ePortfolios – Which Online Platform – Part 2

In a previous post last April, I wrote about our requirements for the Platform that we might choose when undertaking a pilot on ePortfolios in the last term of the school year with our third classes. SeeSaw has been recommended by PDST – TIE (PDST – Technology in Education) in their own courses on teachercpd.ie, in In Touch articles and on ScoilNet as a very suitable platform. You may recall that we had a number of requirements as follows:

  • must be easy to use for pupils aged 8 years old entering into third class.ClassDojo Portfolio
  • must support tablet use for adding photos of exemplars of pupil work in all subjects – e.g. Visual Arts, examples of great work from copy book, workbook or worksheet and showcase to a wider audience in the classroom or at home.
  • pupils can reflect on an artefact and receive positive evaluative feedback from teacher/parent.
  • preferably will be free as it is hoped following our pilot that it will be rolled out throughout the school in 2019/2020 school year with pupils adding to their ePortfolio annually during their time in school.

SeeSaw fell down on the final requirement, as if we wished that ePortfolios would follow pupils from one class level to the next, an annual subscription had to be purchased for this feature at a cost of $5 per pupil per year, in our case approximately €1,300 annually.

Another contributor on this blog has written about using Class Dojo for ePortfolios, so in this posting we will look at how Class Dojo and SeeSaw match up and meet with our ePortfolio requirements.

Class Dojo Digital Portfolio

Benefits for Pupils

  • pupils can easily log in by scanning a class QR code, their own  individual  QR code if the device they are using supports this or log in with a simple text code their teacher gives them. Each text code is valid for one hour. A Class Dojo app is available for Apple  (IOS 10 and above) and Android (Android 4 and above) devices. I have found even if the tablet (iPad 2) doesn’t support the app the camera can still be used to take photos which can be uploaded to the site using the tablet’s browser and text code.
  • pupils can take and upload photos, create, record and upload videos, create and upload voice recordings, write journal entries, create their own drawings, upload Word and PowerPoint documents and add voice or text annotations to any of their artefacts
  • pupils can keep all their digital work in one place and will be more motivated due to having a wider audience for their work when they can showcase it to family members at home.

Benefits for Parents

  • parents can see their child’s posts and work by logging into their ClassDojo parent account
  • parents can “like” a post or leave a comment. The child and his/her teacher can see the parent feedback
  • parents can log in on the web or from an IOS or Android app
  • parents can easily message their child’s teacher

Benefits for TeachersTeacher is in control

  • teachers can add and remove pupils to their class, add co-teachers,
  • teachers can give pupils their own individual QR code for logging in
  • teachers can assign pupils tasks and activities for portfolios
  • teachers must approve items uploaded by pupils, can offer reflective feedback to pupils before they are shared with parents and family.
  • teachers have a commitment that ClassDojo will always be free for teachers
  • teachers can join their own school
  • teachers can Transfer a Class to  Another Teacher once the new teacher has first been added as a co-teacher and then made owner of the class

Verdict:

Class Dojo Digital Portfolios is simple to use on a variety of devices – desktops, laptops, tablet, phones, netbooks etc. Pupils can add a wide variety of digital resources to their ePortfolios. It is free to use and teachers can transfer their class to the next teacher as classes move on throughout their time in the school.

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