Document Student Growth with Portfolios

“How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.” – Yvon Chouinard

Digital portfolios are one of the most powerful ways my students take ownership of their learning and reflect on their learning journeys. Digital portfolios help students set, track, and achieve their academic learning goals. Check out several of my students’ reflective portfolios here. Students attach screenshots and links to their work along with a personal reflection of how they will apply the learning. This is followed by an overall reflection. This year I want to improve the portfolios by including three important parts. Part one entails setting academic goals and reflecting on strengths and weaknesses.  The second part is to get students to benchmark and reflect at more regular intervals through student led conferences. The third part includes the final reflection. The time to implement digital portfolios is at the start of the course. To help you get started find a slide presentation, tips, web tools and resources below. Also, check out my recent webinar recording of the process here.

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  • Suggested tools for K to 12 educators, include Mahara, Showbie, Seesaw, Livebinders, Educlipper, PadletEdublogs, Kudos Wall, and Google Sites. You might also try PinterestWeebly, Bulb, and Pathbrite.
  • Start with goals! Find student goal templates for any age group here.
  • Get learners to track and reflect on their progress at regular intervals, such as each progress report time, with student led conferences (SLC).
    • Check out this great SLC guide by  NYC schools with handouts.
    • Students can use an Assessing my Assessment sheet to reflect on their growth and identify areas for improvement.
    • As a team- the student, parent, and you- come up with strategies for further growth.
  • The third part is the final reflection.
    • My student final reflections are sometimes separate from the actual portfolios. For one course my students used Pinterest for their portfolios and Prezi, Voicethread, and Capzles for their final reflections.
    • Last year I experimented with Padlet for a final reflection. Check out my template to copy and adapt.

Check out more of my back to school posts here!

Challenge: Get your students started with digital portfolios.

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

1 comment

  1. Onenote Classroom is integrated into Canvas, the LMS my school uses. Has anyone successfully and effectively used Onenote as a digital portfolio platform?

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