Skip to content

Information for Schools, Students, and Families

group of older students smiling with trees in the background

The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio – Impact

Here’s an analogy. Leaving high school is like launching a rocket, and the transition from school to adult life is like roaring into the atmosphere, heading off to explore new adventures. Some of these adventures will be planned; others will be unexpected – but all will continue to propel you through life. What counts is what you do with each new experience and opportunity encountered. The Digital Portfolio can function almost like the GPS on your phone: students engage in the IEP process to set meaningful transition goals and activities (telling the GPS where to go) and hit “Go.” As your journey progresses, you may encounter a roadblock that sends you in a different direction. That’s okay, because the GPS will “re-route” you. In the same way, new life goals can be determined and the digital portfolio can be used to document this critical information. Information that’s already in the digital portfolio can always be reviewed and updated, if needed. The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio will be available to students and to additional adults on the support team.

Remember, as with any tool or resource, the digital portfolio will be more helpful if it is used consistently. Students, families, and educators will find it extremely user-friendly, responsive to individual needs, and useful for facilitating a successful transition into the post-school environment.

The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio – Students

First off, celebrate the fact that you have already accomplished more than you may realize. You have already been building a strong foundation on which to build a successful and satisfying life – and you are the one at the center of making all this happen (with lots of people supporting you, true – but no one can make your life happen but you). So you are in fact becoming the boss of your own life. To continue the rocket analogy…think of yourself sitting in the cone of a rocket – one that you’ve designed and built. All of your experiences up until now, in school and life, are the launch pad. Your motivation is the fuel that will propel you from the launch pad into the atmosphere, towards your goal. Your aspirations are your mission. The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio can be one of the mechanisms that help steer your rocket. And as with the other component parts of your rocket, you have the opportunity to work with your team to customize the digital portfolio in many different ways.

The first step is to acquaint yourself with each of the features of the digital portfolio. Find out what these features can do – and how they can benefit you. Then collaborate with your portfolio team to determine which features are most important to work on right now. What information has top priority? This will depend on your short-, mid-, and long-term goals. Keep in mind that goals can be adjusted, depending on your unique life circumstances. Here’s an example: if one of your goals is to enter the military, you will need to put into your digital portfolio any information that relates to that goal: your transcripts, data on your physical and mental health, skills and experiences that indicate leadership potential, and so forth. Some of this same information will be needed for college applications. And if you want a job, you’ll need to have quick access to all of the information that goes into a job application, resume, and being able to tell a prospective interviewer why that company should hire you!

Work with your portfolio team (maybe think of them as fellow engineers building that rocket!) to determine what information is most useful to you at each stage of the design process. Then go from there.

The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio – Families

With your support and guidance, your child has been building a strong foundation on which to build a successful and satisfying life. In fact, your child is becoming the boss of their own life. To continue the rocket analogy…think of your child sitting in the cone of a rocket – one that they have designed and built. All of their experiences up until now, in school and life, are the launch pad. Your support and their motivation is the fuel that will propel them from the launch pad into the atmosphere, towards their goal. Their aspirations are their mission. The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio can be one of the mechanisms that help steer their rocket. You and your child will have the opportunity to work with a team to customize the digital portfolio in many different ways.

The first step is to acquaint yourself with the features of your child’s digital portfolio. Find out what these features can do – and how they can benefit your child. Then collaborate with your child’s portfolio team to determine which features are most important to work on right now. What information has top priority? This will depend on your child’s short-, mid-, and long-term goals. Keep in mind that your child’s goals can be adjusted, depending on their unique life circumstances. Here’s an example: if one of your child’s goals is to enter the military, they will need to put into their digital portfolio any information that relates to that goal: their transcripts, data on their physical and mental health, skills and experiences that indicate leadership potential, and so forth. Some of this same information will be needed for college applications. And if your child wants a job, they’ll need to have quick access to all of the information that goes into a job application, resume, and being able to tell a prospective interviewer why that company should hire them!

Work with your child’s portfolio team to determine what information is most useful to your child at each stage of the design process. Then go from there.

The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio – Schools

With your schools support and guidance, your students have been building a strong foundation on which to build a successful and satisfying life. In fact, your students are becoming the boss of their own life. To continue the rocket analogy…think of your students sitting in the cone of a rocket – one that they have designed and built. All of their experiences up until now, in school and life, are the launch pad. Your schools support and their motivation is the fuel that will propel them from the launch pad into the atmosphere, towards their goal. Their aspirations are their mission. The Maryland Transition Digital Portfolio can be one of the mechanisms that help steer their rocket. The school will have the opportunity to work as a team with students and families to customize the digital portfolio in many different ways.

Back to Digital Portfolio Home

Related content