Seesaw is by far my favorite overall and most used app on my iPad. Seesaw is a learning journal. Students can demonstrate their learning and collaborate with classmates. They create drawings and videos within the app. It is also a place where students can import work from other apps. Students can share within those apps or take screen shots. This is a great way to build portfolios for students.
Repurposing the App
In the early days of using iPads in my classroom, students were doing all sort of great things in many apps. The problem was I didn’t always get to see their products and their parents certainly didn’t. At first, Seesaw was a way for students to get all of the work they were doing on iPads off. This solved the problem of students creating. fruitless work. They began to have an audience with whom they could share. Seesaw is a way to hold students accountable and give their work a purpose.
This quickly evolved as students began using the drawing tool, the camera tool, and the many other features this free app provides to capture their thinking. Seesaw can also be used as a learning management system. Teachers are also able to share links to websites that they want their students to visit without worrying that students would inadvertently end up at the wrong site.
I like this app because it helps to streamline how teachers can get work to their students as well as a way for students to turn their work into their teacher. Teachers can distribute work to their students by typing in the Note Tool as well as uploading PDFs and jpegs. When students submit their work, it can be organized by folders that have been set by the teacher. Teachers can name folders however they see fit. Items teachers and students submit can be viewed in the class feed or by looking at the calendar view. So whatever students turn in, teachers can easily find and reference it. As I stated earlier, students can put the work they do in other apps into Seesaw by taking screenshots or by importing directly from the app. To me, this was the greatest part of all.
Breaking Down Classroom Walls
I love the connection that students can have with each other, parents, and the outside community. After student work is approved by the teacher, students can view each other’s work and like and comment on it. Parents also have the ability to see their child’s work and like and comment as well. Students love this! Parents can only see their student’s work or a group project their student is tagged in. Seesaw also has a blog feature, where teachers can have a place where they can post student work for anyone with a link to the blog can see. You can even connect with other Seesaw classroom’s and see what other classes are up to and collaborate.
Seesaw is an excellent way for students to build their digital portfolios. It’s easy to setup and the great folks at Seesaw offer a ton of resources. If you haven’t used Seesaw already, go ahead a give it a try.