What to do about personal information on your portfolio.

The Internet, like any technology, has both tremendous advantages and important drawbacks. On one hand, you can connect with just about anyone! On the other hand… well, just about anyone can connect with you. It’s important to think carefully and decide how you’re going to handle including personal information on your portfolio. That decision is largely a personal one, and we can’t tell you exactly what to do. However, here are a few things we would like you to keep in mind:

Addresses and phone numbers

We strongly discourage you from including personal addresses or phone numbers on your portfolio, whether they belong to you, to colleagues, or to references that you have listed on your resumé page. Even if you don’t expect your portfolio to go viral, it is out there for anyone on the Internet to find… and you wouldn’t want just anyone to knock on your door or give you a call. When you’re thinking about this, make sure to keep in mind the downloadable resumé that many of you will include — just because it’s not in an obvious place doesn’t mean that you aren’t essentially giving away where you live and how to reach you.

This might take some rethinking of how you approach a resumé. You will likely have an “online version,” a “safe downloadable version,” and a “detailed version” that you can give to trusted people in face-to-face settings. You may also need to replace contact information for your resumé with a phrase like “references available upon request.”

Student information

As careful as you should be with your information, you need to be even more careful with information associated with your students! Check with your school or district to see what kind of policies they have about displaying pictures of students or work that they’ve completed in your school.

We don’t want to discourage you from showing us what goes on in your classroom — that is a fantastic addition to any portfolio! However, please exercise a great deal of caution whenever dealing with information related to your students.

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