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Classroom Technology

December 17, 2019                         

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources


WALNUT, CA--Fifth-grade students at Walnut Elementary are creating digital portfolios to archive assignments and experiences this year.

Teacher Seema Bagai sourced the idea during a two-day Google workshop offered by WVUSD technology coaches she attended last summer.


“It was an introduction to the components of Google Suite, including Docs and Sites, and I thought it would be great for my students!”


The 25-year veteran educator incorporated the collaborative e-portfolios into her curriculum hoping to inspire and engage students into more self-directed learning and reflection.


The digital learning plan has been a hit from the beginning.


“This is a fun project,” said Sophia Lei. 


“I enjoy doing it because by the end (of the year) I might not remember what we did in the past.”


The digital natives are now cataloging their work in four main categories: field trips, projects, specials, and reading.


To date, the group has created detailed pages from an egg drop science experiment on gravity, a Native American social studies project, and “The Little Mermaid” musical at South Pointe.


“As they build their portfolios, I will be able to work with them and offer suggestions and edit in real time,” Bagai added.


While working on Chromebooks, students wrote a paragraph using Google Docs about a recent excursion to the Discovery Cube museum.


“When writing on the portfolio, I get to think about what I’m writing,” commented Jayden Xu.


“I am able to read and edit the content without having to use paper on multiple drafts,” Bagai said.


Technology coach Tami Barry visited the class on November 22 to direct a Google lesson on creating headlines, choosing design templates, importing content, editing photos, and writing descriptive captions on the page.


“The goal is to inspire teachers to begin utilizing this new era of technology tools,” said Barry.


She showed the children the difference between the “select” and “upload” option as the class browsed through a shared Google Drive Folder of photos from the field trip.


Students eagerly participated in the digital tutorial.


“To select, just click on it and it turns blue,” said Barry whose lesson was displayed on an LCD projector.


“I clicked this button and then wrote about the photo,” said Ethan Tsou after successfully inserting on his page.


Tech coaches Barry and Wendy Cadima, both former classroom teachers, rotate through the nine elementary schools to provide support as educators integrate technology in their classrooms.


“We model lessons, co-teach, collaborate, and plan with them,” said Barry who is scheduled to visit Bagai’s class several times this year to facilitate the portfolio project.


“It’s extremely rewarding!” she added.


The digital portfolios are empowering students to design and implement their online showcase of artifacts and achievements.


The final projects will be uploaded as websites and shared with parents during the school’s open house this spring.


“The website is like a time machine that whisks you to the memories from August to May!” said MiLin Zhu.



Walnut Elementary teacher Seema Bagai, at left, works with technology coach Tami Barry during Google lesson. 


Digital portfolios! Technology coach Tami Barry visits Walnut Elementary on Nov. 22 to lead tutorial. 


Walnut Elementary fifth graders are designing digital portfolios to archive work this year.