The power of student digital portfolios

Matt Renwick  presents some compelling ideas about Why digital portfolios are important for students …. He begins

With the spreading use of computers and mobile technology in schools, going digital with student portfolios has become more popular. Simply put, digital portfolios are online collections of student work. They allow us to archive, curate and analyse samples of student learning from both the past and the present and keep that data — literally — at the tip of our finger.

Students and teachers can use digital tools to document current understandings, make revisions as thinking changes, share student products both locally and globally and celebrate successes with peers and parents. Although this practice is only one part of a balanced assessment system, there are many benefits that learners, both student and teacher, can gain for developing digital portfolios. Read the full article The power of digital student portfolios

Some reasons:
Become a
digital citizen

Use technology with purpose

Find a global audience

Redefine student data

Improve instructional decision-making

Become students of our own practice

Develop personal learning networks

Global2 users are reminded that all blogs can be exported to Edublogs and WordPress when a student relocates or leaves your school. This can make the portfolio have real life impact. Teachers are reminded to let parents know about their intention to do so and where the blog is being relocated with the URL.


Sharing students’ personal information online

I started this blog post with intention of sharing a nice resource for teachers to use creatively with their students. We regularly share new and exciting resources which provide opportunities for learning.
This resource’s added appeal was that a teacher could use it without signing up their students.
Sharing students personal information online is a current hot topic and this resource was the perfect resource to explore the issues.

I wish to state here and now I am not a lawyer, but an educator. I am looking at how I could use such resources and educate my students to use digital technologies safely and responsibly whilst meeting my obligation keep their personal information, well? …Private.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) outlines the need for schools to obtain consent to post any information online about a student or have their students do it in their care or under their instruction.

Posting and sharing information about a person other than yourself online
or in any other way requires consent. Consent must be fully informed, freely
given, current and specific in how the information will be presented and to whom
it will be presented. Schools will require signed authority for any work, images
or information posted online. School should understand that while consent can be
freely given, it can also be withdrawn at any time. The school would then be 
required to remove the content/resource immediately.

We all think of photos and student video,  but sometimes we are sharing information that is not as obvious. It includes the personal information given to online services when we to sign up to applications – name, age, address, date of birth …. You know the drill.

When I looked at the resource I was able to do some things without signing up at all. To use the service fully I  had to sign up, and so would my students.
“How can I get my students to use a great online service whilst meeting my obligations around Privacy legislation?”

The online resource gave me many options to sign up.  I was presented with this familiar box above. Single sign on makes things easier and as an adult I use it almost without thinking. But what does it mean when I use it or I get my students to use it- in terms of sharing  personal information and in some cases sharing the details of the “Friends, circles or details of others in their communities”?

I have taken these from the transition pages of each service informing me , or in some cases NOT informing me of what information I would be sharing.

By logging in with my Twitter account I was giving the following permission
This application will be able to:

  • Read Tweets from your timeline.
  • See who you follow, and follow new people.
  • Update your profile.
  • Post Tweets for you.

By signing up with Facebook  I was giving permission to share the following info:
Your public profile and friend list. This does not let the app post to Facebook.

Choosing Google+  provided  my email address.

No information was provided by Instagram about what they were sharing (not sure what that meant) but I was prompted for my username and password.

Edmodo gave me a link to not one but two pages outlining what would be shared and how. It was interesting to see changes at different age ranges , and

LinkedIn said NO you cant use us to sign up! Not too many children on LinkedIn.

At its worst I have seen services which raid your contacts list and take all of that information to use in their communities. It is never described as this but more like …. Connect with friends:-)
“Who I follow” and “Friends List” ????  Not so thrilled to have tweets posted for me thanks very much.

Just as we educate our students to use online tools and services we also need to educate them around the sharing of information from one service to another. We also need to make sure we have parents permission. Educating students to question what they are being asked for and share as little information as possible with these services is important.

So how would I choose to get my students access to this resource myself? After fully informing parents and getting their consent, I would get my students to sign up by using their school email address. Every DEECD school has one for their students already available. (Ask your school technician if you are unsure). The student email allows your students access but also allows you to teach your students how to manage their own online services and reset passwords etc.

Educating students to be creative, connected and collaborative online includes contemporary knowledge about how the online world works.
It is non-questioned practice for us to check out thoroughly the people who work in our schools eg Working with children checks. Checking out the online services we are taking our students to deserves equal attention. ….  not to forget obtaining fully informed parental consent.

For DEECD schools requiring legal advice in this and related areas please contact:

ABC Heywire is calling for stories by Year 10, 11 and 12 students

ABC Heywire is calling for stories by Year 10, 11 and 12 students from regional Australia. Stories can be in text, video, audio or photo format. 

30+ winners will get their story on the ABC and win a trip to the Heywire Summit. Entries close 16 Sept 2014.

For details go to

Top 100 tools for learning

This annual list compiled by Jane Hart from the votes of learning professionals worldwide. Here are the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 –  the results of the 7th Annual Learning Tools Survey – compiled from the votes of 500+ learning professionals in 48 countries and published on 27 September 2013 See more

The 2014 List will be revealed on Monday 22 September 2014. Voting for the Top 100 Tools for Learning 2014 (8th Annual Survey) is now open

Instant Rockstar

Arts Centre Melbourne presents presents

Instant Rockstar

Kids get to be the rockstar and director in this fun and easy music video workshop.

Create a song using lots of cool music samples and then use the track to make a great music video.

Bully stoppers grants program round three 2014

Applications for the grants program closes at 5pm on Friday, 18 July 2014

What is the Bully Stoppers Grants Program?

On 12 April 2011, the Premier announced the Victorian Government’s Stamp Out Bullying campaign to ensure that action is taken to make schools safer and protect students from any form of bullying.

To support this campaign, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) presented all Victorian schools with the opportunity to obtain grants to implement strategies or programs that endeavoured to prevent and respond to bullying (both face-to-face and online) in their school community. The grants were released over two rounds in 2013.

Following the success of the 2013 grants, a third round is available and open for application.

Round 3 of the grants will support projects that focus on:
Upskilling bystanders through increasing students’ skills and ability to take action and respond  if they are being bullied or witnessing bullying happening to others and/or Cyberbullying. Please find Full details and application template

The students’ guide to google search

Taryn Degnan from Commonsense Media suggests that: Google

“Every kid knows how to Google, but do they know how to Google well? A wealth of built-in — but sometimes hidden — features can help kids find the information they need much more efficiently than their usual shot-in-the-dark searches. A little Google technique can open up a world of trusted facts, homework boosters, and cool tricks to impress their friends (or their parents)”.

This article shows students how to use the Google calendar, dictionary, safe search, YouTube safe mode and many other search tools in Google.

Augmented reality in the classroom

In 2013 the Horizon.K12 Advisory Board voted for the top 12 emerging technologies as well as the top ten trends and challenges that they believe will have a significant impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in global K-12 education over the next five years. Augmented Reality was identified at that time as Long-term horizon: four to five years technology

This video presents Charles Cooper and Jill using it through the app Aurasma with their students.  This link presents a number of applications

The K-12 Edition of the Horizon Report 2014

The K-12 Edition of the Horizon Report explores the key trends accelerating educational technology adoption in schools, the significant challenges impeding it, and emerging technologies poised to impact teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. Download the full report and/or watch the video to see the 2014 version of this insightful report.
It presents more than influential technologies the report explores and presents possible pedagogical and social changes for schools and learners in short, mid-term and long-range predictions.
A resource worth a staff meeting viewing and discussion.

Registrations for the Artists in Schools information sessions are now open!

The Artists in Schools program creates the opportunity for practicing professional artists to work with young people in Victorian primary and secondary schools. Artists may work in any art form. The funding available to schools for projects in 2015 is $10,000 for projects commencing after 13 April 2015.


In My Day
An absolute gem, this little animation produced by Natimuk Primary school students and animator Dave Jones in 2004, captures a different world as the town’s older citizens tell what life was like when they were at school back in 1934. The images drawn by the students are simply wonderful. After you have watched this, check out In My Day The Inside Story, to see how it was made and the impact it had on the town.
In My Day was funded through the Artists in Schools program.

Come along to an Information Session to – find out about the new online process to apply for funding,  meet teachers and artists interested in getting involved in the program and see how projects can support learning across the Victorian Curriculum.

Session Dates 

Online sessions -  Fri 18 July, Wed 23 July (4-5pm)

Preston – Wed 16 July (6-8pm)

Bendigo – Tue 22 July (5-7pm)

Bookings essential as places are limited – Register here –

For further information about Arts Victoria funding go to