Seesaw is an app that is used to keep an ongoing portfolio for your students. It is set up like a calendar in which you can post student work, make anecdotal notes, show videos of students in action, produce a drawing, import photos, and it gives teachers the opportunity to create a class blog. All of this is only for the students, teacher and parents of the classroom. It isn’t shared with the world which keeps students and families safe.
You can view the entries through a feed or in a calendar view. Parents can have access as well as students. Students can sign in and add items to their own journal throughout the day/week/month/year. They can view their work throughout the year as well. Teachers can set up ways to document progress through grades as a star rating system. This is optional but can be customized to fit the needs of the learning expectations by the teacher and/or school and state standards.
This is a great way to document growth and have students reflect on his/her work by adding notes or adding a video where they could be sharing their thinking or what they thought they did well on, where they could improve or what was a struggle. Students can like a post and students can comment on posts if the teacher opens up this feature. This could be a good opportunity to teach how to give feedback that is kind, helpful and specific and to show that if you want feedback, you must also be willing to give it (just like commenting on blogs).
Teachers will have to input their students’ names and choose an avatar. This could be something that is changed by the students. Teachers also have control over whether or not the work (as a drawing, picture, video) that students upload can be included. This will help control the amount of random pictures/videos that students upload as I know that my own kids like to take random videos/pictures of things and it fills up space. They should be taught how to think about what is important to post and what is not important to post.
It would be great for classroom teachers to utilize throughout the year. It would also be a way to document what students are doing in a library. Managing a whole school with this would be hard but teachers could add on the librarian to add to a student’s timeline and work. I think this would be a great way to work collectively on helping students show progress in areas around the school- I’m even thinking including other special area teachers such as band, orchestra, art, music and PE. What a way to show the whole child in school!
I am thinking that I would like to go to some trainings on using it to its fullest extent so that I could be a point person in my school to share with faculty and staff. This app has a lot of potential for providing students and parents with meaningful feedback and an eye into the classroom and school.