How to Create an Exciting Digital Portfolio with Adobe Spark

Digital portfolios are all the rage. However, choosing which one to use can become overwhelming quickly. You might come across platforms that look cool or interesting but aren’t suitable for your grade level or classroom needs. Among countless choices, devoting time to choose the best platform becomes one more time-consuming task on your to-do list.

However, one platform rises above the rest: Adobe Spark.

student looking at phone

Why Adobe Spark?

Adobe Spark is a simple platform your students can begin using immediately. It is a free, web-based program available on computers and tablets. Plus, it is a strong visual aesthetic making it a perfect fit for the art room.

Signing up is simple, as students can use their school-issued email. Once a student creates an account, they can select three different options: Post, Page, or Video. Although any of these options could work, creating a Page is the best way to go.

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Students can then choose from 13 different themes to make their portfolios more personalized.

themeOne of the best features of Adobe Spark is that is so user-friendly. Often when students are learning a new platform, lots of time is wasted getting used to it. Here, students may need a little help to get started, but they will be creating independently in no time! The streamlined platform makes it easy to add new content with limited distractions. Just look for the “plus signs” to see options to add images, video, or text.

How Do Digital Portfolios Benefit the Art Room?

Digital portfolios have the ability to enhance student learning. It gives students the opportunity to assess, reflect, and grow. I asked one of my 8th-grade students why he liked having a digital portfolio. He said, “Even though it creates a little extra work, I like being able to see all of my work in one place. It’s fun to see how much better my skills have become since the beginning of the year.”

digital portfolio

Students become much more invested in their work and their portfolios when they are creating their own digital spaces. Digital portfolios allow for formative assessment opportunities and create hybrid spaces to celebrate both process and product.

Check out these other art-room-approved digital portfolio platforms:

Digital portfolios do not have to be time-consuming. Using an efficient platform like Adobe Spark makes it easy. If used effectively, portfolios can act as an intrinsic motivator as students watch their skills and understanding deepen. Students will begin taking ownership of their work which will further enhance their art room experience!

Do you create digital portfolios? What platform do you use?

How do you track student growth?

Abby Schukei

Abby is a middle school art teacher in Omaha, NE. She focuses on creating meaningful experiences for her students through technology integration, innovation, and creativity.

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  • Nicole Reed

    I would LOVE to implement something like this, but my school doesn’t have access to technology beyond desktop computers in the computer lab. Some of my students have smart phones that we sometimes use, but it’s always tricky because there are some students who don’t have one. Do you have any advice on how this might be achieved with a less tech-savvy school? Thanks!

    • Abby Schukei

      Yeah that’s tricky when you are limited by devices. Maybe at the end of each project you could make it a habit or assign it as a job to photograph all the work. All of the photos (maybe divided by class section) could be put into a folder and retrieved via Google Classroom or another LMS. This way the photos would be on the computer already for students to access.

      This would be a great opportunity to write a grant for iPads/tablets for digital portfolios. Even just 4 or so tablets could make this a reality in your classroom!

  • Thank you for bringing this great resource to our attention, I’m definitely going to check out Spark as a potential portfolio site for students.

    • Abby Schukei

      You’re welcome! It really is a great tool!

  • Emma Treloar

    I love using Adobe Spark, especially with my middle schoolers but there is an age restriction (can’t remember if it’s 13 or 18) when signing up so just weary of that I usually just have my students just use 1980 or something

    • Abby Schukei

      Just for safety reasons, I always just give my students a date or assigned birthday so they are not providing personal information!

  • Lily Walker

    With Adobe Spark, can students easily share the works with others? Can they export works to other places (like to submit online to a competition) or link to it from their personal websites?

  • Art

    You might want to consider FERPA regulations on student data privacy. Asking what your school district allows or doesn’t allow for publishing student data might be the best place to start. Telling students to use fake emails/birth may not be the best solution for art
    educators to be able to have students utilize an digital portfolio and does not model good digital citizenship. Watch this link for more information http://ptac.ed.gov/
    Adobe Spark states in the terms and services/privacy policy that data will be out in the public domain.

  • Jennifer Biddle

    Has anyone found an app that works well for elementary school age?
    I know Artsonia is popular, but seems very time consuming…

    • Abby Schukei

      I’ve heard great feedback from teachers who use Creatubbles and Seesaw! It seems to be appropriate for elementary students.