Monday, May 2, 2016

Online Student Portfolios

Why should we create an online student portfolio?

By the time students start thinking about where to apply to college, some of them have totally forgotten all the things that they have accomplished. In an effort not to leave any accomplishment, big or small off of their resumes, we decided to offer classes in creating online activity sheets. Many teachers took us up on this offer, most notably Freshman Seminar and several of our art classes.

Sample: Online Portfolio using Weebly
We began by having students create websites using Weebly. It's FREE, easy to use, and offers several templates. First we talked about what does a "good" website look like? Students scoured the web and shared websites that they thought were "good." We discussed what made those sites "good" and the following is what we came up with:
  • Appearance: Visual-appealing
  • Content: Informative
  • Functionality: Works quickly and correctly 
  • Usability: Easy to navigate, read, and understand
We then worked on a site map, and sketched out the different categories that could be included in an online student portfolios. This is what our students brainstormed:
  • Biography
  • Writing samples (best and showing progress)
  • Reflections
  • Artwork
  • Music
  • Athletics (highlight reels, stats, newspaper clippings, travel teams etc.)
  • Intramurals  
  • Clubs (offices, committees, activities, etc.)  
  • Hobbies (all activities outside of school)
  • Field trips
  • ELITE events (specific activities in our school)
  • School-wide events (blood drive, Battle of the Classes, So They Think They Can Dance, St. Baldrick's, Mr. Mepham, Open Mic Night, Talent Show, Multicultural Night, etc.) 
  • Community Service/Volunteerism
  • Awards (Student of the Month, Athlete of the Month, Intel, etc.)
  • Honor Societies
  • Contests
  • School concerts
  • Spring Arts
  • PTA 
  • Skills (computer, Photoshop, iMovie, etc.)
  • After-school/summer jobs
  •  Babysitting/dog walker
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Photographs
We considered what sources would need to be cited. Then we got started. Students had the remaining period to create their sites and include as much information under each tab as they could.

Why should we create an online student portfolio? Short answer: college applications and future employment. Online student portfolios have a BIG impact. All of your accomplishments are in one place. You can stand out from the competition. These websites highlight your personality and focus on you as a person.

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