How I keep student work - Digital Portfolios

So I'm back! It's been a very busy year this year with my school making some big changes but I'm here tonight to share what I've been doing in the classroom. I've been wanting a more permanent way to monitor my students progress as I work with them throughout the year, I also wanted to model a practice for my Year 9 students who each have access to an iPad.

I’ve started using  the app  “Easy Portfolio” which was developed by #pegeek MrRobbo. This app has changed the way I record student progress within my class. It did involve a little bit of setting up at the start (entering students/classes) but I’m so glad I took the time. Now I want to share with you all what I’ve been doing with it (see the comic strip below).

Firstly  I  created my  classes  as  “groups”  and  then  created  a  “portfolio”  for  each student  within each group/class. Now when I tap on a student’s name I’m presented with a portfolio that is broken up into file types (Video, Images, Audios, Notes, URLS, Docs). So when my year 9 or 10 classes submit work I ask them  to send  their  files as a PDF document  (Pages, Keynote etc will offer this option) and I save their attached  work  into  their assigned portfolio. This has been  fantastic as  I can monitor student progress whenever  I want  to. I can have students submit what they have done in the day’s lesson every time we meet or I can simply ask them to submit assessment tasks for me to save as a record.

When I mark a rubric  I save a copy of the rubric to their portfolio as well. As for my classes that don’t have iPads I just simply take photos of everything. I recently had year 7’s complete an assignment on Melanomas they all handed in their proudly constructed assignments and  I photographed  the work and then photographed the  hard  copy of the rubric I marked prior  to handing back to students. This ends up being a great resource when parent/teacher interviews come around.

Some of the uses of the Easy Portfolio App

What I really love though is that I can film my students performing skills in a variety of skill development lessons which I can then use to review one-on-one with the student. Video analysis is a powerful tool when used right and can correct technique issues faster than any verbal or demonstration style  instruction given by a coach. The goal for me is to film regularly enough to then hopefully capture skill improvement during a unit of work. I can then keep  this database of videos for reporting as well as parent/teacher interviews. The app also allows me to email any items in the portfolio to the student, parents or homeroom teacher. I can also back up my files using my Dropbox account.

So that's what I've been up to recently, tell me how you keep track of your students, do you have a great suggestion for us fellow #pegeeks? How important is it to track student progress in a Phys Ed class? What do you like to have on your table when meeting parents at interview time?

Stay tuned, my reporting period is nearly over and I aim to update this blog again soon!