Website review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated February 2020


A fresh way to capture, document, and share student learning

Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 8 reviews
Privacy rating
90%| Pass Expert evaluation by Common Sense
3–9 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
Communication & Collaboration, Character & SEL

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Pros: Teachers can use mobile devices to document student learning and share day-to-day information instantly with parents and students.

Cons: Lacks some tools for creation and accessibility, like drawing tools, voice narration, language translation, and text-to-speech.

Bottom Line: Multimedia documentation tools and a customizable grade book help communicate learning and expand both summative and formative assessment.

Even if teachers are required to use another grading program, the FreshGrade dashboard and reporting tools could help create a more comprehensive view of student achievement. Teachers can use FreshGrade to keep track of grades and document daily classroom activities. Using the mobile app to capture video, photos, and audio of classroom work can make documenting student learning easier. Once this data is collected, teachers can use push notifications to let parents and students know that it's posted. This is a great way to open communication channels with parents more frequently. 

Additionally, teachers can work with students to curate and add their own work to the portfolios. Selecting pieces to add to their portfolios and reflecting on these pieces can help improve self-evaluations. These student-created portfolios make excellent talking points for student-led conferences, and could also help students set goals and track progress.

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FreshGrade is a tool available on the web, as well as iPhone, iPad, Android, and Chrome, that helps teachers and students easily capture, document, and communicate student learning. It's a cross between a grading program, eportfolio, and a learning management system (LMS). Educators create class lists and select Common Core State Standards to use as learning outcomes. Next, activities are created and tied to the learning outcomes. Activities can be graded in a variety of ways on FreshGrade: Teachers can grade based on mastery, anecdotal notes, marking criteria with yes or no, percentage scores, and using conventional grades that can be weighted. While working on the activities, teachers and students can use their mobile devices to capture photos, video, audio recordings, and other notes. This data can be linked to individual students, groups, or the entire class. Students can review the teacher-collected data and comment on it, and they can assemble the information into an eportfolio to document their learning journey.

FreshGrade can generate progress reports or summary reports, and teachers have access to extensive data on their dashboard. Teachers can use push notifications to share information with parents and students, and classroom announcements can also be pushed out to families. Parents can view their own child's portfolio and leave comments. Several versions of the mobile app are available to serve teachers, parents, and students.

FreshGrade enables teachers to easily assess student learning and provide instant feedback. Students almost always benefit when offered the opportunity to get timely feedback and reflect on it. This is where FreshGrade shines. Students get push notifications when a teacher posts to their account. They have the opportunity to post their own work, review the new teacher posts, and make comments. Students and teachers can enter into meaningful dialogue based on photos, video, and audio. Parents can be easily invited into this dialogue.

The tool's developers heavily promote its ease of use, and it's definitely highly usable for teachers; students may struggle a bit but with some coaching they'll get the hang of it. The student experience would also benefit from more tools for creation (voice recording, drawing) and perhaps QR codes for account sign-up vs. unique access codes. For teachers already required to use a grading platform or more robust LMS, FreshGrade may create more work and duplicate efforts teachers are already putting in elsewhere. Still, this is a great way to flexibly capture and share student progress.

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?

Makes the often tedious task of documenting student learning easier, but the experience could be more intuitive. Teachers can share engaging multimedia data with students and parents, and all can comment and reflect on learning.

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?

Students curate their own eportfolios using video, audio, image, and text, creating powerful learning, reflection, and feedback opportunities. Push notifications of student work give parents a window into the classroom.

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?

Support resources on the site include a blog,  professional learning courses, and an FAQ section. Some additional accessibility features, such as language translation and text-to-speech would aid parents and students.

Common Sense reviewer
Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

Community Rating

(See all 8 reviews) (8 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Gaila S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Interactive and Collaborative, A View Into Real-Time Student Learning
FreshGrade is an excellent choice for an eportfolio. It combines collaboration with meaningful communication. It is also free to use and user friendly with great tech help. However, I do wish they would figure out a way around needing an email address to be able to link with portfolios. Not all parents of my students have an email account at this time...
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information is shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
Users can control their information through privacy settings.
Users can create or upload content.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

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

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