Overall, Showcase is an excellent resource that gives students control and autonomy over what they want to share and with whom.
Students begin with Showcase by signing up for a free account. At this time they can also enter a school code if they would like to, which is a quick and easy way to associate their account with a specific school (more on this later). They can also add this code later if they don’t know it or don’t have one. Accounts can be created from scratch, or linked with a Google or Microsoft account.
From there, students can begin adding content to their portfolio. Students can import links, upload files from Google Drive or OneDrive, upload photos, or upload documents.
Once students select the type of file they are adding, they’ll also be asked to provide a title and a description for the artifact. Usually, these things are auto-populated from wherever you pull them in from, but they can always be edited.
Students can add as many items as they would like to their portfolios, and it’s an incredibly simple interface. Once students add items, they can star the ones they would like to have front and center, but otherwise, the artifacts are added in the order the student enters them into the site.
Once students are happy with all the artifacts they have added, they can go into the settings menu and set their portfolio as public (or click the lock by their name on the portfolio home page).
For students with a school code (that a teacher or admin created), students can leave their portfolios as private, but enter the school code so that anyone in their institution can see their portfolio as well.
On the teacher side, everything is also free and incredibly easy to setup as well. Just register as a teacher and then you can enter your school details on the next page. If your school isn’t already in the system, you can manually add it. From there, you’ll be assigned a school code which you can then share out with your students. Teachers and school staff can then view the portfolios of any students using that school code.
Overall, I really love Showcase. It is so simple to use, and it is such a beneficial resource. The fact that it is completely student-driven and student-owned is wonderful. So many portfolio sites are built around teachers or schools having control, which can have advantages for grading and assessment, but which can also make it difficult for students to share out their work or access the portfolios after they graduate. Showcase does a nice job of incorporating the school with the School Code feature, but largely leaving everything in the hands of students.
On top of all that, it is (and will continue to be for the foreseeable future) a completely free resource for teachers and students to use, which is tough to beat!
I was not compensated for writing this review.