Digital portfolios reach their fullest potential when implemented faithfully, broadly and across every discipline. When districts implement a digital portfolio platform for all students and educators, the results are amazing. Students can make connections across the disciplines, and demonstrate growth over many years of learning. At the same time, they can build an arsenal of their best, most authentic work for college and career readiness.
Although the magic begins in the classroom, bringing student work to your team and district leaders is another way to help their creations shine! When a district makes school portfolios a priority, all community members can celebrate student work. Every student in the district will know that their work follows them on their journey from grade to grade and class to class — and beyond, for life.
Real Student Work in Real Time
District-wide initiatives to implement digital portfolios provide teachers, parents, and administrators a window into student learning. Digital portfolios don’t just spotlight student work in one part of the day or in one specific classroom, but the learning taking place in every classroom. Educators and families can view every subject and every level where a student documents their learning throughout the school year.
A digital portfolio allows teachers to identify student strengths and the areas where they may need more support. This information helps them refine and deliver curriculum. It also helps them decide on the interventions and resources that are “just right” for an individual child.
When all members of the school community embrace digital portfolios, students can make cross-disciplinary connections between all of their work. They can recognize the interconnectivity of what they are learning in every classroom and transfer knowledge and skills from one topic to another.
In addition, a digital portfolio build a strong school to home communication channel. Parents can see their child’s work and gain a greater understanding. A digital portfolio lets parents understand more intimately what their child is learning during the school day. It gives them context for a conversation with school leaders and can help them become a stronger partner in learning.
A fantastic tool for introducing portfolios to your classroom or district is bulb. It is a dynamic resource for students to build a body of work this school year. You may have seen the Instagram TV episode I published recently showing off examples of bulb to my followers. I’ve known the folks behind this tool for a long time, and I’m so excited to share it with you!
As you can see in this example of a fourth-grade portfolio of student work, it can help a child celebrate their learning throughout the year. They can keep track of their work, special projects and more. Students can also include links to their work from the year before. So if a district uses bulb in every school, at every grade level, the work will follow students throughout their school career.
In addition to making connections to work from the previous year, a digital portfolio can spotlight favorite activities like a reading challenge, science experiment or more. Since students can link to lots of different online tools, upload pictures, and add text, opportunities to celebrate their learning are endless on bulb.
Why District Leaders Should Consider Digital Portfolios
Although the benefits are clear for students, teachers, and families, a district-wide initiative for digital portfolios helps administrators, too. School and district leaders can use the information in a student portfolio to make decisions for the school year and beyond. They can evaluate how district goals are being met and refine the trajectory to provide support where needed.
Every district has set goals for the school year, but there are many themes that every organization should consider. Digital portfolios can help encourage student ownership of work and act as a self-evaluation tool. Teachers can even prompt student reflection through student-led conferences using digital portfolios.
Digital portfolios also help make student’s process and progress visible to everyone. This provides a forum for parents and teachers to offer feedback directly to children about their work in the classroom. With bulb, students can demonstrate evidence of their performance in all areas of instruction!
Using bulb with Microsoft Education
The folks at bulb have a new partnership with Microsoft. Now it’s easier than ever for Microsoft Education educators to create a digital portfolio. With bulb, you have a fantastic tool to help make the push for your district to adopt a digital portfolio program!
Download bulb free for 30 days from the Microsoft Store for Education and access your bulb using Microsoft Single Sign-On!
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Yours in Learning, Monica :)