Creating Digital Portfolios

All I really need to know… I learned in kindergarten. -Robert Fulghum

We started our digital portfolios today.  We knew by the end of last year that we really needed a systematic way of curating student work.  It was important that we be able to share it with parents but it was of utmost importance that it be simple enough for everyone…especially our kindergarten students.  I mean, let’s get real…if I have to touch every iPad to save student work, it just isn’t happening.

Showbie-238x300We went with Showbie.  Showbie allows you to set up your classroom and create assignments for students. When students submit their work, it is organized by assignment.  You can see which child has submitted work and which one hasn’t.  You can even add annotations, voice notes or written notes on the assignment and send it back.  It is very easy to use and individual student work can be emailed to share with parents.

Today, I added our first assignment.  It sends a brief alert to the individual iPad so students can see there is a new assignment.  This is great for older students. My students used Pic Collage and they were asked to choose a number between 2-9.  They added a text box and typed in their number.  Then they added the number of stickers that corresponded with their number.  After the stickers, they added another text box so they could type their names.  Lastly, they learned how to save their work to their photo roll on the iPad.

Library PhotoThey did very well with this activity.  The next step involved going into their Showbie app.  We did this together.  I used Reflector to demonstrate step-by-step on the Smart Board.  When the students opened Showbie, they simply clicked the “+” symbol, then chose their camera roll and then their Pic Collage work sample.  As easy as that, it was uploaded.  The entire activity from start to finish took 25 minutes.  I was then able to email the work samples to parents to share with the their first work sample in the digital portfolio.

The digital portfolios will certainly help us keep things organized and use a lot less paper.  Just as an aside, my school saved over $21,000 in paper, copies, and ink cartridges last school year.  By using digital portfolios, student work is preserved over longer periods of time.

I’m excited about the creation of these digital portfolios.  It will be a great way to organize, view and share student progress.  As we progress through the year, it will also be a great way for students to use their own voice and choice to showcase their work.  I will provide the stimulus.  They will choose the means in which they demonstrate their learning.

Today we will do exciting new things.  Let’s get to it!