Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

Learning rating

Community rating

Based on 54 reviews

Privacy rating

Expert evaluation by Common Sense



Subjects & Skills

Communication & Collaboration

Great for

Assessment, Classroom Management, Formative Assessment, Portfolios

Price: Free, Paid
Platforms: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Chrome, Web

Pros: Intuitive for students and teachers. 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 provides opportunities for students and teachers to really think creatively and demonstrate learning in different ways. 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 speech, or uploading a file from a device, cloud locations, or Google Drive 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 by sharing student responses and using 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 responding to student submissions via written or voice comments. You can communicate with families easily and share student work with them, or push out assignments to students to individualize instruction. For teachers who wish to connect their classes with a broader audience, consider sharing students' submissions via a personalized class blog. As with any parent communication platform, it's important to remember that it's possible some parents don't have easy access to tech and/or may not be super comfortable using tech, so find out what support parents might need to use the platform effectively.

Seesaw (formerly known as Seesaw: The Learning Journal) is a robust digital portfolio and interactive learning platform where teachers can create meaningful multimedia experiences for students. To get started, teachers can manually enter students or integrate classes from Google Classroom. If younger students don't have email accounts, there's also an option for them to sign in using a QR or text code. Whether teachers create their own activities or draw from the extensive library of teacher-created and rated content, assigned tasks 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 Parent and 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, blogs can be password protected, and teachers moderate posts before they are made public. 

Designed with an intuitive interface, Seesaw logically leads teachers through processes such as creating assignments, recording directions, providing student feedback, and sending one-to-one or group messages to students, parents, or families. Translation is available if the device language settings are different from the original message. The Help Center provides lots of support as well as professional development online for teachers. A paid upgrade allows adding and tracking of skills mastery, portfolios that travel with kids from year to year, multipage posts, and more.

In a digital learning environment, keeping all stakeholders informed of student progress can be a challenge, but Seesaw accomplishes that and more. It does so much to engage students, provide evidence of learning, and encourage self-reflection -- and teachers can access it for free. Audio, video, and drawing options add tons of opportunities to differentiate and personalize learning, enabling teachers to accommodate a variety of learning preferences 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 which, while time-consuming, may prevent inappropriate comments or inadvertently showing a student's struggles with writing or spelling. Communication with all students and parents is a snap, thanks to Seesaw's messaging, translation, and announcement features. Plus, having both formative and summative data and evidence of student work 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. And the paid version also allows portfolios to travel with students from year to year. Designed to show both process and product, Seesaw is a powerful platform for kids to demonstrate evidence of learning over time.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating

Kids will be drawn in by the variety of activities that allow them to demonstrate progress in creative ways, and teachers and families will be interested to see each student's unique content.


Teachers can tailor content to students' learning preferences and enable parents to keep up with student progress. Quick and easy feedback and moderation tools allow teachers to communicate and engage regularly with learners.


Teachers can tailor assignments to students' learning needs, so differentiation is a natural fit. A translation feature makes communication with parents easy.

Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski
Marianne Rogowski Instructional Technology Facilitator

Community Rating

Cumbersome for students and parents. Not so great for teachers either.

I find Seesaw to be cumbersome for students and parents. Links to external content (primarily YouTube videos) are often broken. Many times YouTube ads come up before content is displayed. YouTube presents ads based on activity history on the machine accessing content and therefore the ads are not always age appropriate. Just the fact that students have to sit through any ads is enough to avoid these kinds of activities for a couple of reasons. First, it eats up time that could be better spent in learning. Second, it forces having to sit through these undesirable ads.

Not a single parent I've spoken to likes having to deal with this product and I've found it is not because they don't understand how to use it. They know how to use it. It's for the reasons I've mentioned it should not be used.

Another thing is these damn text boxes. It should be the template creator or the teacher that creates these boxes before assigning the activity. Unfortunately far too many teachers are too lazy to do this and cover their laziness with the excuse that making the students create these boxes teaches them about the digital world. In a word, NONSENSE!

Last but not least, many applications like Seesaw were haphazardly developed and latched onto in an effort to address remote learning during lock downs yet little has been done to improve and address the shortcomings in these products. IXL is one that some thought has gone into and it is actually not a terrible offering. Seesaw is a hack job plain and simple. Parents I've talked to and I 100% agree that learning sessions are extended by at least 50% just dealing with the 'administrative nonsense' that goes with using the product. Bottom line here is that with so many kids returning to classrooms Seesaw and the like should not even be in use at this point.

Overall Seesaw is a complete loser in my opinion and does little more than encourage teachers to avoid the actual art of teaching. Not that this is surprising given our current culture that seeks to lower standards in practically every way.

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Privacy Rating

Data Safety How safe is this product?

  • Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
  • Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
  • Personal information can be displayed publicly.

Data Rights What rights do I have to the data?

  • Users can create or upload content.
  • Processes to access or review user data are available.
  • Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.

Ads & Tracking Are there advertisements or tracking?

  • Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays traditional or contextual advertisements.
  • Personalised advertising is displayed.

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

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