Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Digital Portfolios for students

The job of formally assessing students seems to be taking over our classrooms, and while it is required, it may not be meaningful to our students.  Our students do not make connections to the data that we continuously gather.  In order to instill the desire for life-long learning, we need to help our students to be reflective and assess themselves.  Students need to be able to share their work, and their mastery with pride, and standardized tests are not the way.

One way for students to document their growth as a learner is to use a digital portfolio.  Digital portfolios can be on numerous platforms for middle and high school students; a blog, website, Evernote, or Social Media platforms.  Students can upload snapshots of work, video recordings of their reflections, links to digital projects, or Google Apps projects.  This ongoing collection of work can visually display the student's progress, and provide a real connection the material.

For Elementary students, Seesaw, is a free iOS app for both iPhone/iPad. This app allows a teacher to create a classroom; students join by scanning a QR code or entering a short temporary class code.   Once the students are in they can choose to add a photo, video, drawing, or image from the camera roll. After the media is uploaded, students tag themselves and share.  Multiple students can be tagged for group project submissions. The submissions can be seen in a scrolling feed by submission date.  The app is easy to use for all ages, and would be a great starting place for young students using portfolios.  Parents also have an option to get an account to see their student's work.

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