Monday, May 9, 2016

More than JUST a Portfolio: Seesaw

Seesaw has been a game changer for some of the teachers I work with.  I first saw this tool while visiting a 5th grade math teacher, Kim Collazo, at Sandhills Farm Life Elementary.  Within minutes of seeing her students use of this robust application, I knew I had something to take back to the schools I work in.  Seesaw is a tool that can be used for digital portfolios and blogging. Though it is geared for the elementary aged classroom, I see this as being a tool that can be used even in upper grades.  

With Seesaw, students can upload digital work or take actual pictures of their class work or projects.  Once they have uploaded an item, students can annotate with drawings, text, or even add voice comments.  Allowing teachers to really see how their students are understanding concepts and providing a place to collect assignments digitally.  This work can then be approved by the teacher and added to the class newsfeed in the application. Parents can also get notifications to see their child’s work. To do this, parents simply create a parent account and then they will get notifications when their child has submitted work sent directly to their smartphones or email.  This is perfect for digital projects that can’t always go home in the “Friday Folder”, art projects, or for group project that students have collaborated on and cannot go home with multiple children.  The artifacts in the student portfolio are saved for a year and provide excellent discussion points during teacher conferences.  

This year, Seesaw launched a blogging feature. Teachers can set their blog up as private, with password protection, or public.  Teachers moderate and approve what is posted on the class blog.  

Seesaw works on ALL devices which is great for schools that have not yet gone 1:1 and have a variety of devices their students have access to.  And best of all, this is FREE!