The Top 5 Benefits of K-12 Student Eportfolios in Education

The constant stream of user-generated information has become addictive. Yet, what we often don’t realize enough is that the internet is also a powerful tool for self-branding and promotion. With apps like Twitter and Facebook, students are glued to their devices and are constantly posting online. Although teachers will never be able to take students off of social media platforms, they can turn to innovative ed-tech software that will utilize this “desire to post” and bring the attention back to the classroom. I mean, if you can’t beat them, join them.

GoEnnounce is on one mission: to give schools and districts access to digital portfolios. Eportfolios, at the most basic level, are simply a storage strategy for students to have throughout their K-12 education. However, our digital portfolios provide an outlet to empower student voices, while still fulfilling any district accountability requirements. Students, instead of teachers, share and reflect on their work themselves. This independence helps kids strengthen and develop their digital communications skills, an important tool that they will use for the rest of their lives. When students post versus their teachers, students begin to build confidence in their professional writing.Overall,

Overall, eportfolios effortlessly integrate college and career readiness curricula into classrooms as students develop their individual voices. When sharing their accomplishments on an online portfolio with social integration, students develop the important 21st-century skills of communication, creativity, and collaboration, which are necessary to succeed in a professional environment.

1. Eportfolios Empower Student Voice

GoEnnounce’s digital portfolios are a proactive approach to guiding students through their educational experience. Colleges are now seeking “angled” students with a passion, not “well-rounded” students. On GoEnnounce, students not only share and track their academic achievements over a period of time, but they highlight extracurriculars & participation. This allows students to realize their own unique skill set and have a voice about their passions, pushing them to see how these skills & interests can correspond to future career goals.

GoEnnounce mirrors how students use social media, and students are encouraged to have followers who mentor and provide encouragement. This further develops students’ 21st Century communication skills as they communicate with a network about their interests and accomplishments.

High school student, Christina Presmy, recounts her experience with GoEnnounce, as a digital portfolio with social integration.

“GoEnnounce has served as my own personal academic social media outlet. With GoEnnounce, I have been able to track my progress from freshman year all the way up to my junior year. I absolutely love the fact that my friends and family get the opportunity to see how hard that I work through this outlet and get to comment and encourage me no matter how far away they are.” – Christina Presmy,  Junior at Island Coast High School

(Elementary students only interact with their parent unit, while students who are over 13 can participate in the safely monitored social interaction provided by GoEnnounce’s digital portfolio platform.)

2. Eportfolios Promote Student Reflections

GoEnnounce requires students to share text with each post and upload, that demonstrates what they’ve learned or accomplished. Structured reflections help students analyze their learning experiences to reveal and understand outcomes that they might otherwise have missed. These student reflections actively engage students in the learning process. By using critical thinking skills to describe their progress and accomplishments, students add specific evidence of learning to their collection of work. GoEnnounce not only emphasizes the publishing and sharing of work, but yet preserves the central focus of learning. Mike King, 2012 NASSP National Digital Principal of the Year, shares how GoEnnounce’s student reflections changed his middle school.

We recently incorporated GoEnnounce into our individual plan of study as an eportfolio in student led conferencing. Student reflection is more powerful than data collection. Administrators must look at students as individuals, not fixed data points. GoEnnounce is a student-centered approach. GoEnnounce as an eportfolio will support our students in preparing for a better and brighter future while experiencing ways to promote individual aspirations and practicing appropriate digital citizenship.” – Michael King, Principal Dodge City Middle School, Kansas and NASSP 2012 National Digital Principal of the Year

3. Eportfolios Build a Positive Digital Footprint

Recently, NPR reported on how Harvard Law School revoked 10 students’ admission due to obscene posts on Facebook. Teens are unaware of the impact that their online posts have on their chances of getting into colleges and careers. A 2015 Kaplan survey found that 40% of college admissions officers admitted to visiting an applicant’s social media page to learn more about them. Staff.com illustrates how 3 out of 4 of hiring managers to check social media even when not provided by the applicant and 1 in 3 candidates are rejected because of something found on a social profile. Now more than ever, it’s important to put digital citizenship – the skills and knowledge to effectively use the Internet and other digital technology, especially in order to participate responsibly in social activities – at the forefront of college and career readiness education

On GoEnnounce, students can upload completed assignments to their own eportfolio easily via pictures, videos, or files.  By adding their past schools, GPA, notable coursework, extracurricular activities, and even volunteer hours, GoEnnounce becomes their own personal resume. On top of that, their student page is their own individualized URL address, so students will be able to keep their digital portfolios even after high school. A personalized report of their academic work is sure to impress any college admissions or employer. Especially, when they might be googling them.

Since our eportfolios mirror social media accounts, we’ve integrated a digital citizenship curriculum available for grades 3-12. This positive social media education includes ACTS format elementary lessons, secondary group activity based lesson plans, and an online competency-based micro-credential course. All lessons require students to use their portfolio pages to apply digital citizenship skills. Teachers work with their students on digital communication, and coach students to brand themselves while being conscious of their digital image. By doing so, they impart empowering and positive lessons around digital security, privacy, digital image and cyberbullying. As students engage as digital citizens on GoEnnounce they begin to paint their own digital portraits of themselves, which will help their future endeavors in the college and career world.

4. Eportfolios Provide Encouragement to Promote Increased Achievement

Digital portfolios have made it easy for teachers to capture learning and provide personalized feedback on the go. Instead of waiting until the end of the term to report learning via report cards, teachers can communicate progress with students systematically. By capturing and documenting learning, teachers can collect evidence of the learning journey that can be accessed throughout the year. Assessment becomes more data-driven and feedback becomes more constructive, while more importantly being less stressful for all parties involved.

GoEnnounce’s follower feature allows for instant communication between a student and their mentor network.  Students are able to get real-time feedback and encouragement from not just teachers and but their network of followers, who are there to encourage their progress.  This communication with a students’ followers offers a new type of increased community engagement who see direct evidence of all the cool things your students are up to.

5. Eportfolios Fulfill Districts’ Student Accountability Requirements

GoEnnounce eportfolios make the accreditation process for school administrators easier than ever before, by providing students with a fun and easy-to-use digital portfolio service, that students want to update. Instead of requiring teachers to capture and post all of the students’ work, the power is in the hands of students. Our tagging feature allows students to identify posts & assignments by tags that range from STEM and CTE, to community service and athletics. Now, teachers can refer to the student’s page and sort with tags to identify assignments & projects over the course of a grading period for review and assessment purposes.

With the documentation provided by student driven portfolios, districts can fully assess and address public accountability concerns regarding educational effectiveness.  Additionally, schools can demonstrate student progression to their governing boards by using the comprehensive and authentic projects and artifacts displayed by the student on their timeline in our portfolios.

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In some classes, where checking in with every student can be a challenge, digital portfolios are the solution. With the accessible interface, the development of college and career skills, the digital citizenship curricula, and the ability to reflect, eportfolios allow for enhanced communication and learning between teachers and students. See more about what GoEnnounce offers here, and schedule a demo today!


 

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