Review by Jason Shiroff, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2017


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

Subjects & skills

  • Character & SEL
  • Communication & Collaboration
Grades 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.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (8 Reviews)
Privacy (See details)

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

Cons: Lacks some tools for creation, like drawing tools and voice recording.

Bottom Line: Multimedia documentation tools help communicate learning and expand assessment, and the addition of a gradebook sets this tool apart; still, student experience could use some polish.

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 Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

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

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

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

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Detailed data is available to teachers, parents, and students. Users can get help from videos, FAQs, support tickets, and even suggested assignments. Some translation support, especially Spanish, would aid parents.

Common Sense Reviewer
Jason Shiroff Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(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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