Tools for Creating Digital Student Portfolios
When evaluating student work, one of the difficulties that teachers encounter is when students have created a product as part of a group project. Ideally, they’ve had the opportunity to share their work with one another because doing so has a number of advantages: Observing how their peers interpreted the project content or questions differently allows them to reflect on their own learning and learning process, which can aid them in improving future projects and processes.
It is also beneficial to share students’ work with a wider audience, such as their families or outside experts, as this can enhance their learning.
In order to increase the impact of students’ ideas, we need to get their work into the hands of as many people as possible. Create digital portfolios with students, which can help them track their personal growth and share their work with classmates, the community, and the rest of the world is one of the most effective ways to achieve this goal.
CONSIDERING STUDENT PRIVACY
Before collaborating with our students to create digital portfolios, we should think about student privacy and be aware of our district and school policies regarding the sharing of student work with third parties.
When students and their families consent to the sharing of their work, it has the potential to be extremely effective. This includes posting student work to third-party platforms—platforms that students must log into outside of the school’s internal systems—which has the potential to be extremely effective. Prior to making use of such platforms, make sure you have read the Student Privacy Pledge. The pledge’s signatories, which include all of the tools listed below, have taken the time to consider student privacy and data when developing their products and services.
To see if the app or website you want to use has been approved by your school and district, you can also check with your local school district.
DIGITAL PORTFOLIO TOOLS
Portfolios can be used for a variety of purposes, each of which dictates what goes into them and how they’re distributed. Students typically create fine-tuned products for their portfolios that are intended for the public. These are portfolios that students can use to display their work in order to be considered for awards, internships, jobs, and college applications, among other things. Students’ work shared on this platform may help them connect with experts and contribute their voice to larger conversations about issues that are important to them, while also validating their agency as members of a global society. Additionally, these portfolios may serve as a venue for them to share their accomplishments with their families, friends, classmates, and school or district. These portfolios, regardless of how they are used, can aid in the development of student confidence and excitement about their learning.
Portfolios, on the other hand, are sometimes shared with a smaller group of people, such as just the teacher and the student’s family. It is possible to include rough copies of student work in these portfolios in order to demonstrate growth. Students who are able to build a portfolio that spans several years will be able to see their progress over a longer period of time. This type of portfolio provides a great window into what students are learning, demonstrating what they understand and where they are having difficulty, allowing the teacher to plan lessons more effectively. Families can track their child’s progress in real time, allowing them to celebrate successes while also providing support at home for struggling areas. Student portfolios also assist them in reflecting on their own progress and making connections to their own learning process. There may be pieces that are moved from this internal portfolio to a public-facing portfolio in order to be shared with a broader audience.
When you’re ready to give students the opportunity to reflect on and share their work with an authentic audience, there are a variety of tools you can use to facilitate this process for them.
If you’d like to share your work within the classroom, students can create a digital portfolio using Google Slides to showcase their progress on a project, posting their work as well as their reflections on the work. You can either instruct them to begin from scratch or create a template for them to follow. You can ask students to share this portfolio with you alone, or you can embed it in a blog post or post it to a Google Drive folder that is shared with the entire group.
Instead of using Microsoft Word to create the portfolios, you could use Google Classroom: An individual student can upload documents to their portfolio, which can then be viewed by both you and the student throughout the course of the school year.
Students can post their Google Slides to a public-facing class blog or use a tool like Flipgrid to create video journal entries about their learning to share with the rest of the world. These videos can serve as a summative assessment, or they can serve as checkpoints as students progress through the course. Flipgrid is completely free, and the company even provides a sample consent letter for you to send home with your children. Videos can be shared with the entire world, with just one class, or with just the teacher.
The Book Creator programme, which is another useful tool, allows students to create digital portfolios that can include text as well as images, audio recordings, and video clips. The books are kept in a class library, and students are encouraged to look through each other’s books. Students can reflect on their growth in critical skills by reviewing their books, and their books as well as the class library can be made available to the public. If you want to create more than 40 books with BookCreator, you’ll have to pay for access, but you can use it for free otherwise.
Teacher-created activities that students can work on and then submit to a class portfolio are made possible through the Seesaw tool. Activities can be created by the teacher or imported from a Seesaw activity library curated by the educational technology company Students might be asked to explain their reasoning while solving a math problem, while reading and reflecting on an article, or while reflecting on their progress on a recent project as part of an activity. Seesaw enables teachers to grant family access to student portfolios, allowing parents to gain insight into what their children are learning.
BENEFITS OF DIGITAL PORTFOLIOS
There are numerous applications for digital portfolios, which serve as archival repositories of evidence of learning and growth. They are beneficial to the teacher in terms of planning instruction and assessing student understanding, as well as in terms of communicating student progress to families and igniting conversations at home.
They can also aid in the development of a learning culture in the classroom, in which students look to one another for information and understanding. Students can use them to reflect on their own personal growth over the course of the year, which is a valuable tool for them.