14 Aug Beginner’s Guide to Creating e-Portfolios on Chromebooks Pt. 1
Google Chromebooks support user-friendly tools that help students design professional e-portfolios highlighting their academic and technical skills.
“Digital citizenship” tops the list of buzzwords administrators encounter when navigating Chromebook one-to-one programs, but educators often have the unclear task of putting this concept to work in the classroom. Instead of relying solely on assemblies or handbooks, use digital portfolios to show students how to manage content, adapt to diverse technologies, and interact responsibly on the Web. At the same time, design e-portfolio projects that provide opportunities for student self-reflection and create alternative methods of evaluating student success.
- Define the Project Criteria
Digital portfolios are most effective when they have a clear starting point and end goal for students to choose strong work samples and assess their ongoing progress . Decide whether the portfolios are a straightforward showcase of your students’ best work or a reflective assignment in which students demonstrate and evaluate the skills they developed throughout the project. While both options let students take ownership of their work, the latter method emphasizes the personal growth that comes from self-editing, building digital literacy and applying an analytical eye to project design.
Design criteria that triggers active responses, and avoid passive tasks that only require a quick, cut-and-paste solution. Amy George, an English teacher with Leadership Public Schools in California, wanted to foster research and content evaluation skills. As part of a literary analysis of “Catcher in the Rye,” George assigned e-portfolios to discuss the characters.
The students were challenged to craft in-depth character analyses by discriminating between reputable and questionable resources and extracting thoughtful literary criticism from a wealth of conflicting information. George reported that the e-portfolio approach produced greater engagement and comprehension than past assignment models.
- Keep Parents Informed
Parents of Chromebook students are often concerned about privacy and security issues with mobile technology, so be prepared to address any objections they may have about students publishing personal information online. Before starting e-portfolio assignments, make a plan to explain the importance of teaching technological skills and instilling smart values that help students maintain a conscientious Web presence.
Beyond basic word processing and presentation skills, modern professionals are expected to perform tasks ranging from video conferencing to blogging. Digital know-how isn’t a priority in a typical school curriculum, but Chromebook students are equipped to develop competitive skills and keep up with evolving digital technologies.
Provide parents with as much information as possible, including an outline of the types of programs, tech skills and online activity the project requires. Offer transparency by giving parents online access to students’ e-portfolios throughout the project, and draft alternative tasks in the event that a parent objects to a specific project requirement.
- Choose Content Management and Presentation Apps
For budget-conscious Chromebook schools, Google Sites and Evernote are free resources that cover your content organization, collaboration and presentation needs.
Evernote: As a content management tool, Evernote is ideal for storing notes, images and other work-in-progress while you plan the final pieces and layout of a digital portfolio. The notes, notebooks and stacks system lets students organize collections into subdivisions, and the search feature makes it easy to track down misplaced files without hunting through individual sections. Sharing features allow you to check students’ progress and provide feedback, and tools such as Web Clipper and voice memo provide multiple options for capturing information.
Google Sites: As a Web design platform, Google Sites is useful for hosting the finished e-portfolio. Use the program to create portfolio content, such as slideshows and videos, or use group features, such as forums and announcements, to supervise the entire project.
Save yourself the frustration of sorting through poorly organized files and scattered information by designing a project pipeline and making adherence a portion of the portfolio grade. Labeling and categorizing files correctly makes them easier to find, so create standardized file and folder naming specifications all students must follow. In part 2 of the e-Portfolio Chromebook guide, learn more about planning the content requirements.
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