I am a local authority consultant in Southend, Essex, United Kingdom. The section that I work in is about to change drastically.
We are about to be hit in the next academic year with public expenditure cuts as part of the Government’s efforts to correct the huge budget deficit that our nation has as a result of combatting the recession that we were all pitched into following the collapse of banks such as Lehmann Brothers in the U.S.
As a result of these cuts I am aware that my position as a consultant for mathematics in primary (elementary) schools is likely to disappear by April of next year.
I am therefore in the interesting position ,as are many of my colleagues, of having to see what I can do to gain employment before that time or the park bench awaits!
I watched a very interesting video last week about e-portfolios by Helen Barrett who is often referred to (according to the video) as “the grandmother of e-portfolios” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckcSegrwjkA&feature=player_embedded#! She was going on about social media such as Facebook and Twitter and how it can be used to build up a picture about your interests and concerns and can be added to your e-portfolio.
This got me thinking, as I face the coming months and have to go out into the “storm” and attempt to get myself a position out there in the world of education how I coud best represent myself electronically. In the past I would just have filled in application forms and written my supporting statement and then hoped for an interview and a chance to represent myself in person to a potential employer.
But the world has changed. We are now into an age where future employees have access to my digital footprint. I have quite a few entries in Google because of my blog and comments that I have made on other people’s blog. Does this information give a good picture of me? Not really, it states a few of my interests and could be used as evidence but it does not really represent the width of my interests and concerns.
My blog though does. I have been writing in this blog for only eight months and yet I have a large number of entries in it. I have collected a number of videos and shown myself able to learn from a number of sources. I have used the internet as my main learning resource. I called the blog “Malcolm Bellamy’s Learning Blog” because I wanted it to represent my learning journey.
I realised as I was thinking about what I could do to sharpen up my C.V. and jazz up my presentation of self for the future applications that I have an excellent resource that any employer can use to learn about me and why I would want to work in a 21st century learning environment (or act as a consultant or advisor for teachers who want to work or create one)… and that was my Blog!
For teachers who are thinking about the value of a blog for children I can only say that it is the best means ever invented to truly allow a child (or adult) to express themselves and represent themselves to others. It is not some portfolio that has been invented for the express reason of interesting and influencing a potential employer, it represents what that person really is, what makes them tick. In this respect, if I were an employer, I would really want to know the person I was about to hire…. would they fit into my organisation? Will they share my vision for the future? Can they collaborate with others? Are they truly creative? Are they a really useful addition to our organisation?
I would encourage any teacher to allow children to create a blog. It can act as a really effective means of assessment and, in the end, can be just what the child (or adult) needs to have a fully rounded representation of themself to present to a future employer.