App review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2018
Seesaw: The Learning Journal
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Seesaw: The Learning Journal

Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 46 reviews
Privacy rating
82%| Pass Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
Communication & Collaboration

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Pros: Both student and teacher interfaces are intuitive, and there are tons of ideas up for grabs in the Activity Library.

Cons: In the paid skills feature, skills and standards must be manually entered.

Bottom Line: A powerful multimedia learning and communication tool that demonstrates student progress over time.

Seesaw: The Learning Journal provides opportunities for students -- and teachers -- to really think outside the box. Students can show their work and thought processes in real time by submitting a video of themselves working through a math problem, snapping a picture of a paragraph they wrote, recording themselves reading a poem, or uploading a file to demonstrate their learning. Encourage kids to submit a series of images along with notes that tell the story that connects them. Or let kids collaborate with each other using peer-to-peer feedback to offer suggestions on writing content, scientific hypotheses, or creative ideas.

Teachers at all grade levels and across all content areas can use Seesaw to keep digital portfolios of student work, including commenting on student submissions. You can communicate with families easily and share student work with them, or push out assignments to students to individualize instruction. You can also choose work to share with a broader audience via a blog.

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Seesaw: The Learning Journal is a robust digital portfolio and learning system where teachers can create meaningful multimedia experiences for students. Using Google, Clever, student emails, or a QR code, teachers assign tasks that engage students with a variety of work in the form of videos, photos, text, images, files, and drawings. Teachers follow up by approving posts, offering feedback, and, if desired, making items accessible to families via the Seesaw Family app (available online and via Android or iOS). Since teachers can view all students' submissions at once, it's an easy way to check for whole-class understanding. Teachers can also enable peer-to-peer feedback or create a class blog to encourage a richer, more connected experience. For added security, the blogs can be password protected, and teachers can opt to moderate posts. 

Designed with an intuitive interface, Seesaw logically leads teachers through processes such as creating assignments, recording directions, providing student feedback, and sending family communications. Translation is available if the device language settings are different from the original message. The Activity Library hosts a variety of activities aligned with Common Core for all grade levels, and the Help Center provides lots of support as well as professional development online for teachers. A paid upgrade allows tracking of skills mastery.

It's hard to find a tool like Seesaw that does so much to engage students and provide evidence of learning, especially one that offers most of its powerful features for free. Audio, video, and drawing options add tons of opportunities for differentiation and reflection, enabling teachers to accommodate a variety of learning styles without a lot of extra effort. Teachers can enable student likes, comments, and editing as well, providing opportunities for collaboration, peer-to-peer feedback, and social and emotional learning experiences. Notably, teachers may choose to moderate comments; while time-consuming, it may prevent inappropriate comments or inadvertently showing a student's struggles with writing or spelling. Teachers can use Seesaw to communicate easily with all students and parents. They have the option to review a feed of an entire class's work or view work by a specific student, which is especially handy for student or parent conferences.

While teachers may not like that there's no place to enter or track grades, doing so would feel almost antithetical. The focus is on mastery of standards, and teachers can monitor students' progress toward key skills (paid version) instead of pinning students to number or letter grades that fail to show the complete picture. Designed to show both process and product, Seesaw is a powerful way for kids to demonstrate evidence of learning over time.

Overall Rating


Kids will be drawn in by the variety of engaging activities, and teachers and families will be interested to see each student's creative content.


Opportunities abound for kids to show learning in a variety of ways. Students can collaborate on and keep digital portfolios of their work, seeing progress over time.


Teachers can tailor assignments to students' learning needs, so differentiation is a natural fit; opportunities to record voice or video, draw, upload files, and more means there's something for every learner.

Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

Community Rating

(See all 46 reviews) (46 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Ashleigh B. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Guadalupe Elementary
San Jose, United States
A Teacher's Dream
It is SO easy to use. There are AWESOME activities that have been created by other educators but it is also very easy to create a new activity. I teach Kindergarten so not all of my students are readers...SeeSaw has a feature in the directions portions where icons or dictation can be used to explain an activity.
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Users can interact with trusted users and/or students.
Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Profile information is shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Unclear whether opt-in consent is requested from users at the time personal information is collected.
Unclear whether users can control their information through privacy settings.
Users can create or upload content.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are not shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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