Seesaw is a digital portfolio that allows students to document their learning and collaborate with their peers. With the push of personalized learning and student ownership/reflection, Seesaw is an extremely valuable tool for education, parent communication, and accountability. Students can take pictures of work, record videos and drawings, add links, and even upload Google Drive documents. Seesaw is accessible from an app or a web browser.
One of my favorite things about Seesaw is how easy it is for young students to use. They do not even have to have an email address to log in. On the app, they scan a QR code to log into the class account. From there they can add a portfolio item and then just put it on their own portfolio. Before an item shows up in the class feeds, the teacher has to approve it. I love using Seesaw to help save paper. For example, students can draw a graphic organizer on a whiteboard and upload it to Seesaw instead of printing out a graphic organizer.
Once their item is published, other students in the class can view it. They can like and comment on items. Once again, the teacher has to approve comments before it can be visible. This gives students the opportunity to give feedback to their peers and be part of an online community, but gives them some accountability while developing their digital citizenship. Right now we’re trying to get beyond the “I love it,” comment.
Seesaw also builds communication between home and school. Parents can be invited to their child’s portfolio. The teacher can even send class announcements. I’ve seen teachers use it to record videos of their class doing a “Newscast” instead of a newsletter. The family must download the app to access this. There is also an option to print out the child’s portfolio. Any videos will be accessible from a QR code.
There are a few downsides to the application. Because the student’s individual portfolios are not password protected from the class feed, students can accidentally post an item under the wrong name. This could potentially cause problems. The basic version of Seesaw is free to use, but there is a paid version. The paid version allows standards based grading, but it’s $120/year.