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Student digital portfolios and why they are becoming so important



As of today, I don’t have a single project saved from my school years. No doodles, collages, assignments, drawings, photographs, writing projects or attempts at any other craft type of projects. While my folks probably hung on to my school projects for a few years, I think they got over my brilliance quickly enough and disposed of my so called portfolio over one random spring cleaning session of the house.

While there was nothing incredible about the work that I had created as a student, it may have been nice to today browse through my enthusiastic attempts and see how I progressed through life and how those doodles or projects helped me along the way in discovering my true self.

Today, students are way luckier than we were in the 80’s. They have access to brilliant tools online and for them to keep a record of every single thing they produce or do in school is a breeze. It is extremely simple for them to create a digital portfolio for students where they can keep documenting their projects, and sharing them as they please with anyone they wish.

And while a digital portfolio for students is a fun thing to have, it is also becoming an important part of a student’s school years. Let’s go over a few basic of why they are becoming so important:

First… digital portfolio definition
A simple definition of a digital portfolio would be an online narrative of learning, growth and achievement over time. At their most basic level digital portfolios or e-portfolios as they are called sometimes, can simply be a storage repository.  For example, your digital portfolio may include images, multimedia, blog entries, hyperlinks and other digital material. Many students could have an impressive online presence with their achievements in the form of digital portfolio that can be showcased whenever required. There are plenty of digital portfolio websites that provide support to students.

Why are digital portfolios for students becoming increasingly important?
In one of my last blogs, I talked about students establishing a positive online presence which must be encouraged by parents and educators. A perfect digital portfolio example could be a purposeful collection of your work that tells the story of your personal and academic accomplishments. It demonstrates a wide range of your work where you control the selection of portfolio content and materials. You can effectively document your school activities, projects, sports, debates, events, awards etc. As against looking at digital portfolio examples in pdf format, it makes more sense to have a dynamic portfolio which can be updated on the go and shared on the fly. Comprehensive digital portfolios, maintained over a period of time serve as a fantastic chronology of a student’s achievements and milestones. The advantages of creating an online portfolio are manifold:

  • Accessible: Digital portfolios for students can be inexpensively produced. These are also extremely accessible to a wider audience from multiple locations.

  • Creative: The new non-linear formats available online and the integration of various media types allow you to creatively express your subject knowledge and skills. You are master of your own digital content. This portfolio can be accessed by future job recruiters as well.

  • Sense of Community: Having a digital portfolio example on an online platform initiates your self-worth in the community and also develops bonds with peers by sharing ideas. It helps in enhancing your self-confidence too.

How to create a Digital Portfolio example on your personal website


There are many digital portfolio websites that can help you to create your own unique digital portfolio example. Since most school kids are ‘digital natives’ who have a presence on social media sites, they are savvy enough to use tools like OnPowerWeb, Portfoliogen or Pathbrite to put together a quick and good looking portfolio.

OnPowerWeb for example, lets you upload your information with options to connect to your social media pages, add certifications, projects, activities, awards; mention of the awards, update the bucket list, add pictures to the gallery and much more. Check out the site to see digital portfolio examples for students online.

Importance of a Digital portfolio for students
The authenticity of the content when you add videos or images to support each and every addition to your portfolio provides evidence of the activity done at a certain point in your life and lends a lot of credibility. It exists online 24x7 and should an opportunity present itself, you are armed with a digital portfolio without losing your time in collecting documents or scrambling to make it look impressive or presentable. A student who maintains a good online portfolio is obviously looking to tap into any and every opportunity that comes his way with a high level of preparedness. All in all, the sooner students start working on building a portfolio, the sooner they will have a large repository of impressive projects, accolades, videos etc. Something that can be visited, revisited, shared, laughed at and takes them down the memory lane when they are much older.

With personalized pathways and expression gaining popularity, it is inevitable that students will be encouraged to express and document their individuality via personalized digital portfolios. It is only a matter of time before this becomes a protocol across schools.

 

About the Author

Author: Anuja Lath

Anuja is the Founder/CEO at OnPowerWeb, a dynamic platform to empower students to build their story on the web by chronologically recording and maintaining their milestone achievements and activities. Anuja presents this concept at schools and educational institutions to help students build a meaningful and positive web presence.

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