After the intermediate division in my school decided to use Google Drive to host student portfolios, I began to piece together the steps necessary for this to be successful for all stakeholders: students, teachers, and parents/guardians. In the recent past, a number of my colleagues have shared with me how they use Google Drive to collect student artifacts, but including parents and guardians in the loop seems more like an emerging trend. Therefore, it’s time to get techie. This is how I’ve created and shared student portfolios using Google Drive.
1. Before the first folder is shared, or portfolio artifact added, you will need to gather parent/guardian email addresses. (This is necessary if you want to share the portfolio folder with them.) I would suggest sending a letter home explaining how their email address will be used to provide access to their child’s portfolio.
2. This next step could be completed before or after you’ve collected parent/guardian email addresses. Both you and your students need to set up your GAFE (Google Apps for Education) accounts. The procedure my differ depending on your board, but it should be a straight forward process no matter your location. Here is the procedure for my board.
3. While signed into your GAFE account, navigate to the Drive app (Image A), select New (Image B), then Folder, name the folder “Student Portfolios” (Image C), create individual folders (following the same folder-creation process) for each student inside of the Student Portfolio folder. Each individual folder can be named with the student’s name. For example, John Smith’s folder would be named John Smith (Image D). Hover your cursor over the following images to view more details.
4. Now we need to share individual folders with students. To do this, select an individual student’s folder, and then click the “Share” icon (the silhouetted person with the plus sign-Image E), enter the student’s name (if you’re using GAFE, your student’s name should begin to appear once you start to type), (Image F), and finally select Done.
5. The last step involves sharing the folder with parents and guardians. Once again, start by selecting an individual student folder, and then click the “Share” icon. Next, you want to select “Get shareable link” in the window that will appear (Image G). A link will be copied that can be pasted into an email to a parent or guardian.
That’s it! Student and teacher permissions are set to allow both viewing and editing of content in the folders, while parents and guardians are given viewing permissions. Also, parents and guardians DO NOT need to create a Google account simply to view contents of their child’s portfolio folder.