Digital Portfolios: An Essential Tool in Every Classroom

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Digital Portfolios: An Essential Tool in Every Classroom

If teachers were to rate strategies and tools as essential to students’ learning process, digital portfolios would likely rank very highly. Here are some of the reasons why:

Explore Potential of All Students:

Digital portfolios are an archive of student performance and achievement. It helps to unlock the potential of all students. Portfolios are unique expressions of students’ personalities and creativity.

Increase Transparency:

Digital portfolios can be uploaded to the Cloud and parents can be given access to their children’s portfolios. This increases transparency and reduces the need for additional parent-teacher conferences, as parents can easily track their child’s academic performance and growth anytime, anywhere.

Provide More Feedback:

Digital portfolios can reach a larger audience. By linking portfolios to specific teaching and learning communities, the opportunities for getting more quality feedback can be increased. Students can use feedback and constructive criticism to refine and improve their subsequent work.

Promote Understanding of the Learning Process:

Students can use digital portfolios to track their learning process too, by documenting their learning along with the end products. The archives get built over time, enabling students to reflect and realize their potential and growth as learners.

Promote Self-Directed Learning:

Students are responsible for their digital portfolios. Teachers can provide students with general instructions and a framework within which to work, but the actual design and compilation of works to be included in the portfolios can be the students’ responsibility. Thus by giving autonomy to develop their portfolios, teachers can encourage students to be self-directed learners.

Individualized Evaluation Tools:

Unlike standardized tests, digital portfolios evaluate students’ learning by focusing on their abilities and skills. For instance, students can express their understanding of a topic in written (article), pictorial (concept map) or oral (speech) format based on their learning styles and strengths. Teachers can prepare specific rubrics and assess students based on those standards, instead of using a “one fit for all” type of assessment.

Digital portfolios can act as a window into students’ academic development. Use of digital portfolios strengthens and encourages student responsibility and ownership of learning, and provides a creative outlet for students. The digital format increases accessibility and parent-teacher communication. For these reasons, the digital portfolio is a valuable tool for the classroom.


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