Developing an Authentic ePortfolio by Lisa Nielsen

Did you ever feel frustrated that in school you are supposed to spend all this time studying, taking tests, completing worksheets and handing in reports with no audience beyond the teacher and after years of that all your left with is a pile of tests and papers nobody cares about? School shouldn’t be preparing you for more school. Should be preparing students for the world, but unfortunately, the thing that is most important often falls through the cracks and is replaced by more and more testing and measuring. If you’ve decided to opt out of school and opt into the real world, you’ll have time to begin preparing your ePortfolio where you can share with everyone how great you are!

In the real world ePortfolios are actually just called websites or blogs and the point is to show the world how fabulous you are and what you can do. When you create it here are some of the sections you may consider including:

  • Landing page:
    This is the main page and gives your audience an overview of who you are and what you do.
  • About Me page:
    Give a brief overview of yourself and your talents. You may want this page to have links to pictures of you as well as your resume.
  • What People Are Saying:
    You may want to collect and share what people are saying about you and your work.
  • Work Samples:
    Share samples of your work. You might consider organizing this by types of work or how the work is displayed i.e. photos, videos, animations, podcasts, etc.
  • Contact:
    Give people a way to contact you i.e. your email, your Facebook page, your Twitter handle.

These are some general sections that most people in the real world have. When creating your own, check out the sites of experts who share your interests and follow their lead in the parts you like.

Creating your ePortfolio aka Website or Blog
The first thing you want to do is get a domain name. I recommend doing so though Google since Google Sites is free and easy to use. The domain name will cost you about $10 a year. Here are the directions to set it up through Google. Here is where you get going with Google Apps for free! Here is your guide to starting with free Google Sites. If you want to make your ePortfolio more business/entrepreneurial just look at sites of those you want to be like. If you want it more education focused visit Helen Barrett’s ePortfolio site at

Lisa Nielsen is best known as creator of The Innovative Educator blog and Transforming Education for the 21st Century learning network. Lisa is an outspoken and passionate advocate of innovative education. She is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on "Thinking Outside the Ban" and determining ways to harness the power of technology for instruction and providing a voice to educators and students. Based in New York City, Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities helping schools and districts to educate in innovative ways that will prepare students for 21st century success. Her first book “Teaching Generation Text” is set for a fall 2011 release. You can follow her on Twitter @InnovativeEdu.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.