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Creating a Digital Portfolio

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Keywords: Digital Portfolio, E-portfolio, technology, career preparation
Subject(s): No
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Gustine School, Gustine, TX
Planned By: Elizabeth Diaz
Original Author: Elizabeth Pettijohn, Gustine
Teacher: Elizabeth Pettijohn
School District: Gustine I.S.D.
Email: [email protected]

Brief description to be placed in program (20 words or less):
Digital Portfolios encourage students to showcase their accomplishments, works in progress, or personal history when applying for a job or for college entrance.

Unit Overview

This unit is designed to encourage students to plan, design, and create personal digital portfolios. Digital portfolios, or E-portfolios, communicate accomplishments, works in progress, or personal history.
With digital portfolios, students will be able to share print, design, and present interactive work in a variety of ways: e-mail, print, and online. Students are encouraged to focus on design and content that will communicate well and optimize employers’ perceptions of them.
In this project, students create the elements of a PDF portfolio with Adobe Adobe Acrobat, as well as, other free software. They will build a portfolio that features the work they have completed throughout the year.


Digital Graphics/Animation
1 The student demonstrates the necessary skills for career development, maintenance of employability, and successful completion of course outcomes. The student is expected to:
(C) employ effective reading and writing skills
(E) solve problems and think critically
(I) demonstrate planning and time-management skills such as project management and storyboarding
2 The student identifies employment opportunities in the information technology field with a focus in the area of interactive media. The student is expected to:
(A) identify job opportunities and accompanying job duties and tasks
(B) research careers of personal interest along with the education, job skills, and experience required to achieve personal career goals
(3) The student uses emerging technologies to exchange and gather information and resources. The student is expected to:
(C) examine the role of certifications, resumés, and portfolios in the information technology profession
(D) create a portfolio
(13) The student deploys digital media into print, web-based, and video products. The student is expected to:
(C) develop an interactive medium such as a compact disk or digital video disk to display video, audio, and animation products; and
(D) collect and organize student created products to build an individual portfolio.

Can encompass any core TEKS that apply to the projects contained within the portfolio.

ISTE NETS*S Standards for Students:
1. Creativity and Innovation
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
2. Communication and Collaboration
a. interact, collaborate, and publish
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences
3. Research and Information
a. plan strategies to guide inquiry.
b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information
c. evaluate and select information sources
4. Critical Thinking and Problem
a. identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
5. Digital Citizenship
a. advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use
b. exhibit a positive attitude
c. demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning
6. Technology Operations and Concepts
a. understand and use technology systems.
b. select and use applications effectively and productively.
• Project management skills: Plan and create a digital portfolio, organize and manage content, conduct a review and redesign, create a flowchart.
• Design skills: Investigate and incorporate layout and color consistently, design consistent pages, design for a specific audience and purpose
• Research and communication skills: Investigate and research career areas or college interests, communicate information to particular audience, define the goals and uses of a portfolio, solicit and provide feeback.
• Technical skills: Photoshop – creating web photo gallery
Acrobat – packaging multiple documents
Other freeware software as needed – various skills

Time Required
4 - 5 class periods (45 minutes) plus additional time throughout the year to incorporate additional projects
Materials Required
• Computer lab and Internet access
• Examples of print portfolios and digital portfolios (from examples hosted on websites and saved versions)
• Short teacher-created video guide to creating a digital portfolio flowchart
• Microsoft Word (or graphic software) to create flowchart
• Adobe Acrobat or available free software


1. Studentscomplete survey questions identifying previous knowledge and what students think a digital portfolio might be and what might be included. Classroom individual computer display (using InterClass software to send information to student computers) and discussion of most popular answers.
(Recognition Network – Provide supports for limited background knowledge, and establish a context for learning.)
2. Class discussion of goals.
3. Discuss concept of portfolio, its purpose, and its intended audience.
4. Display various paper-based portfolios then allow students to view several good example digital portfolios using various websites. Students consider advantages of presenting creative and eye-catching portfolios to get noticed by prospective employees and colleges, and also compare and contrast advantages and disadvantages of each format.

Guided Practice
1. Explanation of the expectations of the portfolio.
2. Class discussion of how to organize the contents of the portfolio.
3. Pair students in order to discuss and consider the work they’ve done in this course and other courses with respect to the career area or college major they are interested in.

Independent Practice
1. Individually, students will make final decision and selection of files to include in their portfolios that would represent their best work and highlight their skills.
(Recognition Network – Highlight critical features of planning process of creation of digital portfolios. Strategic Network - Planning and performing tasks. Students will organize and express their ideas.)

Formative/Ongoing Assessment
The students will be able to work with a partner to assist with deciding which projects to include and offer supportive (objective) critiques of each other’s ideas for included projects. They will also follow simple directions to complete a flowchart for planning. (View short teacher-created video guide or lesson over how to create e-portfolio flowchart) (Strategic Network – students are planning and performing tasks. Students will organize and express their ideas. Affective Network – Students are engaged and motivated to learn. )
• Students will have multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement through various media.

Summative/End of Lesson Assessment
Students check their planning design using rubric to measure effectiveness of student application of learning objectives for this lesson. At the end of the unit, students will complete individual digital portfolio (with rubric to measure learning objectives met).
(Affective Network – Students are engaged and motivated to learn.)

At the end of the unit, students will complete individual digital portfolio using rubric to measure learning objectives met.

Extension Activity
Students may add additional projects (or enhance projects already included) and also creatively enhance digital portfolio pages using formatting skills and tutorials available with software.
Materials: Word Processor, Internet Services