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!!
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.