Spaces is a great digital portfolio service that I have been using and recommending for the past few years. Like all good edtech tools, it really started with some good and unique features Since then it has consistently added more features based on feedback from teachers like you and me. And just in time for the annual ISTE conference, Spaces unveiled a bunch of new features.
If you’re going to an ISTE conference, you can drop by their booth to learn all about space (# 1549 Two rows to the north of the Brainpop booth and to the south of the neerpod placed in Hall H). You can also book a demo with the Spaces team and get a free T-shirt when you meet them. Those who are not participating in ISTE and those who are joining and want to get a preview of the new features should read.
Quick enrollment and easy activity sharing
Nothing can stop the movement in the classroom as every student has to go and say “click here” or “it won’t let me in”. That’s why Spaces has introduced new enrollment and sharing options.
Now there is an option to create a QR code to scan your students to join your Spaces classroom account. Students simply scan a QR code and enroll in your class. Watch this short video to see how it works.
In Spaces you can create activities for your students. Students can view activities by logging in to the space. But it’s not the only way to share activities with your students. The LMS you are using for your class is the easiest way to find student activity. Unique URLs are generated for each activity. You can post those activity URLs in your LMS In addition, Google Classroom users have the option to post directly to their classroom from their Spaces account. Watch this short video to learn more about activity URLs and sharing.
Curriculum standards, goals and skills
Last fall spaces have added the option to tag students ’work with curriculum goals and or alignment with state standards. The best part about it for me was that Spaces made it very easy to find values and apply tags for submission work (see my demo). Space is now expanding that power into activity.
Now when you create an activity in Spaces you can tag it with the values it aligns with. The advantage of doing this is that each artifact that a student does for that activity is automatically tagged with the correct value. This helps in showing the progress of the students towards meeting the standards. For a glimpse of the students’ perspectives on completing the activity, watch this short video.
Speaking of progress towards meeting standards, the spaces in August will create a scale of efficiency. Skill scales will appear as color-coded labels that you can apply to the work your students submit to Spaces. Think of it as a quick way to tell students if their work meets a skill standard, if more work is needed, or if it exceeds expectations. Go to the 27 second mark in this video to see the Spaces efficiency standard used.
Create a “best” portfolio
One thing that drew me to the first place was the ability to create individual, group and whole class portfolios. But so far there has been no way to quickly put the same deposited work into multiple portfolios. This has changed with the latest update to Space. Now you can quickly copy students’ work from a group or class portfolio to a separate portfolio. This makes it possible for students to do something like create an “optimal” portfolio so they can share the work done individually in groups and throughout the year.
Learn more and get started!
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, Spaces will be at ISTE this year. You can find them Booth 1549 Two rows to the north of the Brainpop booth and to the south of the Nearpod placed in Hall H. Tell them I sent you!
If you haven’t joined ISTE and would like to learn more about Spaces, check out my demo videos here and then sign up for a free account to get started.