Perfect Portfolios: Easy Templates for Student Writing
In terms of best practices, portfolios are pretty close to the top of the list. The rise of 1:1 and cloud-based storage means that asking students to evaluate, revise and curate their own work is getting easier every minute. And, colleges and employers are increasingly considering students’ portfolios in lieu of traditional applications. At the same time, digital portfolios act to create a positive digital footprint for our students.
So, as an English teacher, I’ve been looking to add digital portfolios to my repertoire for a few years, but have been unable to find the perfect template. Certainly, (and Dr. Helen Barett’s website is the holy grail, but lacks a contemporary template. And, as always, Catlin Tucker shared an enlightening post on portfolios with gorgeous student work examples of end-of-the-year portfolios. While inspirational, I feel reluctant to assign portfolios to students as an additional assignment: instead, I’d like them to be process-oriented, and integrated into our regular class structure, to better capture student learning and growth as it occurs. With a mind towards beginning these portfolios in the freshman year, and allowing students to contribute to them over their high school careers, I hoped for something that would easily be up and running in a 9th grade classroom, while allowing students to create that portfolio habit as they transition beyond.
With those qualifiers in mind, I created an easy-to-use Digital Portfolio Template in Google Sites. While other sites may be glitzier, Google Sites is one of the few that is consistently editable on an iPad, the device my students use. And, unlike other “freemium” sites, it allows the user to embed nearly anything. Instructions for the assignment, and the rubric, are also available to students in the template. I’m excited to see how it works starting in just a few weeks.
Please feel free to make use of this template – and please let me know how it works for you! If you’re curious about book talks – that post will follow shortly.