For me, teaching Kindergarten always makes for a busy but rewarding day and I’m sure it is the same for every teacher regardless of the year group taught. Being tasked with helping and monitoring students development, both academically and socially, is a big undertaking. I believe this process is made more manageable when teachers have an effective system in place to collect and organize all of our students’ information.
As teachers, we are constantly assessing and evaluating not only our own teaching practices on a daily basis, but more importantly, we are doing the same for our students. How students are learning, their areas of strength or struggle, and observing academic and social interactions are just a few areas that we as educators use to create a student portfolio. There are multiple ways to collect and organize this data but often this overwhelming amount of evidence tends to be filed away in multiple areas such as file folders, memory sticks, binders, and computers. This piecemeal system makes it difficult for teachers to have quick access to a well-rounded and informative portfolio.
FreshGrade ePortfolios have allowed me to store all my assessment information (both formative and summative) in such a clear and concise manner. Typically, teachers are more hesitant to leave behind a tried and true method for something new, but the transition to an online portfolio was seamless. Setting up my class information took only a few minutes. With a couple clicks of the mouse and some simple data entry, the portfolios were ready to use. What helped to make this transition so smooth was the fact that all the typical modes of assessing can still be used through FreshGrade. For example, digital progress is easily tracked, copies of student work can be uploaded in the same amount of time it would take to photocopy them, sticky notes are replaced by quick notes and test scores are organized quickly. What I have found to be such a strength of the ePortfolios is how it provides me all the information needed to assess my students’ development in one area and, the best part of all, on one page.