Using digital portfolios as an everyday learning practice is becoming more and more popular, especially as schools pivot between in-person and online classes.
But for many of us educators, this is a new concept to introduce to students and a new approach to our own teaching practice!
Enter Spaces. To make it easier than ever for you to begin using digital portfolios in your classroom, let’s walk through six steps to complete in your first month of implementation.
Five steps to thrive in your first month using Spaces
During your first month of implementation, here are five easy steps to begin using portfolios with students.
Step One: Read our Getting Started Guide
View the Getting Started with Spaces guide as a PDF.
Step Two: Set up your Learning Environment
As you prepare to implement digital portfolios, it is important for you to create an environment that fosters reflective inquiry and technology use.
Step Three: Schedule time to introduce students to portfolios.
Now that you’ve set up your learning environment, it's time to get your students excited to share their learning and demonstrate growth over time.
To make things easy for you, we've prepared a slide-deck with speaker notes for you to help prepare your introduction to students:
- Introduction to digital portfolios (high school)
- Introduction to digital portfolios (elementary and middle school)
Step Four: Create your first Teacher Post
Create your first Teacher Post to spark student engagement and help introduce reflective inquiry. Need post ideas? Here are 5 ideas for your first Teacher Post in Spaces.
Step Five: Schedule time to introduce students to portfolios.
Now that you've introduced students to portfolios and set your classroom expectations, it's time for your students to dive in and engage with your first Teacher Post.
Once students join your Spaces class, they can create rich media posts to showcase their learning and help you see their growth. Students can record video presentations, add audio journals of what they've learned, or snap photos to reflect on a topic.
Here are a few ideas for a first Student Post:
- Record a short video introducing yourself to the class
- Upload a photo and description of why it is important to you
- Add a text journal on what you're excited to learn in this class
Teacher Tip: Take a look at the digital citizenship post idea on the last slide of the Intro to Digital Portfolios presentation for students.
Bonus Step: Bring family into the conversation
Introduce your Family Community to portfolios to foster parent engagement and meaningful feedback.
Now that you’ve communicated clear expectations with your students, it's time to give parents a window into your classroom! (Read: Parents' and family guide to digital portfolios in the classroom).
Once you are ready for parents to interact with your students’ work, click here to learn how to invite parents to create an account.
Looking for some tips on how to best provide feedback on your student's learning? We’ve got you covered. Click here to download our Family Feedback Prompts for Digital Portfolios (PDF).
While using digital portfolios may be a new learning tool for your students, rest assured that students are growing up tech-savvy. Truth be told, students have an innate ability to adapt to technology and use it to meet their needs.
Plus, the vision of a digital portfolio is for students to be the architect of their learning, and to own their experiences by documenting and reflecting on their growth over time.
You just need to light the match to spark students’ journeys to portfolio building.