Website review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2017

Bulb

Slick portfolio tool has cool features, limited feedback options

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
69%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
7–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration

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5 images

Pros: Flexible, attractive interface makes content creation a snap.

Cons: Bare-bones options for teacher feedback; potentially prohibitive cost.

Bottom Line: A neat tool for publishing online, possibly better suited to teacher content creation than student publishing.

Teachers can create their own Bulb collections and pages to share content for a unit or lesson. Assemble a series of primary-source images or articles as pages in a collection, and encourage students to review the pages and respond to them in writing or discussion. Each student also might contribute a page to a teacher-created collection: Consider using this as a way to have many students submit responses that other students can then review and comment on. Alternatively, ask students to create their own pages or collections: Students might use their Bulb collection as a place to show off their work over the course of the year or assemble a series of articles or images on a related topic. 

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Bulb is a website for creating your own digital portfolios. Teachers and students can create their own free accounts and start creating pages (which feature text, images, and other media) and collections (which are groups of pages). The simple content-creation tool allows users to upload images, type, and add links. Finished posts have a slick look with large featured images and limited text on screen. 

The free bulb accounts come with slimmed-down features, and a paid subscription lets users create more groups, and they get more storage and features to attach files and embed webpages. School-level accounts include the same features as the standard paid version, and they're priced at the building or district level. 

Though Bulb's developers tout the site as a portfolio tool, it lacks some of the assessment features that distinguish other portfolio tools available. Teachers and students can comment on each other's pages, but that's about it: There aren't extensive features for tracking students' submissions or offering ongoing feedback or formative assessment. Overall, this is an attractive tool for creating web-based content and sharing it, but look elsewhere for a portfolio tool to help you track and assess students' work. 

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

These portfolios and collections make bold images stand out, and it's appealing to create pro-looking webpages with only a few clicks. 

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Publishing features make it easy for students to create and share their own content, but there's limited potential for peer collaboration or teacher feedback beyond a slim commenting feature. 

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Short videos illustrate the site's potential, and the content creator is straightforward and easy to use. 


Common Sense reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Community Rating

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Featured review by
MELISSA Q. ,
CAST Tech H.S.
San Antonio, United States
Great Tool for Non-Tech Veteran Teachers
It works well with Google Suite and the support team with bulb is always quick to respond with a smile. I liked that you can form different collections and then specific pages within a collection, its like having a digital binder. A tool that can help students stay organized is a blessing in itself. My intention this year is to use the product more explicitly as a digital journal for the year with an increased need for distance learning activities. I'm also encouraging students to embed more videos and ...
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Personal information is displayed publicly.
Unclear whether user-created content is filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Processes to modify inaccurate data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
Unclear whether this product displays behavioral or targeted advertising.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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