Judy Durkin

Behance or Acrobat for Student ePortfolios?

Now that Adobe has acquired Behance - is it going to replace Acrobat as the tool for student ePortfolios? How are you using Behance? How does it compare to the Acrobat Portfolio?

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Aaron Roberts

Posted on 9/12/13 12:17:15 PM Permalink

We started using Behance this year in my digital imaging classes to track student work. We're also encouraging our AP Studio students to use it to track their work. In the case of the AP Studio students, It's very easy to shoot their artwork on their phones and upload it. The Digital Imaging kiddos, of course, already have digital art ready to go.

I teach about 350 high school kids a year in digital imaging, so I have a ton of portfolios in progress (I only have 125 of them right now). Some of them agreed to allow me to show what they have so far on Behance: (this is a good one, still has more art to upload though) (another good one here)

We just started getting these up. My intention is to post links so peers can send comments and appreciations.

Eventually, these will be used as summative assessment for the term. The artwork will represent their growth in craftsmanship, creativity, visual communication, and composition as well technical skill in the software. There will also be artist statements with each artwork that demonstrate their ability to reflect from a given prompt as well as correct use of vocabulary. That's the future anyway, not there yet.

Judy Durkin

Posted on 12/20/17 5:48:26 AM Permalink

Better late than never. Thanks.​

Donna Dolan

Posted on 8/9/13 1:55:44 PM Permalink

I didn't know about this and I was going to get my students going on their portfolios early. Thanks for the heads up.

Debbie Keller

Posted on 7/29/13 4:28:31 PM Permalink

Behance for students is great! Glad I just learned about it, will definately show my students this coming school year.

Joan Hoffman

Posted on 7/22/13 8:54:04 PM Permalink

Behance can follow students through their career. I think that's great. I used other web-based programs in the past and Acrobat portfolios. With Behance you won't have students contacting you later to retrieve files or taking up space on my server for 4 years. It puts the ball in their court as they move on past your classroom. I also was excited when someone mentioned that you can track your students. I like that people are "appreciated." You can share your work in progress and get feedback or see the design process. This makes the process less overwhelming to see stages of work. It also showcases student work in "galleries." It is a cool way to show what newbies are working on who are on their "level." You can view galleries for different schools, like SCAD, AI, etc. Instant field trip. Students can then maintain this anywhere they go as a single platform. Schools can track what their students and what their alumni are doing.

Tim Randall

Posted on 7/14/13 5:10:02 AM Permalink

I have to agree that Behance is an awesome community for almost every kind of visual artist! I used it with my graphic design and animation students 2 years ago for their end-of-year portfolios, and it worked out great. This past year, I was going to use it throughout the year, but the site was blocked by my district's internet filter. I was pretty upset, because it's a great site, but a network administrator pointed out that there was a fair amount of mature photography on the site, and could no longer give us access. So, I was left looking for alternatives. I could have used several arguments about art and freedom, but it's tough to argue your way past (even artistic) nudity. I just wanted to mention that to you all - if you are in a high school setting, you might need an alternative!

Matt Niemitz

Posted on 7/15/13 3:46:35 PM Permalink

Great point Tim! There is definitely quite a bit of NSFW stuff on Behance. It would be interesting to see if Behance was able to provide a safe for work version for schools so that it would pass district requirements for web filters.

Just out of curiousity, did you find any alternatives that worked for you? If so, what were they?

Tim Randall

Posted on 7/15/13 4:22:49 PM Permalink

Agreed! They have collegeAt the end of the year, I assigned them two portfolios - print and web. They designed the PDF portfolio using InDesign, and created a website using Wix. I tied it together with a big discussion about all of the ways designers can become known - print folios, personal websites, blogs, portfolio websites, social media, and interactive PDFs. They each have their benefits and drawbacks for different occasions. Wix was a great option for my class that was free, drag-and-drop easy, and looks great. They could focus their efforts on design, and not deal with the frustrations of code.

karla emich

Posted on 8/19/13 11:00:04 PM Permalink

Thanks for the tip about Wix. Could you please leave a link to it?

Jeff Larson

Posted on 6/18/13 6:22:16 PM Permalink

Having had a Behance account for quite sometime now, I had never really considered it as an option for working with my students. I presumed that the site had more of a professional emphasis than other sites that I know students have or do use (like DeviantArt). However, going back through the site in the last few days, and considering new developments. I have absolutely rethought my position. I am definitely going to use Behance with my senior students for curating their work and projects. Additionally, I plan on using it as part of career exploration and job preparedness curriculum, by having students research different professions and see what type of work they are doing, identifying what skills are required. I have used it in the past to show students high caliber examples of design, digital media work, and will continue to do so. I also love that a user can create collections, and make comments, and likes, so I plan on utilizing it as a place for discussions, work in progress, and critiques, by grouping projects into collections. I still plan on teaching Acrobat Portfolio development as that is the portfolio for on the go, and will contain work samples from across their academy courses.

I am really glad this conversation got started and it definitely got me to reconsider my usage of Behance as something useful beyond my own creative and professional work.

Adobe Education

Posted on 6/19/13 4:31:59 AM Permalink

marcia blanco

Posted on 5/27/13 12:43:59 AM Permalink

I'm just now starting to explore Behance. I found a student category but that is only for post secondary. Is there a high school category? I'm pretty sure it's out there. I've read Mike Skocko referring to it and how his students have won some of the contests, but I can't find it. An anybody out there enlighten me?

Han Guangwen

Posted on 5/22/13 2:32:35 AM Permalink

Hi Judy, I'm a Adobe Certified Instructor in Acrobat. Just like to share my thought. Not having fully integrated Behance for my company's training program, I could only point out what is factual for a PDF Portfolio. A PDF Portfolio does not require an internet access to be viewed except an appropriate PDF Reader. With this in mind, I doubt Adobe will replace the PDF Portfolio, a feature for PDF Readers, with Behance, an online service.
From a user point of view, PDF Portfolio is great because you can do a remote (simple) presentation with your project assets (usually in an internal/informal meeting/discussion, or showcase your project progress) even at a location without access to the internet. It's especially useful when you present in a foreign location (a different building, overseas etc.) If you have knowledge in creating an PDF Portfolio using Acrobat Pro, my advice is build one with the projects you intend to showcase from Behance. The extra effort may serve you well as a good backup plan when you most need it. (And remember to bring along your PDF Portfolio for your presentation/meeting.)

marcia blanco

Posted on 5/19/13 12:58:47 PM Permalink

My program is upgrading from CS5 this summer to CC and I'm going to be spending a lot of July upgrading my skills to match. This year, my (high school) students coded their own portfolio web page with Dreamweaver and linked them as pages to my school's website but our school is tiny and remote and community and professional feedback is nil. I'm completely psyched about going with Behance for my upcoming students. How user friendly is it? They are all provided iPads. Are there apps that will help them do some of this at home?

Han Guangwen

Posted on 5/22/13 2:13:46 AM Permalink

Hi Marcia,

Just like to share my thought. With mobile tablets, such as an iPad, I believe integrating Behance as part of the curriculum can be a lot of fun. Not only it is light-weight, with Creative Cloud, students can log in & access Behance anytime to the portfolio (Prosite.) Using Dreamweaver & HTML coding means students can only work on the portfolio website using Dreamweaver and in the school lab (most probably.)
Behance app on Apple Appstore:

Tammy Moore

Posted on 5/5/13 12:25:15 AM Permalink

We have been using Weebly Campus edition for our student's portfolios, but I do have a Behance portfolio that i use personally. I would say that if you are working with teens that are doing anything in visual design-oriented courses, give Behance a shot. Personally, I really like Behance. I think students will be inspired by the authentic audience of talented student peers as well as rubbing elbows with professionals. Another advantage is that Behance is seen as a source for hiring. I had not had my Behance portfolio up more than a few weeks before I was offered a paying freelance project to illustrate a book (color cover and about 15 internal black and white illustrations).

If you need a portfolio tool though that also must demonstrate writing, science, math, or other skills, it wouldn't be able to properly showcase those. You would do better there to get the students a website for their portfolio. Unless students are showcasing designing websites by coding them, I do recommend the Weebly Educator account. Under your educator account you are able to set up classes and the students build their website portfolios through that structure. You can set up classes that have websites that are public or you can set them up with a class password. You can tell the other students in the class so that peers in the class can easily visit each others portfolios but the outside world and indexing spiders cannot get in. This is a big help when you are working with younger students that need more security for their protection than older ones. I have a class of 5th graders in a creative writing class and also my 5th graders in the history class set up with Weeblies. Other teachers are also using Weeblies with their students and they have found the students love their Weeblies too. THe students have no trouble with the drag and drop designing process that Weeblies have. They are very easy for a novice to be able to start adding their content immediately.

If your students are web design students, then definitely go with tools that let them work as close to the real thing as possible and get them space on a server where their design and coding skills can shine. I haven't used the web space that comes with the Creative Cloud yet, but that might be a place to check in to. It should integrate fantasticly with Muse and Dreamweaver.

Matt Niemitz

Posted on 4/30/13 3:55:19 PM Permalink

I'm curious about this topic as well. I don't think Behance is designed for quite the same thing as Acrobat e-portfolios. A Behance portfolio is really designed to promote yourself and the work you do as the primary audience for it is creative professionals who are looking for work or to set themselves apart in a crowded field.

Also, check out the Work in progress functionality which allows a user to upload different iterations of a project to showcase their process. And the Student Show is a curated gallery of student work on Behance.

That being said, I think Behance is a great tool for a K12 student to get started using to catalog their work over time. Their Behance profile can show their work as they progress from high school to college/art school to the workplace. And I especially like Matt's idea of using a Behance account to showcase the work that students are doing in your course/program. Then it becomes almost a "creative teaching portfolio" since other educators are most interested in what another educator's students can produce.

Please keep sharing your thoughts and ideas on Behance and how you think it could be useful in Education. Thanks!

Matt Cauthron

Posted on 5/5/13 4:56:34 PM Permalink


I'm aiming to building albums for different digital art areas within my program to showcase as a 'master collection' on the site. It would also be great to have a secondary education section on the Student Show.

Isn't there a Behance feature somewhere here on AEE... maybe something like linking a Behance portfolio to the AEE profile? This, coupled with the app could be a useful set of tools for the iPad.

marcia blanco

Posted on 5/19/13 12:51:12 PM Permalink

Hi Matt!

What app are you referring to?

Matt Cauthron

Posted on 5/20/13 3:11:56 AM Permalink

Matt Niemitz

Posted on 5/20/13 3:22:48 PM Permalink

AEE members currently have the ability to include a link to their personal Behance profile on their AEE member profile. But, we're looking at doing more, specifically being able to stream a Behance collection into an AEE member profile. If an AEE member uses Behance that way you're using it, I think that would be a cool way for members to showcase the work their students are doing. But, I'm still debating whether Behance is the right platform for that or whether it would be better to build our own "student work gallery tool" on the AEE... Thoughts?

Matt Cauthron

Posted on 5/21/13 12:45:13 AM Permalink

Thats a good question! I really believe that the current solution with the most flexibility would be best. Behance is an established platform and kinda feels like the initial Vimeo of digital arts. With Adobe backing, and the certainty that it is a true resource for up and coming artists, it might be worth while for educators to spend hours building into it in order to support student achievement. The possibility is there for sure. With this in mind, it then might be of value to use it as a sole portfolio feed. Until then... keep it flexible and open to feed or embed 'albums' of work from other places like Picasa, Flickr, etc.

Not sure if this is already out there somewhere, but...

Having an export to Behance plugin for Pshop, etc would also be super rad!

Matt Niemitz

Posted on 5/21/13 8:52:26 PM Permalink

Thanks for your thoughts Matt. They are helpful.

Regarding the Behance plugin, the new Photoshop CC, shipping in June will include the ability to share directly to Behance from within Photoshop. Check it out here. Skip to about 04:37 in the video to see it in action.

Matt Cauthron

Posted on 4/28/13 5:41:18 PM Permalink

Wow! I did not know that. I started an account to showcase student work as part of my Di program and now will need to go back and actually start using it.