A digital portfolio is a collection of student-created artifacts gathered over a period of time, and is a fantastic way to build student ownership over their own learning, strengthen the relationship between home and school, and demonstrate student growth and progress when communicating student learning.
Benefits of Digital Portfolios
While there are many benefits that come with using a digital portfolio, Matt Renwick outlines what he believes to be his top 10 in his book Digital Portfolios in the Classroom:
They celebrate all students as learner
Digital portfolios allow students to communicate their learning in any way that meets their needs. They can write, post a video, make a screencast, record their voice, etc. If they can digitize it, they can post it
They improve home-school communicatioN
Developing digital portfolios with students and sharing it with their family can help better inform them of what is happening in the classroom. This, in turn, can lead to richer conversations about student learning.
They facilitate better feedback
Just as students can communicate their learning in many different forms with digital portfolios, teachers are able to provide specific, authentic feedback by writing a comment, recording a video, screen casting or recording their voice.
They highlight the process of learning
The opportunity for students to exhibit their best work is inherent to the idea of a digital portfolio. However, students can also use digital portfolios to illustrate the process of their own learning. This can have the effect of validating and assigning value to the work that students have done along the way, not just the end product.
They demonstrate progress over time
Using a digital portfolio can help students connect discrete lessons and units of study into a single continuum of learning. This can allow them to reflect on their own growth over an extended period of time and encourage further growth.
They guide students to become self-directed learners
When digital portfolios are used to put the student at the centre of their own learning through reflective questioning and goal setting, it will motivate them to achieve those goals and increase their likelihood of success
They maximize formative assessment
Formative conversations between student and teacher via a digital portfolio help to reveal each learner's true level of understanding. This not only gives students a better sense of their own understanding, but can combined with in-class observations by teachers to guide future lesson planning
They integrate speaking & listening
They advocate for every student
The flexibility built into digital portfolios ensure equity amongst all members of our learning communities by affording them the same opportunity to demonstrate their successes, regardless of their proficiency with more traditional forms of assessment
They allow teachers to work smarter
Setting up a classroom workflow that includes digital portfolios and encourages student reflection can simplify and inform the process of communicating student learning as much of the work is done along the way.
Tools for Creating Digital Portfolios
In SD22, we support a number of tools for creating digital portfolios (click on each tool to learn more):
FreshGrade Connect is the newest digital portfolio offering from FreshGrade. It is an easy to use portfolio that supports the uploading of a wide range of media and a full standards-based gradebook.
NEW for 2021/22! The Learning Directions Team will be facilitating a Community of Practice Pilot on Spaces, the new software from the makers of myBlueprint. Contact your Technology Innovation Coordinator to join!
myBlueprint Education Planner is a comprehensive education and career/life planning web tool with a fully featured digital portfolio built right in.
Google's Workspace for Education isn't specifically built for digital portfolios, but many people have found success creating their own system using tools like Google Slides or Google Sites.