I am obsessed with the idea of students having a positive online presence – a public digital portfolio – something that can serve as a differentiator for them (over the kid who just has a paper resume) when they are looking to get into college or get a job. I love the idea of a portfolio for their work from Pre-K all the way to graduation and beyond. But I need advice from someone who has been there, done that. Here are things I’ve considered for our students.
Pros: Seesaw is lovely for the younger students. They can easily publish in a “safe space” to a known audience (their teachers, families, and fellow students), who can like and comment on their work. They can export their portfolio in .zip format at the end of the year. Parents absolutely love getting a glimpse of their child’s daily activities.
Cons: I feel like the older kids need a wider (public) audience. The zipped archive doesn’t feel very transferable year to year, though Seesaw does market its product as a K-12 digital portfolio. We may be using an inexpensive version that doesn’t carry over year to year.
Pros: Microsoft’s OneNote is one of my personal favorite tools. Honestly, it has changed my life. I can easily see this as an excellent storage spot for a digital portfolio that grows year to year. A student could have a different notebook for each grade level, with sections for art, writing, reflection, project sharing, etc. It’s not too difficult for a younger student to use, with a teacher’s guidance.
Cons: It’s not easily sharable. You can’t share an entire notebook, only pages. There is no public audience.
Pros: I love the idea of a blog as a digital portfolio. It’s what I’ve been using and it has allowed me to expand my ideas, thinking, and learning. A post by George Couros, 5 Reasons Your Portfolio Should Be a Blog, explains that a blog can be a place to showcase not only writing, but also art, podcasts, and videos. He says the “blog” part of it can be a “growth portfolio” while the rest can be organized in pages for a “showcase portfolio.”
Cons: This feels too advanced for elementary kids. From picking a URL for their blog (nobody wants to live with “cutekitties.com/blog” all the way into high school) to publishing to it, I’m not sure it’s the right tool for our younger students.
Maybe the answer is a blend. Seesaw for elementary grades. A blog, beginning somewhere between 5th and 9th grade, for the growth and showcase part. And OneNote for all grades as a storage/organizational spot for everything. Items in OneNote could be shared via Seesaw or the blog.
Comment with advice, please.