Fordham GSAS: Grad. Life: Creating an On-Line Presence for Grad Students

Monday, April 16, 2012

Creating an On-Line Presence for Grad Students

Hello All!
     Hope you are enjoying this summery weather here in New York City! It makes it a bit easier to get out the door, for me, at least, when it's warm and sunny outside, even if most of the day will be spent inside a building teaching and/ or writing and reading.
     Today's topic is E-PORTFOLIOS for graduate students. I had been thinking about this since one of my colleagues in the department asked for some feedback as she was launching her awesome new web-site for professional purposes. The wonderfully informative, functional, and accessible site she had designed got me thinking about having an on-line identity as a graduate student as we work our way through our research and onto the job market. I checked out the topic on The Chronicle, and of course I found a great piece on the topic already, entitled "Should Graduate students create e-portfolios?" by David Brooks. Mr. Brooks talks about "crafting our on-line presence," which is a great way to think about it, since, he points out, much of what we find on-line when we Google ourselves is a mish-mash of random clips and quips from social networking, conference programs, and on-line local newspaper archives. As Mr. Brooks said, "I had no hand in creating how, or where, my work had been displayed online."

     So, of course, the obvious answer to Mr. Brooks' question is, "Yes, we should create e-portfolios!" Digital, web-based, and technologically innovative teaching and research will be the defining characteristics of this generation's academic careers, and we must embrace that at once. Furthermore, creating our own site would give us a space in which to design, control, and craft our professional and scholarly identity in a cohesive presentation. Some ideas to incorporate could be:
  • A website for your dissertation project
  • An on-line teaching portfolio, which incorporates teaching philosophy, sample lesson plans, and demonstrations of your uses of technology in your classroom
  • An on-line CV
  • Videos of teaching and/ or research presentations
  • Current events in your field
  • A professional blog
  • Links to favorite professional websites, journals, and associations
      There are several platforms on the web that will allow you to create a site like this. My colleague that I mentioned above used, and Mr. Brooks mentioned There are also Weebly and Webstarts, to name just a few. Many of these have free options as well a premium upgrades. Another option is to use blog sites such as (the free blog platform related to, or In addition, there are "academic" networking sites such as which allow you to create a professional profile that will link you to a network of other academic professionals and also provide you an on-line space to post a CV, bio, research information, and other links and documents. Finally, you could always take advantage of the more standard online tools such as Linked-In.
      Perhaps even Facebook could be a tool if you tailored a specific page towards your professional profile -- keep your personal page unsearchable and private, and use FB publicly to present your professional academic face to the world.
      I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and experiences! Share links, sites, and comments. :)
-- Liza Z.

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