Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Student Portfolios and Blogs all in One Place with SeeSaw

As educators, we juggle a lot of things.  Student learning, student needs, classroom management, creating an engaging learning environment, as well as including the parents in on what’s going on with their children.  As technology has made its way into the classroom, online journals or blogs have become a great outlet to share what is going on with your classroom.  Technology has also made strides with ways to organize student work through online portfolios.  All of these advancements are great and provide an open door for parents to be able to check into these places to see what their students are doing at school.  But, it has been separate places to navigate.  One website for a blog and another for the student work and unless parents subscribed to notifications or check everyday, they would not know when it has been updated.

Maria Schroeder and Jan Johnson have begun to use a new, free product that was created this past summer that combines blogs, portfolios and brings parents into the mix called SeeSaw.  I was able to talk with Mrs. Schroeder about how it has impacted her classroom.

SeeSaw is an easy program to use and manage for students and teachers because everything is in one program, one place for teachers, students and parents to access.  It works with multiple types of devices as students can upload projects to their account using an iPad or a computer.  They can upload links from projects they have created in Google Drive.

Or they can upload photos or video reflections of their learning.

Mrs. Schroeder says that the video option is very powerful.  Students can capture parts of their learning in a subject and then reflect on the process.  This creates a very real world experience for her students as a big part of sharing learning online involves video and reflection through blogs.  The video option can also be very helpful for students who may struggle with typing.

As SeeSaw collects the students’ work, it creates a natural online portfolio to watch the students’ growth throughout the year.  As students upload their work, they simply choose the work file they want it to go into, which makes it easy to find artifacts related to the different subjects.  

SeeSaw turns learning a social experience as well.  Users can like or comment on each other’s work within the program.  

Teachers can grade student work within SeeSaw and even leave audio recordings for students to hear.

This biggest impact that Mrs. Schroeder has seen is the increase in parental involvement.  Parents can access SeeSaw directly on their phone and SeeSaw will notify parents directly when their child has uploaded new learning, which is very convenient for parents access and know what their students are learning about in school.  This is definitely a great benefit for teachers because this takes one thing off of a teacher’s workload - woohoo

Stop in and ask Mrs. Schroeder more about how she integrates it into her classroom and what she typically has her students upload to SeeSaw.

-Contribution from Amber Bridge, Technology Consultant from Grant Wood AEA.  Want to share what's going on in your classroom or collaborate me on an upcoming project?  Feel free to email me