Updated September 2019
Welcome to the third part of a 3-part series about digital portfolios in music.
So far we have covered:
- Digital Portfolios in Music Education Part 1: An overview of what, why and how
- Digital Portfolios in Music Education Part 2A: Creating audio and video artefacts
- Digital Portfolios in Music Education Part 2B: Creating image and text artefacts
In this third part, we will be taking a look at publishing options.
Publishing The Artefacts
Once your students have gathered all the artefacts that demonstrate their learning, they’ll need to present them in a single location, in a coherent way.
There are quite a number of options for presenting digital portfolios, but whichever one you choose needs to be able to incorporate all of the digital mediums we discussed in the earlier posts: video, audio, text and images.
Other things to consider include:
- What type of devices do my students use?
- Is my school encouraging me to use a specific tool like an LMS (learning management system)?
- How much time do we have? Do I need something that is quick and easy for students to use?
- Am I working with young students?
- Do I need something with a wide range of features and increased flexibility because I am working with older students?
Publishing options that work on all devices
Nowadays, most options work across a variety of devices and platforms. You’ll need to decide the best solution for your students.
Create a website
Creating a website is a great solution for students to showcase their work and these days there are numerous tools that make it super-easy due to their “drag and drop” interfaces and ready-made templates.
Websites give your students the most flexibility with their digital portfolios. You can:
- Embed content: maps, interactive diagrams, videos, audio, Tweets, documents and more.
- Link to internal website pages and also to external sites
- Publish to a wider audience if you choose
Website building options include:
- Google Sites – my top choice for students and the logical option if you are using Google Classroom or the Google Suite
A lot of the options in this category are simple and very user-friendly which makes them ideal for students of all ages. I can recommend looking at:
- Wakelet – this is my favourite easy-to-use option. You can include all the different types of artefacts on a Wakelet “board” and it’s super-simple to get started. Perfect for students. It plays very nicely with Flipgrid too – you can easily embed your Flipgrid videos into Wakelet
- Seesaw – this is an excellent choice if you’re working with younger students. It’s easy for students to upload their artefacts to Seesaw from any device and you can share their work with family and friends
- Thinglink – an online interactive “poster”. Upload an image to form the basis of your portfolio/presentation and embellish it with text, links, embedded videos and other media. Very easy to use
- Padlet – a virtual, digital “wall” that allows you to add text, images, video and other documents. It’s also an effective collaboration tool
- Explain Everything (iOS and Android) has extensive import and export options, it’s easy to use and has a great range of in-built tools. It’s also a multi-use app – it’s ideal for digital portfolio creation but also for creating tutorials and screencasting
- Book Creator (iOS and Android) is an ebook creator which incorporates text, images, video and audio
- You can also consider using Powerpoint (Mac and PC), Keynote (Mac) or Google Slides (all devices)
Learning Management System
If your school is using an LMS such as Moodle, Edmodo, Blackboard, Compass or a custom-made LMS, your school administration may want you to use that with your students because they will have invested a decent amount of money in implementing the software!
An LMS will allow each student to have an online space in which they can upload their work. It’s easily accessible by teachers and sometimes by parents too. One drawback of using an LMS is that it often does not look very “pretty”.
Are you creating digital portfolios with your students?
Do you already use digital portfolios in class? Have you been thinking about it? Let me know your experience in the comments below.
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