Common Sense Review
Updated March 2015

Seesaw: The Learning Journal

Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents
Common Sense Rating 4
  • After setting up classes with student information, teachers can access individual portfolios or push out assignments to specific students or whole classes.
  • Teachers can add assignments for the whole class.
  • Teachers and students can both add work or assignments in a variety of formats.
  • In-app resources give ideas for how teachers in every content area and on every grade level can use the tool.
  • Students can turn work in, keeping a portfolio of work with comments that is accessible to parents, too.
Teacher dashboard is easy to navigate, with options to view whole-class or individual student work feeds.
Setting up classes requires some time and effort, especially if you're setting up multiple classes.
Bottom Line
Students can showcase their work in text, pictures, videos, and more.
Amanda Bindel
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Teachers, parents, and students can all engage and easily interact with student work, providing comments and seeing progress. The app has great visual style and is easy to use.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Teachers can flip instruction using videos or handouts, and students can keep digital portfolios of their work, seeing progress over time and keeping everything organized.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

Teachers can find ideas in the resource section for how to use the tool in a variety of classes. Kids' work and teacher assignments are easily organized and managed.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers on all grade levels and across all content areas can use Seesaw in their classes to keep digital portfolios of student work, including commenting on student work. Teachers can communicate with parents easily and share student work with them or push out assignments to students to flip lessons or to individualize instruction. The Seesaw Help Center hosts a variety of activity ideas for K-2 classrooms.

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What's It Like?

Seesaw is a digital portfolio that allows kids to save and submit a variety of work -- videos, photos, text, and drawings. They can reflect on their work in writing or with a voice recording when they submit it, and teachers can offer feedback as well. Teachers can then approve items to make them accessible to parents. When teachers set up their classes, they can print a handout with a QR code to give to parents explaining how to register and download the parent app (which is available online, on Android, Chromebook, and iOS) and in a variety of languages. Alternatively, teachers can email parents a prompt to sign up for Seesaw. If you're using Google apps, it's easy to get students in the system: They can use their existing Google accounts. Once set up, teachers can use Seesaw to communicate easily with all students and parents. Teachers have the option to review a feed of an entire class' work or view it by a specific student, which is especially handy for student or parent conferences.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Seesaw makes it easy for teachers to deliver differentiated assignments to specific students, and it gives students the opportunity to reflect on their work. Parents can quickly and easily see the work students are producing and view teacher feedback -- as well as leave their own, encouraging students. Teachers can enable student likes, comments, and editing as well. Notably, all commenting must be approved by the teacher allowing moderation. Though Seesaw is free for teachers and parents to use, parents wanting access to kids' work from year to year will need to purchase a parent premium subscription for $9.99 a year, which some parents might find prohibitively pricey. Otherwise, they'll have access only to the prior 30 days of their kids' work. 

Overall, this is a neat, flexible way to manage student work, and it could be a good fit for teachers whose schools don't have a dedicated learning management system in place. 

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