In the world of online web tools, there are so many great resources available to teachers and students. The question always comes up … which one is the right one for my classroom … or … which one is the right one to purchase for my school building? In this post, we will take a look at 5 FREE Applications that you can use to help your students curate their work in easy to set up and use digital portfolios. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below in the comments section or Tweet to us @PodcastingToday.
As the educational landscape slowly turns to a completely digital and paperless classroom, we are often asking ourselves about the best methods and technologies that are available to collect and curate both teacher and student created content.
The Portfolio has certainly evolved since I was a new teacher. I was required to put together 3 major reflections on my year's accomplishments when I first arrived at my current position. I have vivid memories of purchasing two 4 inch 3-ring binders and filling them with evidence of my professional growth. This was a very difficult task for a music teacher who even at that time was a digital native. How do you demonstrate your professional worth when everything you do is created at the moment a bow crosses a string and instantaneously disappears a brief moment later.
Luckily teachers and students today do not have to worry about killing dozens of trees or spending hours carefully slipping printouts of websites into 3-ring plastic sheet protectors. (ah.. the memories) Today, teachers and students have several options at their disposal to create online digital portfolios. I have been a big fan of each of these methods and can honestly say that there is no one “best method” for creating a digital portfolio. It is all personal preference. Depending on your needs, and more important based on the way you think about organization, each of these methods is very valid methods of collecting, curating, and more importantly creating digital content.
In this look at digital portfolios, we will examine how each of these portfolio methods looks and feel and more importantly why you should and should not choose them in both the school and personal settings.
Quite often, I am asked the question “What is the best student blogging platform?” Other times I am asked the question “What is the best platform for students to create digital portfolios? For each of these questions, I start off by explaining that Kidblog is the single best digital resource for students in grades 3-8.
Why is Kidblog Great for Digital Portfolios?
Kidblog is a FREE blogging platform. Teachers can create a single account and set up multiple classes, each with unique themes and widgets. Signing students up is as easy as providing a code where students can access the website and sign in themselves or you can create accounts for each student.
Upgrades are available to access premium features such as larger storage and GAfE integration.Do you love Kidblog? Of course, you do! Share your passions with your Twitter PLN today by tweeting this post out! #SharingIsCaringClick To Tweet
One of the most underrated and most used apps in all education is Evernote. I truly believe that it is the second best app that I carry with me on my iPhone. For Free, Evernote allows the curation and digital collection of all of your documents, PDF’s, audio, video, movies, and websites.
Why is Evernote Great for Digital Portfolios?
Evernote makes a great digital portfolio because very quickly, you can create a notebook, and organize all of your resources. Because Evernote is cloud-based and syncs with all of your devices, you can send a link to your note or notebook very easily through email or any of your social media channels.Do you love Evernote? Of course, you do! Share your passions with your Twitter PLN today by tweeting this post out! #SharingIsCaringClick To Tweet
For many educators, WordPress is their blogging platform of choice. For many educators, WordPress is the single most used web application in their digital toolbox.
When looking to turn WordPress into a fully functioning Digital Portfolio, it is suggested to be working on a self-hosted “WordPress.org” site.
Why is WordPress Great for Digital Portfolios?
Once you connect WordPress with a hosting account such as GoDaddy or BlueHost, the “.org” site because of a Content Management System. If you think of your website as a filing cabinet and not a blogging platform you can ultimately create any type of digital portfolio you can imagine using one of a few hundred thousand free and premium themes and plugins.
WordPress ResourcesDo you love WordPress? Of course, you do! Share your passions with your Twitter PLN today by tweeting this post out! #SharingIsCaringClick To Tweet
If your school is interested in a single portfolio solution that will work no matter what platform students use, you might take a look at Bulb Digital Portfolios.
Why is Bulb? Great for Digital Portfolios?
Bulb provides users with an easy to design professional looking platform. Students can sign on to the Blub platform from either their Microsoft or Google accounts or create an account on their own for free. It's simple to create a page in your portfolio to add content to and teachers can even create templates that can be shared with their students.
How are students using Google Sites as Digital Portfolios?
Students can use Bulb to demonstrate their knowledge of a single subject or to showcase an entire years worth of projects across multiple subjects. Bulb makes it easy for students to write about their projects and share links and files across any number of embeddable web platforms. Students can share and collaborate their pages with other students and a private link allows parents to see what is in their portfolios without needing to log in to the application.Do you love Bulb Digital Portfolios? Of course, you do! Share your passions with your Twitter PLN today by tweeting this post out! #SharingIsCaringClick To Tweet
If your school district is a Google Apps for Education School, your best bet for Digital Portfolios is a system of Google Sites. Google Sites are FREE resources that tap into the power and collaboration of the GAfE network.
Why are Google Sites Great for Digital Portfolios?
By creating a Google Site, students have the ability to create a unique online home for their assignments. Using the power of Google Gadgets and Google Add-ons, Sites pages can be created to integrate with and embed your Google Docs and Google Slides. Although the official storage capacity of a Google Site is 100mb, the addition of content stored in Google Drive allows you to create an unlimited amount of content on your site.
How are students using Google Sites as Digital Portfolios?
With more school districts creating Google Sites for students at an early age, students now have a collection of their homework and projects for the full length of their high school career. The addition of Google Classroom this year has created even more a need for a unified portfolio system. Using Google Sites, it is very easy to embed a Google Doc or even a Google Folder on a Sites page.
For a complete demonstration on Google Sites, please check out the video above.Do you love Google Sites? Of course, you do! Share your passions with your Twitter PLN today by tweeting this post out! #SharingIsCaringClick To Tweet
BONUS: Microsoft OneNote
If your school district is an Office365 featured school, you may want to adopt Microsoft OneNote for your Digital Portfolios.
Why is Microsoft OneNote Great for Digital Portfolios?
OneNote provides an online notebook that can easily be used to organize and showcase student work. Best when used with other Office365 applications like Microsoft SWAY, students can show off and showcase their work extremely easily.Do you love OneNote? Of course, you do! Share your passions with your Twitter PLN today by tweeting this post out! #SharingIsCaringClick To Tweet
Do you have a favorite method for creating Digital Portfolios that I didn't mention on this list? Leave a comment below and suggest other sources for TeacherCast to look at and review.
If you are looking to include digital portfolios this year, there are several great applications that you can use with your students.
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