Defending your backpack virtually

Payton Carns

JCPS Virtual Backpack, a graduation requirement for all JCPS high school seniors, is back for the 2020-21 school year. However, due to NTI, students will have to present virtually.

Even though the presentation process is a little different, here’s a guide to how to fill your backpack and present it from home.

What is JCPS Backpack?

JCPS Backpack is a digital platform used to measure the success of students throughout their high school years. Students can access their backpack via Google Drive through their school email account.

A screenshot of the front page of the JCPS Backpack, located in a student’s google drive. You can click on each category to add your artifacts.

Implemented in the 2018-19 school year, students are required to upload “artifacts” pertaining to six categories within the backpack: prepared and resilient learner, global and culturally competent citizen, emerging innovator, effective communicator, productive collaborator and school signature item. 

The artifacts students upload to each category are assignments, projects or other activities they did during their four years at Manual. These artifacts must be relevant to the specific category they’re adding it to. 

The goal is for students to create an ongoing list of “success skills” they’ve learned before graduating from high school. Each folder should include at least two artifacts.

After uploading each artifact, there is a text box asking for the reasoning of it being in that category; students must answer this for every artifact.

After uploading an artifact, students must explain why they put that document in that category.

A guide on what kinds of artifacts to upload to each category can be found in the JCPS Backpack of Success Booklet.

In the student’s senior year, they will compile the strongest artifacts from each category and create a presentation; typically, students would defend their backpack to a panel of two Manual staff members. However, this is not possible because of virtual learning.

How to defend your backpack this year

This year, students have the option of doing a live presentation via google meet, or they can submit a video to Google Classroom that will be evaluated at a later date.

Students need to create their own google slides presentation with pictures and videos of their artifacts from each category, with each slide discussing how the artifact meets the standard. This presentation must be uploaded to the “Showcases” tab located in the student’s backpack.

After completing their presentation, students must submit their presentation in the showcase tab of the backpack.

If the student chooses to defend their backpack live, they need to contact Ms. Causey and get an appointment set up on a Wednesday to present through Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. Any other students must record themselves presenting their slides and upload the video to Google Classroom. 

The presentation should be around 10 minutes long, and business-casual clothing is preferred.

For more information on the backpack and how to access it, Manual counselors compiled a presentation of the entire process.