Seesaw has been a part of my classroom for quite a few years, but most recently, it’s become the primary mode of learning for my students. If you aren’t familiar with Seesaw, it is a digital platform that engages students, demonstrates and enhances their learning, and shares and communicates with families. It’s essentially a digital portfolio, but it goes even further than that. Seesaw is an app and website that can be used on IOS and Apple products, Chromebooks, computers with Chrome and Firefox, and android devices. It’s compatible with countless apps and websites like Drop Box, Google Drive, Evernote, Keynote, Book Creator, and so much more.
I recently became a Seesaw Ambassador, which means I took some training to grow in my skills and learn more about the platform. I learned a lot of valuable information and even some new tips and tricks, so I wanted to share that in some way. What better way to share my knowledge than through a podcast episode!
In this episode, I talk about the benefits of using Seesaw, especially now in a time of online learning and remote teaching. I also bring up 5 ways that Seesaw has stood out to me and some of the new features that I learned about in my Seesaw Ambassador training.
In case you want a quick recap of the episode, I will break it down here, post the links, and even time stamp it for you. However, the podcast episode goes into more detail about each topic. If there is something that you specifically want to learn about, you can just fast forward to the time beside each topic and listen to the portion that you want to. So, here it is:
1. The Creative Tools (2:37)
Students can post to their student journal, which is essentially their portfolio, in 6 different ways: Camera, video, link, notes, files, and my personal favourite, the drawing tool.
Tips for the Drawing Tool:
- Click the camera icon to take photos or upload saved pictures from your camera roll and directly import them to the drawing board without leaving the drawing tool.
- Add shapes and backgrounds.
- Lock your shapes or text so they can’t be easily moved.
- Click the draft button in the top right corner if students aren’t done with their work so that they can come back to it later.
2. Seesaw Activities (6:07)
Students can individually respond to an assignment that you create and you can see who’s handed it in and give individual feedback.
Tips for Seesaw Activities:
- Schedule the assignments for specific dates and times (Seesaw Plus or Seesaw for School users)
- Use Seesaw icon shortcuts to add images to your directions. (7:50)
- Use the Community Library to access the already made activities.
- Share your activities with colleagues when you’re done by email, social media, and with the link.
- Archive past activities to limit the work on your students timeline. If something happens that you need to access them again, you can always un-archive them. (9:18)
3. Privacy Settings (10:20)
One thing that was made very clear to me during my ambassador training, was that privacy and security settings are a priority with Seesaw.
- They never sell your data or students data
- They never advertise within Seesaw
- They don’t own the content you add to Seesaw
- Student work is private to the classroom by default
- They use the latest security and best practices to protect its users
- They vow to be transparent about their practices and will notify its users if something changes
You can check out their full list of privacy guidelines on their website.
4. Seesaw Blogs (11:55)
This is an easy way for students to share their work with the global community online. Check out my previous podcast episode with Kathy Cassidy to learn more about the benefits of blogging.
- Go to your class settings and click “enable blog”.
- Once you’ve enabled the blog, students and teachers can select the work from their Seesaw portfolio that they want to be displayed on their class blog.
- It’s safe, secure, and teacher-moderated.
5. Choice Boards (13:23)
Essentially, a choice board is an easy way to have multiple links in one activity for students to click on.
- If you have a specific theme or topic that you want students to learn about and have more than 1 avenue for them to learn about it, like videos, articles or websites, you can add them to a Choice Board to easily organize and access it.
- In order to make your choice boards, you’ll create them in Google Slides and input your links there and then eventually upload it to the multimedia link in your activity.
- Check out the Choice Boards Webinar, led by Kris Szajner, to learn more.
- Follow Kris Szajner on Twitter to learn more tips about Seesaw and other EdTech platforms.
If you have any questions about Seesaw or anything else I talked about in the podcast episode, let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter (@amandajebrace).