Digital Portfolios

“Students yearn for an educational experience that caters to their interests, innate desires for expressive creativity, and a need for play.”

-Eric C. Sheninger Uncommon Learning: Creating Schools That Work for Kids

Are you in the dilemma of keeping your students spiral bound Interactive Notebook and replacing it with a Digital Portfolio? Do you feel that the students need a change? Do you, as an educator need a change?

Are you ready to try something new and shift into the Digital Age? 

Technology is a great tool to help express students voice, personality, and classwork. Through the use of  “New” Google Sites, students have the ability to create a user-friendly Digital Portfolio, with ease.

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Within my classroom, students create meaningful work through various Google Applications: Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Charts, YouTube etc. By creating a Digital Portfolio it allows the students to organize their work in a simple visual display for me to view, as well as, an online audience.

Here is a tutorial on how to navigate through the “New” Google Sites.

Within the tutorial is a way to collect students URLs to their newly made Digital Portfolio. Through the use of Google Forms, there is a quick way to gather data, so you can easily view students portfolios.

Here is a link to a Google Form Template

Here is a link to the “New” Google Site I created during the tutorial of this video.

My Story!

My name is Jennifer Calderon.

My life as a teacher started roughly 10 years ago. I was on the verge of graduation from Biola University, and had no prospects of a job in sight.  I had discussed my career goals with my Professor, and to my surprise he said I would be an excellent teacher. (Well, if I’m being honest, I knew I was meant to be a teacher, ever since I was in third grade. Not to sound sure of myself, but I put my passion on the backburner to pursue a job as a Doctor). My dream of being a Doctor was thrown out the window when I experienced health issues during my Junior year in college.

So here I was a girl with support, passion and no job. Upon conversations with my Mom, I decided to apply at my Alma Matter in Hesperia Unified. My interview was perhaps the scariest experience I had ever been through at the time. They asked me questions regarding State Standards, teaching strategies and questions I had never even thought about. I knew that only having a Bachelor’s in Science, I was ill prepared for a job in Education. I owe it to a past Principal and Assistant Principal for giving me a chance of a lifetime. They offered me a job that same day. Ecstatic, I accepted. Saying “yes” was the best career choice, I have ever made.

My first few years were rough. Being fresh out of college and fully immersed into a classroom where finding my pedagogy, defining my classroom management skills and dealing with rowdy students  was overwhelming. It wasn’t until my second year teaching that I finally felt, like I kind of knew what I was doing.

I say all that to bring you here in my story: I’ve always had a interest in learning. My mom always tells me the story of being a curious little girl who carried a notepad and pencil behind my ear. This story always makes me smile, because it literally describes my outlook on life. I no longer use a notepad and pencil, but a laptop and my cellphone to discover many facets of the world, but specifically how I can become a more effective teacher in the 21st century.

Learning is something that resonates with me deep to my core. In the years I’ve been a teacher, I have always had the desire to learn more. To never stay stagnant with teaching strategies and ways to incorporate new fun and exciting technology in my lessons. I am so grateful for the passion that was placed in me at such a young age and that has continued to burn presently.

Currently, I am my school site’s Team Technology Lead. I want to take my passion for education and share it with my colleagues who in turn can share it with their students. I will continue to use this blog to document stories within my classroom and a place to create tutorials for my fellow teachers.

I leave you with this: Our students deserve the very best everyday. We make the choice to go to work and be teachers, so let’s give it everything we have. Step out of your comfort zone and take a journey with me to educate our students in the 21st Century.