PortaPortal

Introduction

Saving and sharing Internet sites with students and parents is a very practical and time-saving use of technology. Portaportal is the simplest online service for doing this. While this is a "web 1.0" application that doesn't allow any interactivity, it still has value for many teachers.

Creating organized groups of bookmarks for your classes is very simple. Adding descriptive text to any link helps guests with directions for use.  And backing up your entire collection of bookmarks just in case Portaportal closes up shop one day is also easily done. While the basic service is free, Portaportal runs ads on your page unless you pay to have them turned off.

Setting up and using your Portaportal - a webpage tutorial from Rockingham (VA) County Schools

Voicethread Walkthrough - an audio/visual tutorial from Tech Integrator Mary Frazier


Discovey Exercise

Find some Portaportals that other teachers in your field have created. Do this by searching in Google using search strings such as portaportal +literature. This may require some digging on portals. Note whether useful descriptive phrases are used by the author to help users locate links. If you find links you might be able to use in your classes, bookmark them.

Some suggested sites:
1. Mrs. Longardino - very complete Portaportal page for elementary grades
2. Monica Sprinkle - aimed at grades 5 & 6 science, but links to many resources
3. Cindy Cain - Huguenot High School categories of all kinds
4. Mr. Dudley - Easton, Maine social studies and language arts links
5. Vicky Costa - Science Education links






Task

PART 1: Create a Portaportal account following the directions above. Spend some time searching out links that you might be able to use in your class and set them in categories on your Portaportal. As a good teaching practice, include descriptive text with each link to help explain its content and use. Be sure to make your portal guest accessible (directions at the Rockingham link above). Share your portal name with the other members of your work group and check one another's work.




PART 2: Create a blog post in which you reflect on Portaportal as a technology tool. Consider the process of creating, sharing and maintaining your portal. Also, consider how Portaportal might be used by your students in collecting links of their own.
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