Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Student-Created Digital Portfolios

Developing portfolios can be a terrific way to involve students in the assessment process.  When students have the opportunity to curate, critique, and reflect on their own work, they gain a greater awareness of the learning process.  Using digital tools rather than traditional notebooks and paper to develop portfolios provides even further advantages, including the ability to:
  • Collaborate with others on group projects
  • Maintain portfolios from grade to grade to demonstrate growth
  • More easily edit and refine artifacts
  • Easily share portfolios with parents
  • Access portfolios from anywhere
  • Easily incorporate a range of multimedia elements
  • Annotate and comment on artifacts using drawing, text, audio, and video
  • Encourage creativity and flexibility
  • Develop and demonstrate technology skills

SeeSaw is an especially kid-friendly, and currently free, iPad app this is perfectly designed for students of all ages, and can be used in classrooms with even just one iPad.  SeeSaw allows teachers to set up and control digital student journals, and provides a range of flexible tools inlcuding text, drawing, audio and video recording, and content uploading. Once teachers set up their SeeSaw classrooms, students have access to their portfolios without needing to login any login information. They simply use an iPad to scan the unique QR code printed by their teacher, choose therir name from the list of students, and create or upload content. SeeSaw is ideal for classrooms with shared iPads, as the app allows access by the teacher and every student in the class.   Other features include the ability to assign multiple students to an item for collaborative work, invite parents to view and/or comment on journals, and create and organize journals by topic or subject.  I can see this app working well for all students, from preschool to high school, but it’s especially valuable for students under the age of 13. Here's a video that provides a quick overview:

Google Sites can be used by students with Google Apps for Education accounts to create interactive digital portfolios.  Students can easily create and customize their site, add pages for each subject, and set page-level permission to share pages with teachers, or with other students for collaborative projects.  Students can type reflections and other text directly into sites, and upload a variety of Google Apps and multimedia elements, including Google Slides, Sheets, Docs, and audio clips, photos, and videos.  The Site can be maintained from one school year to the next, and when the student graduates, their educational Google account can be easily transferred to a personal Google account.  Dr. Helen Barret, a retired profession of education who has researched the impact of electronic portfolios on student learning, partnered with Google to create these steps for creating eportfolios with Google Sites.

siteMaestro is a Google add-on that allows teachers to easily use Google Sites for student portfolios by providing the ability to bulk-copy, share, and manage Google Sites with students. This is not for Google novices, but if you are familiar with Sheets, and interested in exploring using Sites for eportfolios, you might want to consider helping the developers test it out.  siteMaestro was developed by New Visions Cloud, creators of Doctopus, autoCrat, and other useful tools for Google educators.

EduClipper a free web-based tool that can be used to create eportfolios.  Once students create an EduClipper account, they can use it to store web bookmarks, computer files, anything stored in their Google Drive, and content from some online tools such as Prezi. This option provides a very visual, object-oriented interface with drag and drop features. Students can choose a unique design and determine privacy settings. Watch the video below to learn more.
Digital portfolios can be created by even very young students using some of the latest web-based and iPad tools Here are four sources for implementing digital portfolios in your classroom.

Getting Started with eduClipper Presentation Portfolios from AdamBellow on Vimeo.