Magnetic Places

What is the free form association do you make with the word portfolio? Do not over think it, what is the first visual you see? What connections can you make with the idea of how you might represent yourself in this space?

It’s stereotypical, but to me the idea of accomplishments pinned to the refrigerator come to mind. They might have been papers with a grade, a note from a teacher, a prize ribbon. They are signals of achievements, indicators, not always the achievements themselves. That’s elsewhere, or a story.

Yet I do not think we did this in my house.

My memory is fuzzy, but I do not recall my Mom pinning a bunch of stuff to the refrigerator. She was neat, and not into clutter in her kitchen. But like many people, later in life, at times I have put on my refrigerator some coverage of places I have been, a portfolio of memories and time spent elsewhere.

cc licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog:
cc licensed (BY-SA) flickr photo by cogdogblog:

As symbols, they represent places in a way that should trigger memories, even if I cannot pinpoint the exact times. They have somewhat of an equal size, and property (shaped painted plastic, with a magnet glued to the back). Oregon was a family road trip when I was married. British Columbia could have been attending a conference in Vancouver in 2004 and then doing vacation travel to Jasper by train. Great Barrier reef was a work/pleasure trip to Brisbane in ?? 2008. Meteor Crater? maybe a time we took the stepkids there (and they complained about the long hike around the trail) or when my sister visited. Or when my PhD advisor arranged a special trip where we got to walk to the bottom (not open to the public). New Zealand? That was probably my first trip in 2000, a 2 month visit as part of a 6 month sabbatical. Iceland would have been my magical month there in 2008 house sitting.

In some cases, I can link to references, others are just memory. But even as I look back at this picture again, little bits of detail emerge, but in some cases, its fuzzy.

The act of reviewing, even just at a glance, is helpful, for reinforcement. The fridge magnets can be fore me (to connect to fond memories and keep them fresh), or they can be for others- when they visit, they might get a sense of where I have been, and we can have conversations about common experiences.

Or it just may look like I am bragging.

It’s all open to interpretation.

Does this help me think about what this space as an online collection of fridge magnets might be? It could be a visual metaphor I use. It can be a reminder to think about what I can use as the “links” per magnet- what is the story I have for each? What material do I have? How will I represent them visually? As icons? And does it make you want to open the fridge, or does it have no connection?

There was a time I had more:

Travel Map
cc licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

And more recently I’ve removed the clutter, and keep it as a portfolio of my favorite dogs

Fridge Dog Fame Wall
cc licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

In one of my jobs, a the office refrigerator was a shared map of where colleagues had traveled:

Fridge Map
cc licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

My cousins in Wyoming have “been everywhere man” (and theirs are neatly spaced!)

Just Part of the Collection
cc licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

I saw a student poster at IUPUI presented in and on a refrigerator

A Poster Unusual
cc licensed ( BY-SA ) flickr photo shared by cogdogblog

Commonalities and differences.

Just on a refrigerator.

About cogdog

I bark about and play with technology and web stuff. Harmless. I have my shots.

One thought on “Magnetic Places

  1. I suppose that the traditional «portfolio» concept is much related to the arts and graphical design. But I’m an advocate of e-portfolios in education and have been promoting them for some years, not so many as prof. Helen Barrett – – which was an inspiration for me.
    Like you refer portfolios can take many purposes and shapes. It can be a portfolio for career development and employment (a sort of documented curriculum vitae), can be a way to show evidence of learning progress, to structure knowledge and artifacts along a course.
    Some ideas about eportfolios collected in a short video I made in portuguese –
    The web tools we can use are diverse. As I’ve been participating in several MOOCs, since 2012, I decided to create my own MOOC Space, which may be considered an eportfolio of MOOCs – So I keep opening pages for each MOOC and it works as a blog with the collection of artifacts and resources I gather, eventually with some short or longer posts. I suppose I could elaborate a bit more the texts but what generally happens is that I put many more hours and invest in the production of artifacts, trying new tools. As the MOOCs have their own space for comments and discussion forum I tend to disperse the comments in the different areas of social media. I suppose this is one of the big issues when one starts interacting in so many platforms and get some feeling of net labyrinth.
    At present I’m participating in «The You Show» and «eLearning Ecologies». The last MOOCs I’ve been involved were: «Digital Cultures», «HandsonICT»», «Philosophy &Film». A quick overview of my experiences with MOOCs (till the end of 2014) in this Powtoon –
    I think that e-portfolos should become mainstream for learning assessment purposes, focusing on formative approaches rather than summative, exams and standardized tests.

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