Social Storytelling: Harnessing digital media for portfolio development


Social media allows us to engage with a far wider world than our immediate connections, both socially and at work. We have the opportunity to develop our learning through the experiences of others shared in these social spaces. We do this by listening and by creating our own stories. As well as thinking about these social spaces in our own life journeys, in Further and Higher Education we help create appropriate digital spaces for our students, where their learning journeys can be recorded.


Digital portfolios allow students to gather and present meaningful artefacts, often written, to show evidence of their learning. At one level, these portfolios could be considered digital stories; a narrative reflecting, in this case, a learning journey. They allow a student to tell a broader story, of their developing professional self beyond meeting criteria for assessment and accreditation.


As educators, we can encourage students to develop both their digital literacies (there is life beyond facebook for some!) and personal storytelling skills by linking the relevance of social media and their portfolio spaces.


Of course, whilst we encourage these connections being made, we need to be aware of how our institutions adopt, or impose, frameworks of practice in the social media sphere. Operating within cultural and professional guidelines is an important aspect to learn in itself, all contributing towards the professionalisation of our students. How social media is harnessed as a network of potential learning varies across the sector.

 Written with Dr Sarah Copeland, University of Bradford. 

We invite you to participate in a tweet chat to discuss this and consider our questions on “Social Storytelling for Portfolio Development” on Wednesday 9th December from 3.30 – 4pm GMT #SocialStory


Ahead of the tweet chat, you might want to consider the following:

* The forms of social media you and your students engage with

* What digital stories and digital storytelling means

* What types of digital stories you may have seen, used, created

* Where digital storytelling and social media align

* How social media can inform learning

* How social media could or should be incorporated into assessable content


One thought on “Social Storytelling: Harnessing digital media for portfolio development

  1. Reblogged this on StoryTEL and commented:
    A piece written with Dr John Couperthwaite ahead of the first of a co-created investigation into the place of digital storytelling through social media for portfolio development for learners.


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