How Digital Portfolios Help Students Meet ISTE Standards

Author: BSA Developer

Defining student success can be slippery, particularly when near-constant innovation keeps standards a moving target. Using the tried-and-true seven ISTE Standards for Students, define and communicate what successful learning looks like for students today—and discover how bulb can help.

Empowered Learner

“We have an opportunity to restore the dignity and integrity of a work ethic by redefining the role of the learner as a contributor to the learning culture.” —Alan November

Digital portfolios go beyond simply digitizing a student’s body of work. A digital portfolio empowers students to own their education. With a digital portfolio, empowered learners:

  • Visually assess their process, thinking and growth to assemble a larger picture of their learning
  • Reflect on where they’ve come from and determine where they want to go
  • Take their work with them for a lifetime of learning

Digital portfolios give purpose to student learning from kindergarten through their college and career. On bulb, your students aren’t just vying for a grade or test score—they’re actively contributing to a larger community of meaningful knowledge, for life.

Digital Citizen

“The internet is just a world passing around notes in a classroom.” —Jon Stewart

Today’s students are growing up as much in a digital world as a physical one. The social-emotional, cognitive and technical demands of the internet can be challenging to navigate for young brains still “under construction.” Imbuing wisdom, purposefulness and resilience when it comes to students’ online activity is imperative.

On bulb, digital citizens:

  • Craft a positive, authentic and unique online presence.
  • Showcase their work to a real audience.
  • Engage in healthy online discussion with peers, practicing the offering of constructive feedback and receiving it.
  • Navigate the hairy world of copyright guidelines, terms of use laws and attribution.

In a safe and carefully crafted environment like bulb, students can feel free to be themselves, experiment a little and start breaking trail on their journey to becoming responsible, original, ethical and essential members of the online community.

Knowledge Constructor

“What makes us unique is the diversity and breadth of our influences, the unique ways in which we mix up the parts of culture others have deemed ‘high’ and ‘low.’”—Austin Kleon

Knowledge isn’t very useful until it becomes meaningful. Knowledge constructors interact with information on a deeper level than mere knowing. They gather info from trusted online sources, get their hands on it, play around with it and finally reconstruct it with their own flair of personal experience, reflection and style.

Knowledge Constructors on bulb

Elements, Principles & Composition

This 8th grader user her bulb portfolio to practice critical curation and demonstrate meaningful connections.

Innovative Designer

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” —Albert Einstein

Today, students are being trained for jobs that probably don’t exist yet. Answers to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” have exploded into a multiplicity of new directions. With an unprecedentedly-paced tech industry, students are creating their own jobs, ones their education hadn’t even planned for.

“A better question to ask students — and one that reflects the economy we face — is, ‘What problem do you want to solve?’ You can follow up with, ‘What skills and knowledge do you need to address that problem?’ And, ‘What do you need to learn to solve that problem?’” Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google

A single-track education to an end-goal job is no longer sufficient—today’s students require something more. Our world needs innovative designers who press into ambiguity, embrace risk and, with grit, work towards new solutions to real world problems–not just careers.

Innovative Designers on bulb

CAPSTONE | Senior Project

For her senior capstone project, this student created a free library in her community and documented the design process and progress on her bulb portfolio.

PROJECT | New Product Design: SPLOOSH

This large design project shows off innovation and design skills, as well as process and progress.

Computational Thinker

“If you define the problem correctly, you almost have the solution.” —Steve Jobs

Some questions seem too complex for students to tackle. But computational thinkers on bulb can break a problem down into digestible components to get their arms around it.

bulb was built to prove that you can simplify any problem enough to solve it. We believe all of life’s big questions are made up of tiny, manageable parts that students can work to understand better and better. We really do believe there is a sweet simplicity on the other side of complexity.

At the bite size page level of bulb, students can visualize data up real close; at the zoomed out level of robust collections, students can visualize data from up real high. They discover patterns and break up long processes into component parts.

Creative Communicator

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” —Scott Adams

There are a lot of ways to say 1,000 words these days and creative communicators know just which ones to use.

On bulb, students simply, intuitively and creatively communicate their learning by weaving together images, videos, text, audio and an array of other embedded content. It’s as easy as clicking a big blue button.

With our simple, beautiful and powerful design, bulb takes care of the how so students can focus on the what, the 360-degrees of their learning story.

Creative Communicators on bulb

PROJECT| Inferno

This student communicates her knowledge of Dante’s Inferno using audio embeds, “black out” poetry, video and more.

Global Collaborator

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” —Ken Blanchard

Learning should be a communal endeavor. bulb users come from every grade level (K-12, collegiate, professionals) and more than 120 countries around the world. Search in bulb and you’ll find original work in just about every subject you can think of—like entrepreneurial pursuits in energy, vaccinations in South Africa, the many faces of “disability,” student resumes and even neuroprediction.

When a student publishes on bulb, they aren’t creating in a vacuum, they’re joining a world-wide collaborative knowledge party.  

Global Collaborators on bulb

PROJECT | Startup Pitch

This student brainstormed and organized a new business idea with a remote group on bulb.


A cartography assignment on bulb for students.

Explore more ISTE standards documented on bulb here.

These seven standards were created and implemented by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a global community of educators dedicated to leveraging the power of technology for student learning. They are a reliable guide to using technology effectively in the classroom. Implementing these standards with bulb will ensure you don’t detract from your primary goal: student learning.

If you’re spending a lot of time sharpening your skills as an educator this summer, make sure you document your growth and learning on bulb Digital Portfolios. You can use this Professional Development guide to help you capture your summer growth.

Explore the Resource Center for more helpful resources. Or contact us to set up a demo. 

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