Charlotte's Web ThingLink

Friday, September 23, 2016

We have a digital portfolio! What's next?

60+ DMS 7th Graders create Google Site Portfolios
In the first month of school, the USD EdTech ToSAs have helped over 60 classes get setup with digital portfolios. (This number doesn't include the teachers who got their classes setup with portfolios on their own!) In grades K-2 we are promoting the use of Seesaw and in grades 3-8 we are using the new Google Sites. The beauty of digital portfolios is that it gives students a place to display the work that they are most proud of throughout the school year. It also gives them an authentic audience and an opportunity to reinforce good digital citizenship skills.

3 Recommendations for Keeping Student Portfolios Updated

DMS student made globe digitized with Prisma.
  1. Let students choose which assignments to display on their portfolio. It is not necessary to have them include everything that's done in class. Students take more ownership over work when they are given choice. Dedicate a period of time once every other week (or so) to have students update their portfolios with their favorite creations. 
  2. Take non-digital assignments and digitize them by taking pictures. A series of photos can be used to document the creation process. Mobile apps like Prisma can take those photographs and turn them into interesting artwork. 
  3. Reflections are an essential part of the learning process. When students add photos or work to portfolios, don't forget to have them give a description of the assignment and what they learned. 

Suggested Creation Apps to Try

Open image for all working links
Whether your students are on iPads or Chromebooks, there are an endless amount of apps that you can try with your students. Here are some of my favorites to help get you started. These apps were chosen because they are free and easy for students to use. Even though some apps may be very familiar to you, try using them in new and different ways!

*Note about adding video onto a Google Site: Once a video is in your Google Drive, it can easily be inserted into a new Google Site. It is possible to save a WeVideo to Google Drive.

Tips for Using the New Google Sites

For those of you who are familiar with the old Google Sites, there may be some changes that you are not used to. Here are some helpful hints:
  1. You can no longer use the html embed code to embed outside projects into your Site. Instead, you can grab the link (not emebed code) from your project, click insert url, and Sites will attempt to grab an image, title, description, and link to the website. (See example on the left.)
  2. Since we are trying to keep student's last names off of projects, if a student adds an assignment that was originally created in Google Classroom, make sure students take their last names out of titles before posting and publishing on the Google Site.
  3. If students post anything from Google Drive, make sure that the share setting for that item is set so anyone with the link can view. You (the teacher) may occasionally want to preview students' Sites in an Incognito window to make sure it's viewable to others. 

If your students have not created a digital portfolio and you would like to get them started, here is a Seesaw and Google Sites step-by-step tutorial. If you need help having students create portfolios, or if you're ready to try a new creation project and need extra assistance, please email any of the ToSAs and we'll be happy to come into your classroom!