Photo by Benjamin Hager

Tara Woodruff just wanted to make the J.L. Long Middle School website better. But in the process of improving the site for the school’s PTA, Woodruff wound up creating a new business that tracks students’ performance. The business, classkey.com, allows students to build online portfolios showcasing their grades and achievements. Her younger daughter, Baylee Willingham, is now a 15-year-old freshman at Woodrow Wilson High School, and she’s enrolled in the fledgling International Baccalaureate program there. The IB program requires students to keep a portfolio throughout their high school careers, and Classkey makes that easy for Baylee and other students, Woodruff says. “It’s really appropriate for students who have a lot of video, so performers, athletes,” she says. Baylee would like to play volleyball in college, and Woodruff hopes her Classkey portfolio will help recruiters assess her when the time comes. A one-year subscription to the site is $99, and users receive their own URL — bayleewillingham.com, for example. From there, it’s easy to set up. Anyone who can use Facebook can do it, Woodruff says. And speaking of that, Classkey helps kids to learn how to present themselves online in a professional manner. “That’s something a lot of people don’t learn until after they get out of college or later,” she says. Woodruff’s older daughter, Jordan Willingham, is studying psychology at the University of North Texas, and she used her Classkey portfolio when applying for graduate school. If Jordan wants, she could keep updating her site and use it to get a job. “It’s something that could follow you your whole life,” Woodruff says. Users can keep their Classkey sites private and give usernames and passwords to people whom they want to have access. “The goal is to bring a newer, easier technology and make it available to anyone who wants to use it,” Woodruff says.

More information is available at classkey.com.


WANT MORE?
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.