What You Need To Create Online Portfolios

Online Portfolio Tools

If you want to create online portfolios for your class members, there are a few things you will need. The list below includes the different tools and utilities required. Some are free, and for others a small charge is involved.

  • Web hosting
  • HTML editor
  • Scanners and digital cameras
  • Permission forms

Web Hosting

Web hosting refers to the place where your online portfolio "lives". Check with your school district first, as they may have their own web server that you can publish your pages on. Alternatively, many Internet Service Providers (ISP) provide a certain amount of free web space that you can use. The downside to using free web space is that often your web pages will be covered in adverts and your site may perform slowly.

A much better solution is to buy your own web hosting. There are many web hosts out there, and the high number of competing providers is driving down their prices. I get my hosting from Site5, who allow me to host an unlimited number of sites for one small monthly charge.

HTML Editor

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the language of web pages. To write HTML, you could use something as basic as a simple text editor like Notepad, or you could use a sophisticated HTML editor like Adobe Dreamweaver. There is a learning curve associated with both learning HTML (if you choose to use a text editor) and using Dreamweaver.

Scanners And Digital Cameras

A scanner is a very useful tool with which to create your online portfolio. This is especially true if you are working with younger children as you will be able to scan the images they have drawn. A digital camera also comes in handy to take their picture (only if you have permission from parents to post their picture on the web). To maintain a degree of anonymity, never use students' last names. Some districts allow use of a student's first name but some do not. Check out your district policy to confirm. The camera also comes in handy to take pictures of completed projects the students have worked on. You can buy scanners fairly cheaply these days. Many schools have digital cameras. Check out to see if you have access to any in your school.

Permission Forms

Before adding any student work or photos make sure that you have received written permission from the parents. Also check with your school policy to see what the rules and regulations are in regards to this for your own particular district. Below are some sample files that may be of assistance if your district hasn't created their own form at this point.