I have had a lot of messages about this recently and I’m sure those going to the Netherlands will hear more but I want to just explain how I used iTunes U for portfolios this year.
Previously i had problems that some might remember where an external examiner did not like receiving work digitally (via dropbox) because he couldn’t figure out how to view / download the work. Well this solved all those problems. This was how I got around this.
When students sign up for classes the first thing we always do is get them an email address (if they don’t have one already) sign them up to the relevant iTunes U course and set them up some form of cloud storage (in the past this was iCloud or Dropbox). We did all that this year but we also set them up an iTunes U course each. This course was created using their own Apple IDs and I was added as a contributor to each course.
I used the exact same outline for their portfolio course as the associated iTunes U course had so they were able to become familiar with both.
In the case of one class there were 8 sections in the outline
1. Research Project – this contained a researched project students completed on the evolution of digital media. It was a pages document.
2. Websites – studens had to create a wordpress and/or wix website so this had a link to this website.
3. Facebook – this contained a link to the students business page.
4. QR codes & digital marketing – this contained student made QR codes, and an ezine.
5. iBook – this contained books that students had made using iBooks Author
6. Movies – this section contained movies they had created using Animoto, Powtoon and FCPX
7. Photo-editing – this section contained photos they had edited using Fotor
8. Assessment – this section contained their end of year exam which was taken and graded using Socrative. I just downloaded it as a PDF for them to insert.
Students had no problems at all doing this. What I liked most was that I could keep an eye on their progress because I was a collaborator on the course. My students are all adults but in a k-12 environment this would mean that you could also allow parents access.
What I also liked is because the student work was added as assessments they had the post section to give more info. For example on their movies they were able to explain more about the movie if they wanted to. Something which isn’t readily possible in iCloud / Dropbox.
The way the assignments appear like a checklist is also great because it meant that I could check them off to make sure they were all there.
This has given me the power to go totally paperless. The examiner at the end of the year just needs an iPad. It means no unnecessary downloading of student work and it means everything is accessible. iTunes U also accepts all file formats that we use so it’s great.
Edited to add. A massive benefit some of my students have had is that when they were going for interviews for jobs or other courses they were able to send links to the potential employer or bring the course along to interview.