Digital portfolios are excellent teaching, learning, and evaluation tools. According to Arter and Spandel’s definition portfolio is a collection of student work with a common theme or purpose exhibiting their efforts or achievements in different areas.
The key word here is "purpose"; a portfolio maintained with a purpose helps students and teachers assess students well and is guided by several learning objectives and expected results. Without purposeful planning, a portfolio becomes a simple container for her/ his work.
From a student-centric perspective, this post suggests a few popular applications, tools, and resources to help students build their digital portfolios.
1. Artsonia Kids Art Museum
The digital art museum for kids, Artsonia, is available on the web, iOS, and Android devices. On Artsonia, teachers can create a school page and use it to share what their students have created via galleries. These galleries can include the project description, materials used and addressed national standards. Also, teachers can ask students to complete artist statements, including specific prompts they set up. Students can use the companion app to photograph, edit, upload their work, and add the title and artist statement. Parents can easily upload their kids' artwork through the app or website. They can crop, adjust, or edit the photo and blur areas of the image as per the requirement. This app also lets students earn awards, be added to the hall of fame, and become the week's artists. Another best thing is that parents can see their children's work before coming home. It also allows students, teachers, and families to view the creations and leave comments for the artists. This app has a lot more to offer.
Seesaw (formerly Seesaw: The Learning Journal) is a robust digital portfolio and interactive learning platform where educators can create meaningful multimedia experiences for students. They can sign in manually or embed Google Classroom classes. Students who do not have an email account can also log on to the platform using a QR or text code. Whether teachers create their own activities or draw from the extensive library of teacher-created and rated content, assigned tasks engage students with various works in videos, photos, text, images, files, and drawings. Teachers can follow up by approving publications, offering feedback, and, if they wish, making articles available to families through the Seesaw Parent and Family application. Since teachers can consult all students' proposals at once, it is easy to check the entire class's comprehension. They can also allow peer-to-peer commentary or create a class blog to encourage a richer, more connected experience. For greater security, blogs can be password protected. That platform translates the message as well. For other beneficiaries, the purchase of the premium version is recommended.
FreshGrade Classic is a web-based application-based portfolio platform that makes it easy for teachers and students to capture, document, and communicate student learning. A grading program, portfolio site, and learning management system (LMS) allow practitioners to create assignments based on standards, monitor student progress, and provide feedback or notes. Teachers can also choose assessment tools, including effort, learning progress, mastery, anecdotal notes, and standard steps.
Teachers and students can use their mobile devices to take photographs, videos, audio recordings, and other notes during the activities. These data can be linked to individual students, groups, or the whole classroom. FreshGrade also allows students to review and comment on the data collected by the teacher, and they can gather the information into a digital portfolio to document learning.
With Spiral's range of free educational applications, educators can transform their classrooms into interactive learning spaces. Teachers can use these applications to deliver quick formative evaluations, help compile student portfolios, facilitate group projects, and turn any video into a live chat with discussion questions. A student should have a device (smartphone, tablet, computer), and Spiral can support everything else. Teachers can upload pre-defined content or ask questions on the fly – Spiral can adapt to any style of instruction. Spiral also has a textbook section that teachers can use to document summative assessments, record student scores, and export them to share with parents. Spiral can be applied on any level or subject.
Another popular app, ClassDojo, is great at informing parents about their children's behaviour and academic progress. On class dojo, teachers can record students' behaviour and development; upload photos were taken throughout the school day to this platform. Moreover, students can also add assignments to their portfolios with just a single click. Also, you can send visually aesthetic reports to parents and staff members.
GoogleSites has been one of the best platforms we recommend for teachers over the last few years. Students can use it to create and host their own digital portfolios. The site is simple and easy to use, and they can set up their new website within minutes. Also, they can create as many pages as they want, upload their content, and share it with others. It has everything that students need to use Google Sites effectively.
Another good website, Weebly, can be used by students to create digital portfolios. Similar to Google Sites, it provides users with a simple drag-and-drop editor using which they can design websites as they want. No HTML or coding knowledge is required. You can simply select a template, customize it with your own content and publish it to the web.
Evernote is one of the most underrated and most-used apps in all of education. This free-to-use platform allows curating and digital collection of your documents, PDFs, audio, video, movies, and websites.
With Evernote, students can quickly create a notepad and organize all their assets; Evernote is cloud-based and syncs with all your devices. In addition, they can easily send a link to their note or notebook by email or social media.
A cloud-based learning management system, Kannu uses tools such as media libraries, direct messaging, and user portfolios to achieve digital learning. With the active learning and management tools, Kannu lets users have customized courses essential for a creation and reiteration system. The platform uses responsive media on desktop and mobile devices to enhance the user's experience. Kannu also includes analytics, which gives actionable insight into how users interact with the platform, and reports that help the user measure success.
10. Kornukopia Social
Another better platform, Kornukopia Social, provides social media services and tools that students, parents, teachers, and schools need to communicate and learn efficiently. Kornukopia Social uses school-verified authentication with end-to-end encryption to safeguard its users and schools' reputation using the software. The social platform has functionalities that allow students to share their portfolios, such as a calendar, a bulletin board, files, photos, etc.
Another E-Portfolio, Mahara, helps manage work and promote productivity. Using Mahara, students can store all documents, notes, study materials, etc., in one place, making it much easier to do work. With this learner-centered learning system, you can easily create, share, and engage with learners and collaborators. Managing notebooks, documents, and planners is no more hassle because it keeps it streamlined for you. It can be used for work, school, or personal use.
PebblePad is designed to serve as a portfolio (e-portfolio). This personal learning space is used in various learning contexts such as schools, colleges, universities, and professional organizations. It is helpful for students, teachers, and testers in personal development planning, continuing professional development, learning, teaching, and evaluation. PebblePad was created with everything planned for circling the student. It provides a framework to support users in recording learnings, achievements, and goals. It also has a reflecting structure emphasizing all its basic elements.
13. Project Foundry
This learning tool allows students to plan and monitor their learning progress and assists teachers in sorting student projects and proposals effectively. The centralized collection of projects will make it easy for students to access and assemble their digital wallets, a necessary tool in the changing technological landscape.
Sesame helps schools highlight student learning outcomes by making permanent documentation and evaluation readily available. Sesame is an evaluation platform intended to promote the growing success of each student. The tool demonstrates teacher responsibility and student growth with integrated standards and success tables. It also enables parents to access private portfolios that provide an overview of the student's experience.
WeVideo allows students to design, build, collaborate and share videos using an online platform. With plenty of student options, including a green screen, WeVideo puts them in the manager's chair. Both websites and applications are cloud-based and can be used on any device. Useful for scientific reports, conferences, final projects, and portfolios, WeVideo can be used successfully in many classrooms.
Do try them!