5 Tips to Getting Started with ePortfolios

5 Tips to Getting Started with ePortfolios

Watch out standardized testing. ePortfolios are making a comeback.

Finally! Want to join the fun where students get to show what they know with authentic work highlighting their best pieces at certain points in time?


This roundup will help you get started.

1) Choose a platform

First you need to check out what resources are available for ePortfolios. You can start with this list of ePortfolio apps and websites from Common Sense Education. But which to choose? Seesaw and FreshGrade are pretty popular. This video offers a comparison of those two options. Take a look and see which one you like best, or check out one of the others.

2) Find resources to support this work

Helen Barrett has been focusing on ePortfolios for a long time. She has a huge compilation of materials at http://electronicportfolios.com.

3) Understand the process and product

Silvia Tolisano took a look at Barrett’s work and noticed that she explains it is a combination of process and product. Part of that process includes reflection. She laid it out this way:

Tolisano also put together this great visual based on thePortfolio Promptsfrom tech coach and former elementary school teacher Chrissy Hellyer.

4) Know what makes portfolios powerful

5) Know the difference

Tolisano put together a side by side comparison of traditional learning assessment and portfolio assessment.

A portfolio shows knowledge and achievement

A transcript shows letters & numbers

Silvia Tolisano’s visualization of how she interprets portfolios vs transcripts.

Which do you think tells a better picture of learning? What has your experience been with portfolios? Please share in the comments.

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.