PHS students utilize online platforms

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“I want my online portfolio to be a platform for my thoughts and aspirations and a way to uplift and encourage people through my posts,” said Destiny Reid, a second-year creative writer. Reid’s site comes across just as she intends. Her site is inviting and unique.

Creating online student portfolios has been our 2017 project in Creative and Competitive Writing.  As the opener to our persuasive unit, we’ve studied bestselling author Michael Hyatt. A veteran CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing in Nashville, Hyatt’s popular blog instructed aspiring authors to generate and share their platforms or causes that would reward them with followers.

When I first heard Hyatt speak at a writers’ conference in 2012 and read his bestseller, “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” WordPress was his choice for an online portfolio. Ball State University recently suggested that students build an online web presence to set themselves apart from other scholarship candidates using WordPress as well.

Competitive Writers are scholarship searchers. They may blog on their sites; however, their main purpose is to make themselves the most attractive scholarship candidates possible. All of the students’ online portfolios reveal their talents beyond writing with theatre performance competition videos attached, clips from athletic events, published writing and beautiful artwork and design. Students also have resumes on their online portfolios as well as poetry, essays about adventures, dreams and aspirations.

Our WordPress.com sites are free and they can be migrated to WordPress.org easily if students want that option later. Knowing that time invested in these sites will not be lost has created great investment into building the sites.

Creating an online portfolio requires more than writing. Students were also required to choose themes and images, understand a bit about html code and exhibit their sense of design and personalization.

“I’ve learned that having an online portfolio also allows me to highlight my art as well as my writing,” said junior Olivia Tae.

The days we’ve built the sites have been almost silent—diligent work peppered with occasional calls for assistance and great pride taken in this important work.