Virtual Portfolio may sound like one of those new education “buzz words,” but VP’s have real life application that can expand your students’ creativity and give both them and their families a way to measure their growth during the school year. A VP is simply a computer version of a journal that uses the blended 21st century skills of critical thinking, writing, computer technology, and graphic design. Students create a slideshow in either Keynote or PowerPoint, with each slide highlighting a project, extra-curricular activity, experiment, field trip, special occasion, etc., during the school year or their family life. At the end of the year, invite your parents to school and let each student present their slide show, so both they and their families can appreciate a year of growth and learning. This unit will give you ideas for slides and how to grade them. Virtual Portfolios can be created by any grade level but I think they are particularly apt for 6th grade on up because these students have the technical skills to create slide shows. I have been introducing students to Virtual Portfolios for two years and have also taught a workshop on them. This 8-page download is available as a PDF.
by Diane Yale-Peabody
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