Reflection on the Process
In the absence of a blog, here are my reflections on the process of creating this electronic portfolio. In reality, this is the eleventh tool I have used to publish my e-portfolio on the Web. The first version of my new e-portfolio was published using a portfolio system developed by the Maricopa Community Colleges.
It took me about three hours to finish all of the entries using this program, which was mostly a copy/paste job between my Mozilla files and this program. I still had to use the HTML source code if I wanted to include links in the text. I couldn't get my picture to show on the first page, after I removed the first one which was too large. Not sure what I was doing wrong, but I discovered that there is a site Homepage and a Home page for each portfolio. I chose to enter the links to each artifact separately, rather than entering pages with the list of links, as I have done in previous portfolio systems.
I had a hard time figuring out how the different parts of the artifact form worked (Introduction, Reflection) and whether I wanted to have the link appear in a new window. Having the artifact show in the frame is handy, to keep the reader in the portfolio, but only if the links are in plain text or PDF. Still, I had to experiment a lot to see how different components worked. After trying sub-directories, I decided to keep all of the major sections at the main level, so that they would all show in the navigation bar.
The layout is very plain. To read my reflections, the reader needs to click on a link. This is the opposite approach from my other versions, where my reflection showed right below the link to the artifact, and is read first before following the link. The lack of flexibility in the layout was frustrating. Still, I can see that this tool would be useful for novices, especially if I used a pre-set template. There was absolutely no need to know HTML (unless you wanted to embed links in the narrative).
I really like the "Manage Artifacts" screen, where I can see all of the artifacts that I have uploaded (my archive). I can also record my reflections on each artifact or an optional introduction (a caption), before viewing the artifact. However, there is no built-in way to reflect on a grouping of artifacts (a category). Under a category, there was only a list of links to the artifacts, with no option for meta-reflection, unless I inserted that overall reflection as another artifact.
The one feature that would be very useful is Download Portfolio, which is designed to create a Zip file to download the portfolio to my hard drive. However, it did not work on my Mac (the folder was empty). And on a Saturday afternoon, the program was very slow. I can see why this program is not very popular in Teacher Ed.