In an educational context, a Digital Portfolio is a collection of all of the work from a pupil or group of pupils in a class; the work is in electronic format and can contain text, images, video, audio and links to content on other websites. Digital Portfolios can be used to bring together information about student learning into a central location. They can also form part of an assessment strategy at primary and post-primary level. From a student perspective a digital portfolio allows him or her to collect the work they are most proud of and to share this work with a wider audience. The use of digital portfolios was explored in a European funded EUfolio project from 2013-2015 and the concept of digital portfolios forms part of the new Digital Strategy for Schools initiative. On the 10th of August the Department of Education and Skills showcased this document in an information article on their website.
There are numerous online tools available to create digital portfolios and these are some of my favourites:
Pathbrite: Portfoliogen Digication Gsuite – Sites
Recently I came across a new digital portfolio creation tool with a simple, uncluttered interface that I found extremely easy to use. Bulb has a clean and simple format and it allows pupils to pull images, videos and text together into individual articles or collections of articles. The sign up and confirmation of email is standard stuff however a valid email address is required and that could be an issue in some schools where pupils do not have email addresses.
Once your account is validated you can either create a “Collection” (the portfolio) or you can create an article that can be subsequently added to a collection.
Clicking on the “Create page” button brings up the text entry window; it’s simply a case of typing in the article title and then working on the content.
Formatting is also straight forward; when content is selected the format options become visible.
There are five visible tools to the right of the page; publish, preview, share and Q&A.
The Question & Answer tools simply allow the pupil to turn on or off a comments / question feature. I think this tool would be really useful in a “peer review” setting.
Once the article is finished it can be published to the site, added to a collection or shared to various social media platforms.
The one concern I always have when I look at or use use an online tool that creates digital content is what might happen to the content over the course of time. I always look for a feature that allows the content to be exported somewhere else rather than just being able to share a link to the content. Whenever possible I try to export to my own PC or laptop as well as to several of the more popular cloud storage locations. The possibility of a collection of student work simply disappearing because a company goes out of business or alters their terms of business from free to a paid subscription should be high on the list of priorities when generating online classroom content.