When we talk about shifting instruction to blended learning or project based learning to focus on personalized and competency based instruction, we also need to talk about a shift in assessment. Digital portfolios fit into this type of classroom model and make much more sense than the traditional letter grade based report card. Of course, the key to successful student portfolios is having a powerful, robust tool to create them.

Heather Hiles created Pathbrite, an online tool solely dedicated to creating multi faceted digital portfolios. She recognized the power of the portfolio because she has been helping people  build portfolios for career readiness since the beginning of her own career. Working in social services, she began helping her clients turn their resumes into portfolios in order to give them the  step up they truly needed to find work and realized what a bigger impact a portfolio made on an individual when it follows the them through their entire life, optimizing life long learning.

By creating a personal portfolio, any learner improves their own metacognition and critical thinking skills. Therefore, Pathbrite started for students and educators, to individually create their own account as a way to collect evidence of their learning. By registering for a free account, anyone can has the tools to create multiple online portfolios in which you can import documents, photos, videos, resumes directly from any social network site or from Google Drive, Evernote or even your own computer. Creators can then easily customize, categorize and organize the layout of the portfolio to meet their specific needs, finally sharing it publicly or with other individuals, privately.

Pathbrite has expanded their support to teachers with “Portfolios for Educators” to help instructors from higher ed, high school, middle school and even elementary create courses, or templates with portfolios. Teachers can push these portfolios out to students, illustrating the expectations of a certain course or project. With Pathbrite, teachers can assign videos, audio recordings, web mashups, etc… basically any kind of digital artifact of student experience and then assess and keep track of the student submissions on their teacher dashboard within Pathbrite. These types of digital portfolios are the perfect fit for project based or blended learning!

It’s exciting to hear that many universities are already embracing e-portfolios by utilizing Pathbrite. Marquette University engineering students are spending their own money to purchase Pathbrite accounts to record all their personal passions along with their valuable classroom and  professional learning experiences in order to be as career ready as possible. At Stanford, Pathbrite is integrated into “iStanford”– a set of apps the school provides to all their students and teachers. The portfolios are also integrated into Stanford’s School of Education, where teachers in training simultaneously use them to record their personal professional experiences while exploring the benefits of integrating Pathbrite into their future classrooms.

Announced today is the newest feature set: “Pathbrite for Institutions.” This new development includes “features to help administrators improve student performance tracking, align courses to institutional learning outcomes and rubrics, and introduce easy-to-use course and community management tools” which now means portfolios can now be tailored at any level from student, classroom, school to even institution-wide.

Even though e-portfolios are a natural fit for higher ed, the idea and the tools are quickly trickling down to high school age and even younger because they are great for goal setting as well as recognizing and recording the competencies students need to work towards. Pathbrite believes no matter what level, from elementary student to adult, portfolios, particularly e-portfolios can securely provide a holistic picture of learning and accomplishment and should follow a person throughout life to boost achievement and success.

Read more at Pathbrite & Pearson Team on Portfolios.

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