Digital Portfolios don't have to be year-long--or even semester-long projects!  They can be centered around one unit of study.  The objective is simply to get students publishing their work online in order to share with an authentic audience.  For more information about digital portfolios or publishing online, check out my other Tackks.

The One-Unit Learning Portfolio:
The Research Project

Starting with research in a Google Doc and ending in an interactive image that serves as a Learning Portfolio in ThingLink...
Here is the process one group of students used to learn, publish, and reflect!

(To Note: I tried to include estimated time-frames--not as a guideline really--but more as a reminder that this entire process took place over the course of several weeks.)

Step 1:
Prepare & Organize

Estimated Time: part of class period

Students created a folder in their Google Drive
in which all project artifacts would be stored.

Step 2:

Estimated Time: 2 class periods & evenings

Students selected a topic for research with guidance from their instructor & then gathered information using the research tool in Google Docs.

To Note: Research could also be conducted using Evernote or a combination of Google Docs & Evernote.

Step 3:
The Writing Process

Estimated Time: 1-2 weeks

  1. Students wrote essays based on the research that they conducted.  
  2. Upon creating their first draft, they shared with peers to revise and edit.
  3. Students submitted essays to their ELA instructor for feedback.
  4. Students saved Google Doc Essay in Google Drive Research Project Folder.

Step 4:
Creation of the
Photo Collage

Estimated Time: 1 class period

  1. Students searched & selected images of their subject for a photo collage.
  2. Students included photo credit references in their works cited.
  3. Students used PicMonkey to create a photo collage.
  4. Download the PicMonkey collage as a JPG.
  5. Upload the PicMonkey collage to the Project Folder on Google Drive.


Step 5:
Creation of the

Estimated Time: several class periods

  1. Using the notes from their research, their essay, and their photo collage images, students create a Google Slideshow to share their learning with their peers in class.
  2. Students save their Google Presentation into their Project Folder.

Step 6:
Going Public

  1. Students set their Project Folder to be Public on the Web.
  2. All files stored within the Project Folder become public on the web also.

Step 7:
Creation of the
Google Drawing

  1. Students create a Google Drawing that will eventually be used as the image they import into ThingLink to publish their learning.
  2. Students select a background color, text, and images to represent the various artifacts of their project.
  3. Students share their Google Drawing with peers & submit it to their instructor for approval.
  4. Once approved, students download the Google Drawing as a JPG.
  5. Students save their Google Drawing in their Project Folder.

Step 7:
Creation of the
Learning Portfolio
via ThingLink

  1. Students upload the JPG of their Google Drawing into ThingLink.
  2. Students click on the images that represent the various artifacts of learning or elements of the project.
  3. Students get the "shareable link" from each file in their Project Folder.
  4. Paste the link into the appropriate box in ThingLink.

Final Product:
Learning Portfolio ThingLink

Links are active & will open in a new tab.

Step 8:
Optional Reflection
in Movenote

  1. Students can create a Movenote file in which they add the elements of their project as "slides" in their Movenote presentation on one side of the screen and then record themselves discussing the slides/artifacts/elements of the project.
  2. Students reflect on their thought-processes, the steps and procedures of the project, and their thoughts and feelings along the way.

Questions?  Thoughts?  More Ideas?
Please connect with me!