Digital Portfolios

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Key to the student-as-worker model at many innovative high schools is the digital portfolio, which provides the structure and repository for student work. According to portfolio expert David Niguidula, the digital portfolio is a software tool "that can help students create a "richer picture" of their skills and accomplishments than traditional transcripts allow. . . . By providing a more thorough documentation of how students are reaching goals, it can give a school better information on how to help individual students and the school as a whole."

Students build digital portfolios and publish them on the schools' Web sites. Portfolios include a personal statement, a current and sometimes a future resume, student projects and work samples, contact information, internship reflections, letters of recommendation, and assessments. New Technology High School, which pioneered the development of digital portfolios, exhibits the curent student portfolios and the best of the past on its Web site. According to California State University-Monterey Bay Professor John Ittelson, who is studying the new role of portfolios in high schools and colleges, "these digital portfolios are much more than archives. They are exhibits of living documents and integrated projects that drive the self-motivated student of the new millennium."

  1. General information about portfolios, assessment, and digital portfolios
  2. Examples of Student Portfolios

General Information about Portfolios, Assessment, and Digital Portfolios

Helen Barrett's Technology and Assessment Site
This set of web pages describes and discusses the use of technology to support alternative assessment from a number of perspectives. It was developed and is maintained by Dr. Helen Barrett, Assistant Professor, Educational Technology, School of Education, University of Alaska Anchorage. The site includes "Favorite Internet links on Alternative Assessment & Electronic Portfolios", "Books and Articles on Portfolios, Alternative Assessment and Tools for Developing Electronic Portfolios", Dr. Barrett's On-Line Publications on Electronic Portfolios, and Dr. Barrett's Most Recent Conference Presentations.

Digital Portfolios
A site for information about technology, assessment, and portfolios for students, educators, and schools. This page is maintained by David Niguidula and Hilarie Davis. This site includes Introduction to Digital Portfolios, View Sample Portfolios, Read more about Digital Portfolios, and Digital School Portfolios.

Ideas Consulting
Ideas Consulting is a Rhode Island-based group headed by David Niguidula that consults on technology, assessment, and portfolios for students, educators, and schools. This site contains information about Digital Portfolios and samples of student portfolios at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

ISTE Assessment and Technology Forum
On June 14, 2002, over 100 educators gathered in San Antonio, Texas, to discuss the latest issues in assessment and technology. During the morning sessions, attendees participated in a "Gallery Walk" of Digital and Electronic Portfolio projects from around the nation. The site includes a table which lists both the K-12 and college / university projects presented during the Gallery Walk. From each project, you can link to a description of the "essential elements" (describing how each school has put its portfolio system in place); and a "Tech Story," where a student or teacher describes his or her experience with creating a portfolio; and a web site with sample portfolios or other information.

Examples of Student Portfolios

New Technology High School (Napa, CA)
These portfolios of current 11th and 12th grade students are continuously under construction. The best time to view them is in June near the end of the school year. The site also contains "Good, Fair and Poor Examples from the Past", from the classes of 2000, 2001, and 2002.

High Tech High (San Diego, CA)

Sample Digital Portfolios from Ideas Consulting
These include samples of student portfolios at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.