June 6, 2019

How Digital Portfolios Help Teachers Meet ISTE Standards

How Digital Portfolios Help Teachers Meet ISTE Standards

Author: BSA Developer

Many psychologists believe deliberating between three or more options results in dissatisfaction. Call it the law of diminishing returns or decision fatigue, it’s something we all experience—especially as educators.

From app smashing and gamification to MOOC and VR, there is a multiplicity of competing ideas around what students should be learning and what tools we should use to teach it. Finding your focus in all the noise can be a challenge— this is why the ISTE Standards for Teachers matter. Here’s how educators are using bulb to meet them.


“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” ―Socrates

A powerful educator knows learning never ends. Curiosity compels them in a lifelong pursuit to grow and to share this passion with their students. They do this through an iterative process of 1) setting goals 2) pursuing goals with the support of their personal network and 3) reflecting on their experience and outcomes.

Learners on bulb

Check out how teachers are setting, documenting and achieving goals using this bulb collection.


“Truly, the best thing any of us have to bring to leadership is our own transforming selves.” —Ruth Haley Barton

Education leaders motivate students with a worthwhile vision, rather than mere tasks. They proactively seek out opportunities to support students in new ways, becoming advocates for new practices and tech tools that work. They get down in the dirt with their students to solve problems together. These teachers are not only admired by their students but industry colleagues as well.

Leaders on bulb

Leadership isn’t the easiest thing to document, but Belinda Medellin of San Anotonio’s CAST Tech High School uses her bulb digital portfolio to advocate for the nation’s first-ever UX program she designed for high schoolers.


“Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted.” ― Germany Kent

Technology, the internet and social media have ushered in a new era of humans interacting with humans. Add Snapchat to the mix, and it is a definite challenge. Exceptional educators recognize the need for critical thinking when conducting oneself digitally and strive to impart positive technology practices on their students. They foster digital and media literacy, mentor students in safe, legal, ethical digital practices and manage data privacy responsibly.

Citizens on bulb

This Austin-based organization fosters the development of their students’ professional personas for college and career pursuits via student mentorships with professionals in creative industries.


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

Collaborative teachers live by the open door policy, figuratively and literally. They are intentional in partnering with other educators, locally and globally, to expand student exposure to new ideas and tested practices. They are culturally competent, both in their communication with students and parents and also in their course content.

Collaborators on bulb

CAST Tech High School partners with industry experts in students’ industries of choice to facilitate skills workshops.


“Design creates culture. Culture shapes values. Values determine the future.”—Robert L. Peters

Educators who leverage sound design don’t let competing technologies detract from their primary focus: student learning. These educators recognize and accommodate the varying needs of different learners, finding the right “fit” of tool and environment to serve students well. These teachers use technology well—they aren’t used by it. Every decision to use technology is one that adds value to the student experience.

Designers on bulb

Using a diversity of multimedia content, appropriate for the student and context, this teacher designed an entire lesson on their bulb digital portfolio.


“One of the great challenges of today’s digital thinking tools is knowing when not to use them.” —Clive Thompson

Exceptional teachers facilitate student achievement of the ISTE Standards for Students. They are the great colanders of education technology, sifting through the helpful and not-so-helpful resources, presenting their students with only the most powerful, applicable technologies. These teachers use technology to see their students through to success.

Facilitators on bulb

Instructional Technology Specialist Laura Moore uses bulb to curate information about tech tools and to coach teachers about how to use these tools with students.


“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.”— Sherlock Holmes

Educators who honor the numbers and build practices around meaningful data understand they are an essential component of the larger equation of student success. These educators develop alternative ways to assess student competency when the numbers fall short. They use data to contribute to the design of technology that supports student self-direction.

Explore more ISTE Standards documented on bulb here.

The 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. 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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