Final Project–Visual CVs: Helpful or Hurtful?

IDEA

For my final project I knew I wanted to do a Visual CV, I saw others from previous COETAILers and was inspired. I wanted to create an infographic and then make it into a Thinglink. The Thinglink plan changed because of various reasons (mainly because my type A personality didn’t like how the icons took up so much space and took away from the “flow” of the CV.)

PROCESS

I got to work on this project pretty early on in the course and following Rob’s idea I posted my first draft (below)  asking for feedback.  I also contacted administrators and recruiters within my PLN to ask for their opinion.  The feedback I got from Twitter was great, but was more focused on the aesthetics.

 

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However, the feedback from my current director, former directors, and a head hunter was not as stellar.  All of them didn’t like the idea of a visual CV–it was creative but when they are looking for candidates they want to easily be able to know all about them AND compare them to others quickly. My ego was a little hurt, I worked so hard on it, how could they not prefer it? After the initial letdown, I am glad I asked for their feedback. These are my next potential bosses and/or connections and I truly value what they say. Below is some of their feedback.

  • “The plus-side is that this is definitely eye-catching and stands out.  However, in my experience, when I am reading a batch of candidate resumes, I am seeking to be able to compare information quickly and if I get distracted by someone’s creativity the effect is not entirely positive.”
  • “Most administrators don’t have a lot of time to look at extra “stuff” from their candidates. So although I think it’s a great idea you upload your CV to Thinglink, you may need to have more information about you and your training and that sort of thing on your resume “just in case” the administrator can’t get to your interactive resume.”
  • “It draws my attention, but leaves me wondering about certain things. Knowing you as a professional, I don’t think it fully shows all you do and can do.”

REFLECTION

After letting their feedback marinate in my mind and heart for a little while I reflected on it. I know the main purpose of a CV is to get a job, but I want the future school I work at to want me for me. I consider myself creative and that comes through in a visual resume.  Some school heads might be completely turned off by my visual resume, but then comes the question of do I want to work at a school that isn’t interested in pushing the boundaries? They might not like the picture of my family, but my family is part of my core and I want my future employer to know that. I think this resume, while in words and specifics doesn’t tell more about me, in design and thinking it does.  I am proud of it and what it represents, and sure it could be risky to use it, but I’d rather put my true self out there than be another perfectly formatted resume in a pile of hundred of others just the same. Also, I think I could always have a traditional format of my resume on my website, this way they can get a more specific view of me as a candidate.

The second part of my reflection is on the overall process.  Man, designing is hard!  I spent hours deliberating over moving a line two centimeters, changing colors, aligning everything just right. My original plan changed hundreds of times and I still am not completely satisfied with this resume. I used Pages to create it and the Noun Project for all my icons. I matched my colors scheme with a palette from Adobe Color Thankfully, both of those programs/resources are easy to work with. I ended up going with a monochromatic, but in a green color palette. I also switched the boxes of who I am into a horizontal orientation and changed the words so they became nouns. I added two quotations that speak to me and my philosophy on education and leadership. I added some more information about myself at the top too.  I’m sure I will continue on working on this until my husband and I decide to go leave our current post.

Megan Kuemmerlin Visual Resume

Communicate Your Content

COETAIL has stretched me so much in terms of thinking on how to apply my learning into my current role of assistant principal, it has also made me miss being in the classroom something fierce. For this week’s assignment I found tons of interesting infographics full of data about the teaching profession, but I wanted to be more pointed in what I use with my teachers.

Application #1// Standards Based Grading

One of my main jobs this year is priming the pumps of our community (teachers, parents, and students) to move to standards based grading and reporting next year. This process has been purposefully slow and erring on the side of providing too much information. It is a huge shift for our school and because of Brazilian educational laws we are being creative on how to make it work within the confines of the mandated system. So after reading this week’s assignment I immediately thought an infographic either describing standards based grading or visualizing the data supporting it would be powerful and clear.  

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Infographic credit: @CVULearns

 

The first infographic from @CVULearns can be used to explain the why of standards based grading to parents and students. I like how it created a story of a bunny moving from curious to skeptical to concerned, and finally to satisfied. I think this is a start for my school, I would remix it pulling different aspects from it, but using our school common language, for example exceeds, meets, approaches, and beginning as opposed to advanced, proficient, below proficient, and basic.

StandardsGradingInfographic1
Infographic credited by sstephens

 

The second infographic could be used to explain why standards based grading is best for kids. It was created by another COETAILer using Piktochart. Again, I would have to tweak this to fit the needs of my school, but it is a great starting off point.

Application #2// Reading and Writing Workshop

Another idea I had was to use infographics in the creation of our rubrics for Reading Workshop. Since we are in this weird limbo period of not being standards based yet, but going there next year teachers are creating rubrics that build a bridge between where we are and where we want to be.  I created a dull conversion chart for standard based grading language and percentages to be put in PowerSchool. I took that information and added some more reasoning (from a great pamphlet) and made an infographic that would better explain it to parents.  

Created on Piktochart
Created on Piktochart

 

At the same time I want to play around with creating a template for student progression as an infographic and then teachers can fill in their grade level criteria. Hunting and gathering for progress indicators I didn’t come up with much, but I did find pieces of things that I think I could weave together to create something for my school.  I like the student language in this self-assessment and then thought of using a gas tank or other data visual to match the language.

Application #3// Syllabus

Lastly, and not applying to me in my current role, I love the idea of doing the class syllabus as an infographic. What a quick and easy way for students (and parents) to know the expectations, design, and goals of the class at the beginning of the year. I will definitely keep this in mind if I go back into the classroom.  Here are some more examples: Madame Farabaugh (French teacher), Laura (Spanish teacher), and an English class.

 

infographic syllabus
Syllabus created by Cynthia Early

Over the course of this year I have made several different pieces of literature to communicate new programs and initiatives to parents. We have a very high EAL parent population and I think these pieces have helped communicate to them what we are working with their children on.  I wouldn’t consider these infographics, but they have visuals and different spacing that I think is easier to read and less threatening.

EAC Library Final

Literacy at EAC (2)

Jackpot Finds

This week I was checking out other COETAILers blogposts and came across Amanda’s post on infographics in the classroom.  I fell in love with the way the information was communicated to students in a simple way and wanted to try to create one.

I am not working in the classroom this year (I miss it so much!) and I am a visual learner I thought I would try to make an infographic on Piktochart for a parent informational letter about our literacy program.My current school has a heavy population of parents that don’t speak English, so this is a perfect chance to be concise and visually appealing. The letter started out as a three page document that our literacy coach created, I played around and created this:

Literacy at EAC (2)

It is really easy, they have lots of templates to choose from.  You can have more access to different templates if you pay, but I was happy with the free choices.  Also, when you do the free version you have to download it as a jpeg, but I easily converted it into a PDF.

The next jackpot find was Google Keep, a collaborative to do list and note taking app.  I found this through Free Tech 4 Teachers while searching for ideas for my final project.  Ana Maria’s blog has some great ideas for using tech with English language learners, especially older students. Her post about using Google Keep with students was simple and a great substitution for many different tasks.  I myself have started using it with my husband.

I am still wrestling with my final project idea, but I thought I would share these great finds.