19 Aug Beginner’s Guide to Creating e-Portfolios on Chromebooks Pt. 2
Google Chromebooks provide the ideal computing environment to design collaborative digital portfolios and enable students to produce their own creative media.
To teach digital natives, you have to expand your technology spectrum, but it’s equally important to remind students innovation isn’t synonymous with computers. While you should treat student Chromebooks as tools to inspire creativity, don’t forget to align your projects with Common Core standards and emphasize timeless skill sets that are never outdated.
- Make e-Portfolios Transferable
An evolving e-portfolio helps each student develop a digital footprint, which means you must use content management tools that make it easy for students to continue adding work. Keep in mind that platforms such as Google Sites may have minimum age requirements for individual accounts. When working with students under age 13, choose management systems that let you transfer account ownership or export content to other platforms without hassle. Another option is to set up linked accounts through parents, but no matter what method you prefer, make sure students can access their work after they leave your class.
- Foster Collaborative, Multidisciplinary Learning
An e-portfolio that documents growth should include four components: goal-setting, progress, assessment and evidence. In simple terms, the student explains 1) the purpose of an assignment, 2) their approach to completing the task, 3) how their work fulfilled the criteria and 4) the evidence to back up the assessment. Provide a structure for students to follow, but give them the flexibility to achieve these results through individualized means.
In a well-planned project, students tap into their creative, academic and technological skills to integrate all four components. Incorporate written reflection, but also aim for a balance of “show” versus “tell”. During the course of a class portfolio project, teacher and Scholastic blogger Lindsey Petlak led a multi-week math segment in which students used fraction strips, cooking formulas, Legos and other hands-on activities to understand fractions.
Their methods of calculation evolved as they tackled more complex math problems, and students used the Educreations apps to record themselves solving interactive fraction problems. Petlak provided the goal and students documented evidence that they tried multiple approaches to problem-solving. Watching the recordings as a group helped students identify and fix areas where they repeatedly made mistakes, demonstrating progress and assessment skills. At the same time, they called on multiple skill sets by completing math operations, performing creative demonstrations and producing technical media.
- Establish Criteria, Not Limitations
At their core, e-portfolios are personal, so include some assignments that leave room for students to interpret the criteria from their distinct perspectives. In a segment on simple machines, one student might “invent” a tool that uses multiple simple machines, while another may discuss the qualities of a simple machine by documenting its archaeological discovery. Of course, you still have to administer a standardized grading system to diverse projects, so use apps such as Google Forms to have students answer reflective or evaluative questions you can apply to your rubric.
- Spell Out the Non-Negotiable Details
Web-based portfolios take Chromebook schools into new territory, and in order to avoid digital and ethical landmines, make time to clearly define what types of behavior are prohibited. Make sure students understand how to cite all Web sources correctly, and show them how to be respectful to other content producers.
Students are lectured about plagiarism every year, but they may not realize that using photos, audios and videos from the Web without proper attribution is another form of intellectual property theft. While your district or school already has acceptable use policies, draft updated guidelines specifically for online portfolio projects, and devote some class time to discuss the most pertinent rules.
Dell Chromebook 11 | Acer C720 / C740 | Asus C200 | Lenovo Chromebook | HP Chromebook | MacBook Air | MacBook Pro