as a teacher (or also as an artist) and demonstrate an understanding of 21st-century media before you’ve even had a phone interview already puts you ahead of the game. An online portfolio—whether of photographs, paintings, classroom videos, lesson plans, or audio files—is the easiest way for you to manage your educational assets and for schools to view it during the vetting stages of a job search. Create a website that brands you both as teacher and a techie, and shows off your ability to flip a classroom or use gamification in a lesson.
Not familiar with coding or website design? Worried about the costs associated with creating a website? No problem—these sites will allow you to create a simple, beautiful interface with little to know back-end knowledge—for free. Check it out, and build your online portfolio today!
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention WordPress right off the bat—it’s an incredibly versatile tool that works for personal bloggers, big companies, and even this blog! With dozens of theme options for the free site (and the ability to upgrade to a Premium account for more choices), WordPress gives users the opportunity to create their own beautiful, publication-ready websites. If you spend a bit more, your site comes with a custom site address, custom design options, and more. Plus, an enormous collection of plugins allows you to customize your site even further.
Similar to WordPress, Wix provides a variety of customizable website templates that you can publish online instantly. A category devoted to creative arts will help arts educators get started easily. Customize your website with no coding necessary, and drag and drop the aspects you want to include in your layout. Easy, attractive, and professional, Wix is a great option for your portfolio.
Designed with creative professionals in mind, Portfoliobox allows artists to create unique, beautiful portfolios that feature galleries, pages, blogs, e-stores, and videos. There is no requirement to select a standard theme, so each page of your website can be completely unique. You can sign up for free, but if you upgrade to Pro, you can add a host of added features, including your own www-address, more hosting space, marketing assistance, and more.
The most “social” of the options, Tumblr is one of the easiest to use. The blogging site allows users to share anything, from text to photos, music, and videos. You can select a theme, and everything is customizable. Posting is incredibly easy—you can even upload images by email. If you want to set up a collection of images, videos, or audio clips quickly, Tumblr is a great option. Upload teaching artifacts like lesson plans and evidence of student learning (but be sure to get the proper permissions from parents).
Don’t discount the power of a good video. YouTube allows users to create free channels, through which they can upload videos, create playlists, and view metrics. If you’re a performing artist or musician, what better place to showcase your talents? Educators of any subject area could also consider uploading quick lesson clips, demonstrating your classroom processes and showcasing your teaching style.
Quick and easy, Flickr can allow you to create albums that you can share with schools, even if you don’t have your own website. If you’re a visual artist, consider creating albums for your own work (black and white photography, for example, or still-life watercolors) and for your students’ work.
So once you've created your portfolio, how do you share it with school hiring contacts? Simple! Log into CandidateConnect, click on the Documents tab, and scroll down to the Online Documents section. Add a link to your video, website, or album, and voila—you’ve shared your portfolio with hiring contacts.
Already created a killer online portfolio? Leave a comment and tell us how you did it!
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