Literature Review

Looking at market trends and industry models to determine the feasibility of creating a digital portfolio is astounding.  There are not enough hours in a day to gather and process all the information but hopefully I can outline some key things to consider as we evaluate the data and the documentation available.  Through this evaluation, there is enough support to determine we need to provide learning opportunities for our students to build their own digital portfolios.

Students can use a digital portfolio to stand out from their peers. It not only reinforces course work learned, but helps students develop computer skills.  67% of students with high technology scores have greater confidence to use technologies when they start college. (Ecar, 2015)

Students can share their digital portfolios with their peers, expanding on what social media is already doing but being more of a resource for future learning.  Students can have more control of their portfolios compared to the typical social media platform and make it more engaging.  According to the Ecar Report, 50% of students reported that technology helps them to connect to their peers. (Eden, 2015)

One K-12 educator, Martin, decided to instruct his students to develop their own portfolios and saw a rise in the number of his students graduating and attending a college.  One portfolio website had over 500,000 students creating portfolios that connected directly with universities and colleges seeking qualified candidates.  (Smart, 2009)

Educators have started to teach the use of digital portfolios because they “recognize that the process has the power to transform instruction.”  (Danielson & Abrutyn, 1997) The use of a digital portfolio helps students share their passions, academic successes and turns a traditional classroom into an organic learning environment where students are allowed to be creative and free thinkers.

Use of digital portfolios provides for a wide variety of learning styles to be incorporated and can follow a wide variety of formats to meet almost every students need for individuality and creativity.  Teachers using portfolios “argue that compiling, reviewing, and evaluating student work over time can provide a richer, deeper, and more accurate picture of what students have learned and are able to do than more traditional measures.” (“Portfolio Definition,” 2016) (Darling, 2016)

Although students use technology extensively, there is evidence that technologies are not achieving their full potential for academic use. We have seen a growth in technology but the growth within the academic world is slow to rise according to industry trends.  The majority of students say they learn best with a blend of online and face-to-face work. (Eden, 2015)

Therfore, we need to develop a teaching environment to include the use of creating digital portfolios for students to reflect on their learning and have the face-to-face connections with instructors to guide their learning. Digital portfolios are going to be a part of the learning environment and could become a mainstay for college entrance requirements.

Carey, J. (2013, February 5). The Truth about Digital Portfolios. Retrieved from

Danielson, C., & Abrutyn, L. (1997). An introduction to using portfolios in the classroom. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Darling, K. (2016, April 20). Blackboard Learn. Retrieved from         _1&message_id=_3948726_1#msg__3948726_1Id

Eden Dahlstrom, with D. Christopher Brooks, Susan Grajek, and Jamie Reeves. ECAR Study of Students and Information Technology, 2015. Research report. Louisville, CO: ECAR, December 2015.

Fast Facts Back to School Statistics. (2015). Retrieved from U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics   website:

Goodbye PDAS, here comes TTESS. (2015, Winter). The Classroom Teacher36(4), 9-15. Retrieved  from

Meeker, M. (2015, May 27). 2015 Internet Trends — Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. Retrieved from

Payne Smart, M.  (2009, May 29). Digital Portfolios Pull Double Duty. Retrieved April 20, 2016 from Edutopia website: admissions

Portfolio Definition. (2016). In The Glossary of Education Reform. Retrieved        from

Portfolios for Students & Teachers (K-12) – Retrieved April 16, 2016, from

Roscorla, T. (2014, December 16). 10 K-12 digital trends to watch in 2015.  Retrieved April 17, 2016, from Center for Digital Education website: