This WordPress theme has been designed to make life easier for teachers across Australia. By using the WordPress platform, and this simple theme, you can create an online record of your professional achievements against AITSL’s National Professional Standards for Teachers in no time!
What is an e-Portfolio?
When asked to evidence your skills against the National Professional Standards, you might have, in the past, prepared a portfolio of evidence. This would have been paper based and might have contained images, reports, lesson observations, example lesson plans and other evidence that would demonstrate the level of capability you have against a given criteria. An e-Portfolio is the same thing. However, instead of reams of paper, everything will be stored digitally and shared online. Anyone, with the link to your site, can see your evidence folio. You can use it to show case your best work. It’s a wonderful way to share examples of your good practice and to promote your own skills as a teacher.
The e-Portfolio will be made up of “posts“- these are like the pages in your old, paper based folio. Each post could contain images, video evidence, text, weblinks and sound recordings and could also have documents attached (such as lesson plans, lesson observations etc).
Your e-Portfolio will never run out of room and can track your career from Graduate to Lead!
Each post can then be categorized and tagged so that people can see what evidence they hold. Categories are applied to show which Focus Area your post covers. Tags are used to show at which career stage you believe you were operating. People visiting your site will then be able to choose either a category (from the very top of the website) or a tag (from the right hand sidebar) to see a Focus Area at a particular level. It’s the perfect way to show what you have achieved to prospective employers and to keep a record of your own professional development and achievements.
The e-Portfolio theme can be purchased through this website. Upon payment you will be sent an encrypted link to download the theme for use on your self-hosted blog. Further instructions for using themes can be found here. At this point, this theme is available for self-hosted WordPress blogs only (i.e. not wordpress.com) – we are in discussion with wordpress.com and will look to provision for this in the near future.
Please Note: Each purchase is for a single instance of WordPress (3.4.2+) only, if you would like to purchase the theme for use on multiple instances please contact us to discuss bulk discounting options.
What is a Theme?“A WordPress Theme is a collection of files that work together to produce a graphical interface with an underlying, unifying design for a blog. “ http://en.support.wordpress.com/themes/
In order to use this theme you will need to have your own self-hosted WordPress Instance (i.e. not using wordpress.com). The theme can then be purchased (as above) and installed directly on your blog. We hope to provision for those using wordpress.com in the near future.
WordPress, as a platform is design for Blogging. The theme we’ve created helps you to re-purpose that blogging platform so that you are using it to create an e-Portfolio. We’ve designed this theme to speed things up and make life easier for you. Have a look at what’s automatically going to happen, as soon as you activate the theme we’ve created.
Once set up, the theme will automatically contain:
- Categories for you to use to place your evidence against a standard. All of the standards are already identified, you just need to choose which one/ones you’re evidencing.
- Tags for you to narrow your evidence down against your career stage and the exact focus area you are addressing. Once you break down the NPSfTs into their various Domains, Focus Areas and Career Stages there are 148 to evidence! We’ve auto-populated the tags you need to apply to your posts so you don’t need to create them yourself.
- Content page examples which will guide you through how to add content and then categorise and tag it against the National Professional Standards for Teachers. For advice on the basics of WordPress, we’d recommend you head to this page. Our example pages will show you how to operate, with ease, within the perimeters of the theme you’ve just adopted.
- Links to the National Professional Standards Website and an empty, ready to edit set of pages to contain information ‘About Me’ and your ‘Digital Footprint‘. There’s also the option to link another site you might write like your class or educational blog.
- A ‘tag cloud’ will automatically grow on the front page so that people can access evidence by specific career stage and focus area. The more evidence you have against a ‘tag’ the bigger it will get! That’s a great way to show you (and others) how balanced your evidence base is.
- A Creative Commons License for your work. Demonstrating your ability to operate using “ICT safely, responsibly and ethically” (4.5)
- An RSS Feed of posts and pages so that others can have any new evidence sent directly to their inbox.
- A widget which automatically tracks how many clicks each evidence post has had and shows you which posts are proving most popular with your readers.
Extra Features you can choose to configure:
- Connect your Social Media Accounts such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Linked in. Others can then click the social media icons to the right of the navigation bar to find you connecting and engaging with your professional learning networks (7.4) or, remove them completely.
- Link to another website or blog you are writing.
- List the ‘Blogs You Read’ and ‘Sites You Visit’ in the footer.
- Add your image to your profile so that people know who they’re reading about.
How do I configure these Extra Features?
The theme has a setting page. (You can access this from your WordPress Dashboard in the Appearance menu) It’s as simple as filling out a form!
As you can see from the image to the left, you can upload a profile picture which will be displayed in the top left hand corner of your e-Portfolio. Go for an image which is about 198px wide by 164px tall.
You can also add the URL to your favourite Facebook Group, your Twitter username, Google+ and Linked in Profile URLs and the site does the rest for you!
If you’d rather not engage in these professional learning networks then all you have to do is empty the fields in the form and leave them blank. All automated links and settings will be removed from your e-Portfolio. As a result, no Twitter feed will display in your sidebar, and the social media links will disappear from the navigation bar. The only exception to this is the RSS feed. This is a feature of WordPress that there is no option to remove.
Technical Features – For the Nerdy amongst us
- Configuration Changes
- Permalink structure to Day and name structure
- Blog name to “<Your Name>”
- Blog Description to “My teaching portfolio for AISTL’s NPSfT”
- “Blog pages show at most” or “posts per page” (i.e. pagination) to 5
- “Syndication feeds show the most recent” or “posts per rss” to 5
- Thumbnail media dimensions to 198px (W) by 164px (H)
- Site’s front page
- Prompts for plugins required by the theme.
- Comments turned off automatically for posts older than 60 days
- Content Changes
- Default Categories & Tags
- Default Pages & Example Posts (incl. Categories and Tags)
- Default Menu Structures & Links
- Default Widgets for the dynamic Sidebar
- Profile Image – A picture or photo which appears on the left of the header throughout the site.
- Social Networks: Each of the following links can be configured and shown on the site’s navigation bar as icons:
- Facebook (for Groups)
There are currently no known issues with this theme.
The following versions of this theme have been released:
- v1.0.0 – Initial release of the theme on 01/10/2012.