How I Use It
Seesaw has become my go-to digital creation and display tool this year. I have worked with classes ranging in age from kindergarten through fifth grade to effectively integrate this wonderful tool. In kindergarten classes, we have used Seesaw to create and 'show what you know'. Using the Seesaw app on the iPads, students have taken pictures, and drawn and written right on top of them to demonstrate their knowledge of magnetic and non-magnetic items found in our classroom and school. Additionally, we have used Seesaw to find words in Dr. Seuss books, take photos of those words, and then type words that rhyme with them in a Seesaw post. Even as young as five, these students can easily figure out how to upload, type, and even record their voices with their work in Seesaw. In a third grade class, students used Seesaw to take their teachers and their parents on a digital journey through the lives of famous explorers. They took videos in which they showed and described artifacts related to their explorer; they wrote journal entries as if they were the explorer, and they took pictures of locations their explorer visited. As if this digital portfolio wasn't already wonderful enough, it gets even better as student work can be shared with parents and the parents can leave comments to their children. What a great way to demonstrate real-world, outside of the classroom walls, communication for our students! Finally, some fifth graders have posted some original writing on their class Seesaw and classmates have been able to comment offering words of encouragement and making suggestions to help each other improve their writing. This activity is a great lesson in digital citizenship and treating others with respect. The only downside I came across was that if students are accessing Seesaw through their class QR code and choose their own name from the list, then they cannot edit or delete an original post they made. This requires an extra step from the teacher as she needs to go in and delete the unwanted post. This can be avoided, however, if students have Google Apps for Education (GAFE) accounts as they can login with those credentials and be verified users. Overall, though, this is such a tiny inconvenience to have access to such an incredible tool.
Seesaw is a valuable digital tool to add to your tool belt! It encourages creativity for students. It allows students voices to be heard by more than one person (the teacher) and creates authentic communication experiences. It has equipped my students with a place to display their work and showcase their successes. It is also a major time saver in that, you can share with parents and they can view their student's digital portfolio anytime, anywhere and thus, you do not need to continuously print out projects to send home in backpacks, email files, etc. Seesaw is available not only through the app, but also as a web-based tool. So, for schools/classes without access to iPads, this tool is still readily accessible. Using a computer with a webcam and microphone is recommended to be able to access and use all of the great features of Seesaw (voice, video, and images) in addition to the text, drawing, and link sharing capabilities. I look forward to teaching professional development sessions on Seesaw to other teachers this summer as it is such a unique, easy to use, and effective tool!