In 2015, I wrote this post entitled, “3 Things Students Should Have Before They Leave High School“. Here were the things that were listed:
I thought of this post as I was talking to a recent university graduate from the field of education. As I asked a friend to look at her resume, he right away asked, “Where is her portfolio? Where is her Twitter handle?”. She had neither.
So as we look at post-secondary students graduating from different education programs, if we want these things I have listed (or at least somewhere in the ballpark), are our university programs asking the same things from their graduates? Isn’t the best way to learn this process through doing it, not hearing about it?
If I was working in a university program, I would hope that these things would be implemented and integrated into programs. Instead of everything being given directly to the professor, would it not be beneficial to share this work with other educators (both new and experienced), while also building their own digital footprint? One thing I know is that this should not be solely focused on in “educational technology” courses, otherwise only the students in the program would have the opportunity to create this, or solely connect this to learning that is done with only “technology” in mind. It is something much bigger.
Yet some are concerned that not all educational organizations are looking for these things, so it could be a lot of time for little benefit. I would adamantly disagree with this. First of all, students taking time to actively reflect and share their learning is not only beneficial to themselves, but to others as well if it is open. Secondly, in a world where most people are getting googled for the jobs, this would only strengthen (or at least create) a digital footprint.
Finally, if an employer is not looking for these things, make sure they find them. At the top of my resume, I can easily place the statement “For full portfolio, check out georgecouros.ca“. This allows the employer the opportunity to see my portfolio before I get an interview, not ONLY IF I get an interview.
I would love to be able to see a candidates thinking and growth over their time in university. Would this not be more beneficial than looking solely at a transcript of grades and a diploma? It might take a lot longer to peruse, but it would help the employer make better decisions on candidates. My belief is that the extra time is worth it.
So if I slightly revamp the above picture, to fit this idea, does this not still make sense?
If we want our new educators into the profession to think different, they will need to experience something different. The best way to teach this is to have learned it first.