Students at SLA put in tons of effort on their projects — often because they want the best grade possible. Sometimes they want the task over and done with. However, often times the final product goes on the public SLA blog, called SLATE. Whether the student likes it or not, it’s for everyone to see.
A lot of the projects SLA students do are put onto their personal SLATE blog and any published project can be seen by the world! A student’s online portfolio goes hand in hand in how they virtually perceive themselves. An important thing for students, and everyone, is to google themselves and see what comes up.
So, I googled myself. Search for “DeShawn McLeod” and you get Wiki Pages of past projects I’ve done (Poetry, Freshman Portfolio, Religion Project), my personal SLA SLATE blog and my Cross country and Track & Field times. I have a lot of information and resources to back up my own character and achievements. And, best of all, there are writing samples of mine for anyone to see, from ninth grade and on.
Art that I’ve added to writings are also shown in the “Images” tab of Google when I search my name. It’s inevitable to not look at what I’ve done. Even the articles I’ve contributed to SLAMedia are widely accessible.
I’m proud of what I’ve done. And, when I’m applying to colleges or jobs, I’m comfortable that employers or academic admissions officers can look at my work online.
Since a lot of an SLA student’s work is put online, it gives them the opportunity to deftly show off their skills, while other schools, who don’t have the one-to-one laptop infrastructure, don’t have the chance to avidly express their school work.
It’s a wonderful thing, as long as students use it wisely. At SLA, we learn quickly to censor bad behavior on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. But, students don’t realize that colleges can also see your professional work via SLATE. Terrible projects could be as harmful to your chances at acceptance as photos of you partying.
Now, we can’t help that we share a full name with someone, and their information comes up. You may have a deceased soldier associated with your name or a myriad of convicts related to either your first or last name, but it’s important to be able to stand out above all that.
I value the opportunities I’ve had at this school. I have Center City Philadelphia as my playground and I choose which part of the jungle gym I want to explore. And, best of all, all of the swing sets and monkey bars I play on can be seen by the world. In this highly connected world, SLA makes it easier for students to have a unique impact on their virtual persona and life. It’s just up to the student to take advantage of that.