Last week I posted an article about edtech start-up Three Ring and their new platform for student e-portfolios. After my conversation with their CEO (Chief Education Officer) Steve Silvius, I was encouraged about the direction the company was going with Three Ring, and waited to see what the stated updates would bring.
In speaking with others about Three Ring’s potential, the same questions kept popping up: Does it do audio and video artifacts?
Well, Three Ring delivered big this past week with their updates to both Android and iOS devices. The addition of four capture selection buttons to the already clean layout just proves what we already know: Three Ring has taken a minimalist approach, stripped out everything we don’t need, and provided us with just the essentials.
Here we go!
First and foremost, for those not familiar with Three Ring, check out my previous article, Three Ring and ‘Traditional’ E-Portfolios, and view the short trailer to get the basic idea of what we’re talking about. The addition of the audio and video artifacts is paramount to making Three Ring the viable entity I know it can be, and many expect it will be. We all know that student achievement takes many forms, as do their projects and assignments. With the addition of video, there are numerous possibilities, including:
- Videos of student performances (this will be based on your district’s technology policies/permissions)
- Videos of student work (i.e., science projects, media creations, etc.)
- Videos of practice habits for musicians (again, based on technology policies/permissions)
Here is a screenshot of the video capture for the iPad:
Currently, there is no option for the upload of previously stored videos, though I have to believe this is an inevitable direction for Three Ring as they have already gone there for photos (more on this later). Also, the length of time needed to upload the videos will definitely vary depending upon your use of 3G/4G or WiFi. My suggestion is always going to be WiFi when able, but that is based on my own testing.
Next, the addition of audio capture is another home run for Three Ring. This serves any number of needs, from speaking practice in a foreign language classroom, to preparing monologues for a theater course or even singing or performing a short piece or scale passage in music. The audio capture interface will differ depending on your chosen device. For Android users, you will likely be prompted to select your choice of the “Sound Recorder” or the “Voice Recorder”. Either will work just fine, and you can make that the default for each subsequent artifact capture. For iOS users, it’s quite simple:
Like the video, there is no option to upload previously stored audio. Again, this seems inevitable. Also, as with the video capture, upload times will vary depending on your chosen connection and subsequent choice of technology. Thankfully, with so many options available, Three Ring seems poised to conquer some inherent upload time issues with an abundance of upload options.
Lastly, earlier in this post I mentioned the inevitable direction of Three Ring toward the upload of previously stored audio and video artifacts. Why? Because they’re already doing it with photos. Teachers now have the option to capture an entire class of artifacts using whatever mobile device they have available (iPhone, iPad, Android tablet/smartphone) and then simply upload the artifacts later. Additionally, students will be able to create documents (for example, PDF’s) and convert them to a photo format that can be uploaded to their portfolio.
All in all, it seems that the folks at Three Ring are firing on all cylinders. With the recent update including audio and video capture, the platform can certainly hold its own against anything else we have been using up to this point. Now it is a matter of how to communicate from teacher to teacher when students use the portfolios, and other questions of customization and district licensing. This all looks quite promising as Anne Arundel County, MD is currently doing a pilot of Three Ring in their district. I can only hope it goes as well as I expect it to.