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Why Dropr will Likely Change the Way We Do Digital Portfolios

16 April 2014 No Comment

If you’ve not tried Dropr yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a publishing platform that is amazingly simple, cleanly and professionally layed out, and visually engaging. Here’s a quick demo I made to show off the different types of artifacts that can be embedded in them. My Dropr.

We currently have all of our students in Middle and High School doing digital portfolios. They collect digital artifacts, reflect on them, and store them online. At various points in their time spent with us, they defend them. They talk us through the process they went through for each artifact, and how it exemplified particular standards of the Danville Diploma. The system we use is great, but we needed something a little more visual. If our students are going to take these portfolios with them to job interviews or school entrance interviews it had to be done in a way that was clear, professional, and incredible. So I stumbled on Dropr.  Here’s how I think it will change how we do things.

#1 It’s all about the artifacts and the stories they tell.

Digital artifacts come in all forms. And having them just as links to open on their native application just doesn’t cut it. Word Documents, pictures, and videos aren’t going to be that bad. But something in say, a CAD format, needs to be able to be displayed on any machine regardless of the software installed on it. It should be there. In the portfolio, on the webpage.

Here’s their current list of file types that can be directly embedded and displayed.

  • Image
    JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP
  • Audio
    MP3, WAV, FLAC, OGG, M4A
  • Video
    ASF, ASX, AVI, DIVX, DV, DVX, M4V, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MPG, QT, WMV, 3G2, 3GP, 3IVX, 3VX
  • Text
    Just type or TXT, RTF, DOC, PDF
  • Interactive
    SWF, ZIP
  • 3D
    BLEND, DAE, OBJ, FBX, DWF, OSG, OSGT, OSGB, IVE, 3DS, LWO , LWS, PLY, WRL, IV, SHP, STL, BVH, FLT, AC, X, DW, 3DC, GEO, GTA, KMZ

#2 Ease of use for everyone is key

There needs to be as few clicks as possible between uploading and displaying content, viewing latest items as a teacher, and navigating the portfolio as an outsider.

I absolutely love that you only have a few options when adding new content. Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 1.22.13 PM

 

 

 

Three options for adding new content. Write something, import it from one of their partners, or upload. Simple

As a teacher, there is a follow option. You can add your students, and new content pops up in your dashboard feed. This means there’s less of a need to track down individual portfolios to check for updates, and that’s a huge plus.

As a business or school that’s received the link from a prospective student. They are immediately displayed the portfolio. No logins required, no special software. All of the work on their part can be spent on the important task of assessing the content.

I should mention that through some email contact, I’ve been told that education hubs for schools are in the works. Discounts are currently available(and there’s a LOT that can be done for free), and as that info comes available I’ll be updating with a new post.

#3 It just looks clean and professional.

You can join Dropr for free with a few limitations. 20 uploads(I believe you gain more uploads over time), and some file size limits. I’ve not run into any trouble with these yet. They have a GURU upgrade with a monthly fee (currently around $10/month or $100/year).

Totally worth checking out, in my opinion.

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