Seesaw and Distance Learning: An Interview with Kris Szajner

EdTech Tools, Podcast

Seesaw, a platform for student engagement, is being used all over the world during this time of online learning. Why? It allows for connection, innovation, and creativity… something that is needed in an online platform, especially now. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to my previous podcast, “5 Ways that Seesaw Stands Out”, I talk about the benefits of using Seesaw and what I learned during my Seesaw Ambassador Training. In the episode, I talk about a newer tool that can be easily made by teachers and accessed by students called Choice Boards. I first heard about Choice Boards from Kris Szajner, so I reached out to him and mentioned his resources in the episode. Since he’s an expert on the topic, I invited him to share more of his expertise in a full interview on the podcast.

In our interview, we discussed why Seesaw is one of the most used platforms during a time that online learning is essential. He reminds us that Seesaw allows for engagement, efficiency, and accessibility for teachers and students. There are so many incredible features and functions that Seesaw allows in order for these skills to happen, and we dove into them during the episode. Here are some of the topics that we covered in the episode:

  1. Engagement
    When using Seesaw, make sure you assign activities that keep kids hooked. They don’t need another worksheet to do right now… they need something that engages them and allows them to use curiosity and creativity. Check out some of his innovative ideas on his YouTube channel, such as “Scratch and Read” activities and “How to Make a Scratch and Reveal Jamboard”.

2. Choice Boards
Imagine sharing images, links, and resources in one easy accessible page. That’s the beauty of Choice Boards! Instead of assigning link after link, activity after activity… you can engage students with a simple page that gives them access to all of the necessary tools and websites. In case you missed it, check out his webinar on creating Choice Boards.

3. Skills
Seesaw Plus, the paid version of Seesaw, has the Skills feature for assessing learning. It’s an easy way for teachers to keep track of their student progress. In the episode, we talk about the basics of Skills and how to use it to benefit learning. Take a look at his tutorial video on How to Track Activities and Attendance with Skills.

4. Activity Templates
Have you ever tried to make your own activity, but you’re not sure where to start? In our conversation, we discuss the basics of creating your own templates. Kris has some incredible videos about creating templates for your activities. Check out “How to Make Activities from Slides” for more information.

You can learn more about these topics from our conversation on the podcast. My interview with Kris Szajner leaves me excited and hopeful as a Seesaw Ambassador and elementary educator. As you take some time to explore these resources and listen to the episode, I will leave you with Kris’ words from our conversation:

“When we are in this new world of distance learning… what is going to pull us through is this collaboration with each other and sharing of knowledge, information, and resources… that’s our saving grace right now.

Don’t forget to check out Kris on Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, or his website.

Happy listening!

-Amanda