Digital Portfolios: Utilize Your Virtual Learning Environment to Let Your Students Shine!
In the past, students had paper folders follow them from grade to grade, with samples of their writing. With today’s technology, we can allow students to compile a digital portfolio full of all sorts of skills that THEY want to highlight. The flexibility and ease of digital portfolios allow for more student agency in the process, and more options for the variety of media that can be highlighted.
A digital portfolio is an online collection of student work that showcases their abilities in several subject areas and skills. The ability to curate written work, audio, video, and even take pictures of physical objects means that all learning artifacts can be compiled in one place. Digital portfolios are an excellent way for students to build confidence and show growth over time. The large amount of storage available and the digital nature provide students the opportunity to save all artifacts that they find important, and that portfolio can travel with them throughout their years in school.
Teachers have many tools at their disposal to help their students start curating a digital portfolio. Below are our Top Four Digital Portfolio Tools.
Seesaw is a platform designed for K12 students to create their own digital portfolios. In Seesaw, teachers have the ability to create questions and/or prompts, and students can add their responses to their digital portfolio. Students have the ability to share many different attachment types such as videos, Word documents, and audio files! Allowing teachers to invite parents to the platform has made parent communication a breeze. After signing up, parents get notified any time their child has added something to their portfolio! Our FAVORITE feature of Seesaw is all of the quality activities that have already been created by teachers. Explore the FREE activity library and start your own class in Seesaw today!
Flipgrid is a super popular video sharing platform designed to increase student voice and choice in the K12 classroom. Teachers can create text or video prompts, and students create a recording on the website to answer the prompt. Flipgrid also allows for many kinds of attachments along with the video, making it a great digital portfolio tool! After uploading an attachment, students can create a short explainer video detailing why they felt it was a good addition to their portfolio! Flipgrid also features “MixTapes” – a place to showcase certain videos from other prompts. Teachers can create highlight reels here for specific classes, goals, or students. Try Flipgrid to increase student voice and choice in your own room!
Google Sites, part of G Suite, is a free and easy website creation and hosting service that anyone can use. Students of all ages are able to create their own websites to highlight their work using images, text, video, and audio to their websites. They can even embed work directly from Google Drive to make showcasing their work even easier! Students can create navigation and multi-page websites to highlight their work by subject, skills, or develop their own organizational framework. Make the site public or private to regulate visibility through a direct link. Use Google Sites to give your students a digital portfolio experience that not only allows them to curate, but also begin to hone website development skills.
Kidblog is a safe blogging site that is especially great for elementary students. Students can join a class and create their own blog, even giving them the ability to read and comment on their classmates’ blogs. Kidblog is an excellent tool for curating writing-specific digital portfolios. Even though Kidblog is writing focused, students can still add multimedia to their blogs. This means students can add other work to their blog, and then the blog post can focus on their process and their reasoning for including the work. Try Kidblog if you’re looking for a digital writing portfolio!
Digital portfolios open up so many opportunities for students to showcase their work, demonstrate growth, build confidence, and learn to curate and highlight their expertise. These skills will all pay dividends when students are applying for colleges, scholarships, and eventually the workforce. Arm your students with the power of digital portfolios and watch them grow!