I cannot say enough good things about Seesaw. It has been a game changer for me! It can be a very powerful tool in your classroom, much more than just the digital portfolio everyone assumes. Here's why I like it:
multiple ways of presenting material to students
We all know that every child learns in their own way. Different learning styles and multiple intelligences can be challenging to individualize for students, especially those of us that see 400+ students in short periods once or twice a week. Seesaw allows me to create verbal, aural, and finished examples that students can access , way to interactive with regular classroom work, and a platform for them to offer others encouragement and feedback, and a way to globally publish work from other apps.
When students are given a voice and authentic purpose in their work, they respond. Knowing their work will be published and shared gives them purpose, and helps them to redefine their work by adding their own interests and strengths. Being tasked with offering feedback to others also lets them show a new level of accountability. And all work can be seen by parents, teachers, and peers, so the responsibility of doing your best is always present.
parents can interact with student goals and growth
It's as easy as clicking a button. Once students are ready to share their work, you can turn on parent access and Seesaw will give you a link to email home or generate individualized letters home with access codes and instructions. I also send home a letter to parents explaining how powerful their encouragement and interaction can be for students.
easy access via web or a free app
It's so easy to download and access Seesaw. Go to web.seesaw.me or look for it in the app store. There are different apps depending on whether you are a parent or studnet/teacher. Students can access the app by scanning a QR code to get into their classroom or, for older students, using an email google login. My students in grades 3-5 are proficient in access their google accounts given by the school, so hey just have to login in with that information and then add the class join code once.
activites: create your own or access others shared by teachers
This is my favorite feature! There is a new icon/tab in Seesaw where I can create my own custom activities with examples and verbal as well as aural instructions. This is handy when you have to miss class but they still need to finish work! They can access the activities, instructions, and post even if you aren't around. You can also share your activities and access others' if you need to align some projects with other schools and colleagues.
There are a series of shortcuts to imbed Seesaw icons into your instructions. See the links for the cheat sheet!
You can get it for free.
The "free" version of Seesaw limits you to 10 classes. I see the entire school which is 25 sections, so I needed more. Unfortunately my school district wasn't in a place to purchase Seesaw for the school, so I had to get clever. Some teachers I know call each grade level a "class", but I still wanted to limit my classroom access to just the homeroom. There was a simple solution! Become a Seesaw Ambassador! I went through some very helpful training online for free, and at the end of it I was an official ambassador and blessed with the full Seesaw program for free! It does require me to present on it a few times a year and contribute to the Seesaw world, but I am happy to do so and would be anyway!