For as long as I can remember, schools have been looking for a portfolio platform to document and archive student work. I can remember building web sites with Dreamweaver or building a Powerpoint template just to name a few. All of the different platforms had their issues, from proprietary applications to cumbersum updating or expensive licensing. One of the biggest issues was transferabilty of the portfolio as students moved through grades and schools. Well, I think I can safely say we finally have a platform for students portfolios that addressess all of these issues and best of all, it is free and easy to use!
Google Sites is the answer to all of your schools student portfolio needs. I recently created a Student Portfolio site template working with some of the teachers and administrators at The Rashi School where I am engaged in a "Connected Learning" initiative. If you are already using Google Apps for Education then the only thing you need to do is create a portfolio template in your Google Sites section and share it with everyone under your domain. Or you can set up a free Google gmail account and get access to Google sites as a bonus. Either way, Google sites is free to for educators and non-profits. Since it is free, students can begin with a Google Site Portfolio under a school domain and transfer ownership of their site to their own Google account when moving districts or graduating from middle or high school. Updating the site is easy using Google sites page templates and with Google drive and Youtube, students can have a rich repository of multimedia to post on to their portfolio. Finnally, a student portfolio that can travel with students as they move through their k-12 education, is easy to use and best of all its FREE!