Connect home and school with digital portfolio applications

Krista Ford
September 2, 2020

A father and daughter reviewing her digital portfolio application

This is a guest post by Grade 5 teacher, Krista Ford, from Waverly Memorial.

I’ve always been a teacher eager to incorporate technology as learning tools. Digital portfolio applications have been crucial in connecting my classroom to home and have put my students in control of discussing their learning with their parents.

When students take control of their learning amazing things happen!

The Daily Question

The dreaded question that every parent asks:

“What did you learn in school today?”

Nothing

Digital portfolio applications can answer this question without having to ask it!

These tools can effectively bridge the school-home communication gap by opening the classroom to an online learning space that involves all three parties.

Digital portfolio applications can connect school and home as the learning occurs.  Students, teachers, and parents interact with each other through quick instant messages, pictures, and/or videos.

Today’s Problem in Schools

Technology has created a society that expects instant and quick feedback, and schools need to keep up these changes.

However, effective communication is still something that schools and teachers still struggle with today.

Evolving Communication with Digital Portfolios

School and home communication is considered essential to student success. Engaging parents in their child’s learning process is crucial to overall academic achievement and may shape student opinions of school in general.

There are many ways to communicate, but in terms of communicating with home, most teachers and schools use one-sided forms of communication such as school and class websites, emails, or phone calling systems.

Information is pushed to parents without the opportunity for parents to be actively involved or engaged.

There is a difference in involving parents (informing them) and engaging them (including them in the learning process). Digital portfolio tools can be amazing communication tools that engage parents in their child’s daily learning, and it is beyond exciting!

Why use digital portfolio applications to improve communication

Digital portfolio applications can bring parents into the classroom

WStudents can send pictures, video clips, voice recordings of their learning and parents are notified through a parent account that allows them to reply and engage with their child during the lessons.

Digital portfolio applications can help bridge language barriers

Digital portfolio apps can also support different languages to help those families where language barriers are an issue. They also put the students in the forefront so that parents can discuss the learning with them instead of the teacher.

Digital portfolio applications create a safe space for learning and discussion

By giving educators, students, and parents a closed network for communicating about learning, these tools create a safe online space where parents can leave positive messages and questions about the material that their students are sharing with them.

Students are excited to share the learning and discuss it with parents because so much context has already been provided through the application.

Read: Parents' and family guide to digital portfolios in the classroom

Connect with Krista Ford

Krista Ford is a Grade 5 Teacher at Waverley Memorial in Waverley, Nova Scotia, Canada. She recently completed a thesis paper on using digital portfolio applications as communication tools to connect school and home. 

Krista Ford

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