The first time I heard about Seesaw was the first day of term this year. “Just another thing I am so behind in,” I thought. I avoided it like the plague until a colleague of mine – who I would liken to myself in terms of technological understanding and skills (and that would be generous) - raved about how awesome it was, and better yet, how easy it was to use in her classroom. I gave it a go, and would you know, I was hooked. Just like that.
If it is available, Seesaw really is an amazing application to have in your classroom whether you are a full-time teacher or relieving for a day.
What is Seesaw?
Seesaw is an application that allows students to independently document what they are learning at school and save it all onto a digital portfolio. It is extremely easy to navigate and inspires students to do their best work.
Students can choose from a bunch of creative tools to express themselves, including photos, videos and drawings, to reflect on their learning and create a portfolio they are proud to show others, including their own parents who can view their children on their learning journeys at school and leave words of encouragement to continue to inspire them.
In short, it is a win-win for all: students own and document their learning progress that their families can follow and engage with, while providing a fantastic portfolio for teachers to reflect on.
Want to find out more information about Seesaw? Click here.
Have you ever heard about Murphy’s Law? What if while a student is recording, I am heard disciplining another child in the background or, heaven forbid, caught picking my nose?
It is (understandably) comforting to know that nothing can be saved to a students’ portfolio or shared with families without teacher approval.
That means nothing is saved or sent home without approval from you.
Is it going to be extra work for me?
Aside from approving the uploads from the students, which really doesn't take long, not really. Plus there are already thousands of teacher-tested classroom activities available to inspire and engage your students. Therefore, you really don’t need to do too much extra thinking or planning!
This link takes you to amazing ideas for using Seesaw with students from Kindergarten all the way up to High-School. You can even check out trending searches (perfect for certain events of celebrations (like International Women’s Day, Christmas, Saint Patrick’s Day, ANZAC Day and so on), what is popular in any given week, featured authors, recently added and more!
Say goodbye to endless printing and folders.
With Seesaw you can find, share and organise work samples within Seesaw. This means everything can stay focused within one place. This is also good news for relievers because less worksheets = less worries when it comes to printing access and dare I say, less marking, too!
Ok, I am feeling convinced, almost.
Because Seesaw works by students capturing and explaining their own work, it allows you to focus even more on your students. This gives you a chance to better understand their progress and give more differentiated instruction.
But I am a relief teacher. I may not be around to follow up on any lessons.
If it is available in the classroom that you are reliving, Seesaw is honestly the perfect application for a relief teacher. Not only are you keeping things consistent for the class, you are incorporating ICT into your teaching and learning experience which is a fantastic step in your own professional development. There are plenty of simple tasks that a relief teacher can use with Seesaw, like grouping 10s for Kindergarten all the way up to explaining your reasoning behind a science investigation in Year 12. It literally works for any subject, any stage group and any student.
Remember, there are already thousands of ideas available to you, for free, here.
If you are not such a fan of worksheets (or marking for that reason!), this gives you and your students the chance to record and reflect on their learning that happened in your presence. It also allows the regular teacher and your students’ families to see what AWESOME THINGS happened when the casual teacher was in. Behold the call backs!
Asking the regular classroom teacher if they would be OK with you using Seesaw while you are there and leaving the approving to them would be wise, but I certainly would be grateful if the relief teacher on my class used to Seesaw in my absence.
But I have never used it before....
If you have never used Seesaw before, ask the students. As they are a generation who were pretty much born with iPad’s already in their hands, they really are a wealth of knowledge.
Seesaw is so in-tune with 21st century teaching and learning, and it is also an easy to use and inspiring resource for both students and teachers. Take a leaf from my book and try it today.