Seesaw is Quite the Teeter-Totter

As I have continued to explore the educational apps this semester I find that I am pleasantly surprised at the capabilities that they have within their functionality and their abilities to help bridge the gap between school and home. The second application that I have been exploring is Seesaw. I have been utilizing it as a parent but have also looked at its benefits as an educational tool as well.

One of the coolest aspects of Seesaw is the fact that you can update parents at anytime about how their child is progressing in your class. I love this aspect, although I do not get too many updates the ones I do receive brighten my day. I have a five year old son who is in Kindergarten and his teacher utilizes Seesaw. There is nothing I love more than getting an e-mail notification from Seesaw, then I quickly access my app (on my iPhone) and smile when I see a photo of my son working, creating, and collaborating with other kids his age. Through this app I am able to see what they are working on and it helps create that conversation at home as well, like the following.

Me: What did you do today at school?

Atticus: I forgot…

Me: Well I saw on Seesaw that you were playing with some yellow and red bears?

Atticus: Oh yeah! We were making patterns with their colors. Show me the picture dadda.

Me: Okay (shows picture)

Atticus: See the pattern I made was yellow yellow red red  yellow yellow red red!

Me: That’s amazing Atti!!

Atticus: Uh-huh!

This has been my favorite aspect of the app, and with a 2020 going the way that it is…we need something like this to bring up our spirits! An educator, Lizzie Winter,  in Tuscany uses Seesaw to coordinate student scheduled learning in quarantine. In this way she is using it to bring her students together although they are apart, practicing social distancing.

Another aspect that I have really appreciated about the app is the ability for the educator to send a picture of a newsletter or note through it. With the massive amount of waste that is created through sending newsletters and notes home, this has cut down on the amount of unneeded waste of paper, not only that, all of the notes make it home and do not get lost. My son has not yet used the full capabilities of Seesaw in his classroom yet, there is an aspect where students can create videos. This is an avenue I would be interested in seeing as a parent. Watching poems, songs or explanations about created work would be neat to see.

It would be difficult to navigate as a teacher with a lot of students however. If you have a 25-30 kid classroom, heck even 20, it would be difficult to get around to each student, take their picture then post it. I know that it would only take a couple minutes a student but multiply that by the amount of students….20 students would take 40 minutes of time.

This app has been fun to use and, as a parent, I love the updates and pictures that show my son learning and enjoying it.

 

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4 Responses to Seesaw is Quite the Teeter-Totter

  1. haubdain says:

    There is so much that teachers can do with SeeSaw, but I understand how it can be daunting with the number of students in a classroom. However, when my daughters were in Kindergarten (both had the same teacher; they are now in grades 4 and 6), their teacher taught her students to post things on their own using QR codes to access their accounts with the devices available (iPads and iPods). The downside to giving this independence is the sifting through the plethora of posted material to either approve or deny sharing with parents. However, this could turn into a lesson of what is a post-worthy picture or video versus something that is not worth sharing. This is a very applicable skill to them moving forward, so why not start young! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. teachertremblay says:

    Adam,

    Once again, your blog post title is on point and (of course) great post!

    I use SeeSaw in my classroom and I love the simplicity of being able to snap a quick photo of a note and send it through SeeSaw. Aside from cutting down on waste, I find my students are constantly leaving notes at school or they somehow get lost between the journey from school to home.

    Apps like SeeSaw are particularly useful during time away from school. SeeSaw now has some remote learning features: https://web.seesaw.me/remote-learning in light of the current circumstances.

    Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing how the rest of your project comes together!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s really awesome to hear about Seesaw from a part perspective, the conversation that you had with your son sounds exactly the way I hope my students whose parents do have access to Seesaw (less than half) engage with it. I initially started to use Seesaw as a means of having a digital portfolio for my parents, but now I use it more as an instructional tool with all the capabilities of the “Activity” function. I have never considered how lucky I am to teach grade 4/5 and that the students can complete the activities in a somewhat independent fashion, and if they are sharing a physical product they take their own pictures or videos and add to their journal on their own. The approval process is a little time consuming, but definitely not more so than having to work one on one with students to create the posts.
    I can’t wait to see how your project turns out in the end – I am sure I will learn a lot!
    Victoria

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Adam! I am looking into Seesaw as well. I have used it fairly extensively from the teacher side. The beauty with Seesaw is that it is so user friendly. With training, even kindergarten students can become independent when posting on Seesaw. (this does take time) One of my goals for Seesaw is to help teachers integrate it in with what they are already doing. Such as taking pictures of the great things that are going on in the classroom. However, I believe that it is important to progress to give students to opportunity to own their learning and to put the learning on Seesaw. It is a great learning tool!

    Liked by 1 person

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