College, Elementary School, High School, Middle School

5 Apps for Creating Digital Portfolios on iPads

ipad-606766_640As the end of the school year nears you may find yourself asking students to create collections of examples of their best work of the year. There are a lot of ways that your students could go about accomplishing that task. Here are five free apps that can be used for the purpose of creating a digital portfolio.

Seesaw is a free iPad app through which students can create a portfolio to document the things they have learned. Students can add artifacts to their portfolios by taking pictures of their work (in the case of a worksheet or other physical item), by writing about what they’ve learned, or by shooting a short video to record something they have learned. Students can add voice comments to their pictures to clarify what their pictures document. To get started with Seesaw create a free classroom account. Students join the classroom by scanning a QR code (you will have to print it or project it) that grants them access to your Seesaw classroom. As the teacher you can see and sort all of your students’ Seesaw submissions. Seesaw allows parents to create accounts through which they can see the work of their children. As a teacher you can send notifications to parents when their children make a new Seesaw submission.

WeLearnedIt is an offering from Adam Bellow and eduClipper. WeLearnedIt offers many of the great features of eduClipper that you currently enjoy along with additional digital portfolio elements. Through the WeLearnedIt iPad app you and your students can create digital portfolios that contain files from Google Drive, Dropbox, links from the web, images and videos captured with your iPad, and whiteboard videos created within the WeLearnedIt app.

Pearltrees allows you to organize collections of links, videos, images, and files. All of your collections appear in your Pearltrees homescreen and from there you can access and add to any of your collections. The new format makes it easy to drag-and-drop files from your desktop to a collection in your Pearltrees account. The Pearltrees browser extension enables you to quickly add content from a webpage to your collections. Pearltrees works the same way on an iPad as it does in a web browser or on Android tablet.

Tackk is a free service available to use as an iPad app, Android app, or web app.  By using Tackk you can create a page to announce an important event, to advertise an event, or to show off your best digital works. To create a Tackk page you do not need to register for an account, but unregistered Tackk pages expire after seven days. If you register for the service your Tackk pages stay up indefinitely. I registered for the service before creating my first Tackk page. Creating my Tackk was a simple matter of uploading an image then adding text in the customizable fields above and below my image. Tackk pages can accommodate videos, audio files, and maps.

Featured on this blog yesterday, PopBoardz is a free iPad app for organizing collections of images, videos, links, and notes. If you went by just that description you would think that PopBoardz is another Pinterest clone, but it’s not. Unlike Pinterest, PopBoardz is designed for organizing resources for yourself rather than publishing collections to the web. When you do want to share a board you’ve created, you can do so by exporting your board as a document that can be shared via email, Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud. PopBoardz could be a good tool for students to use to create and present digital portfolios. They can create boards by importing content from the camera rolls on their iPads and or import content from Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud. Students an also add simple text notes to their boards. Students who want to include work they’ve published online can add links to their PopBoardz.

Bonus Item – Teacher Only App

Three Ring is a fantastic, free service for digitizing and organizing your students’ physical work. With the free app installed on your iPad or iPhone you can take a picture of a student’s assignment and upload it to your Three Ring account. In your Three Ring account you can add note about the assignment for yourself, the student, and the student’s parents to see. You can create folders for each student in each of your classes. Three Ring provides a great way for teachers whose students produce a lot of handwritten, drawn, and hand-built work. Three Ring could be used by art teachers to create a digital record of each student’s work. Three Ring is also useful for mathematics teachers whose students do a lot of work on paper rather than typing as they solve problems.

Disclosures: I have a small equity stake in WeLearnedIt. SeeSaw’s parent company advertises on one of my other blogs. 

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