If your school district is anything like mine, it’s an expectation that your students have journals for everything, and I mean everything. Reading. Writing. Math. Science. You name it, it gets recorded in a journal. Now don’t get me wrong, in a world of standardized tests, I love using learning journals as a form of authentic assessment. They track my student’s progress over time and serve as a handy place to keep items related to a subject.
On the other hand, they can be tedious. I teach Kindergarten, so the process of using a regular composition book is a bear- hold your journal the right way, always use the very next blank page, make sure your writing fits on the line (which it never does when you’re 5 years old…). My real concern though, these paper-pencil learning journals didn’t allow my students to show all of their learning, just the parts they could manage to write down legibly. Because we were doing a lot of work with iPads and laptops, I needed an digital place to showcase it.
Then, one fateful day last January, I participated in a Seesaw webinar that changed my classroom forever. Seesaw, known as “the learning journal”, is an app where students can share their learning with teachers, classmates, and their parents. Essentially, it’s a kid-friendly e-portfolio to document learning. Or as my students would tell you, “It’s like Facebook for school!”.
Below is an example of our class All About Book posted to Seesaw. Students each created a page for the book in the Book Creator app, and then we shared it with parents in our learning journal.
What I love most is that Seesaw supports posts of all kinds: photos, drawings, videos, audio, even links to projects created in other apps or websites. Each student will have their own portfolio, but all students are linked to your personal class which is great for grading and sharing exemplary work with peers.
Why I Love Seesaw:
- It teaches Digital Citizenship– Posting and commenting with parents and peers teaches students to be responsible online.
- Meaningful audience– Parents, other students, teachers, or even the world!
- Multi-platform– available for Web Browser, iOS, and Android (coming soon).
- No student email addresses needed -All students are linked to the class through their teacher’s account.
- Multiple posting formats – Photos, videos, links, documents, you name it, it can be done! I will note though, some features work better with the iPad app than with a computer browser.
- Color-coded folders- Sort student work by subject area.
- Parent Access bridges the school-home gap.- Parents LOVE seeing what their child does in school and students love that their journal has an audience. This is also a great feature to show progress during conferences.
- Student work is archived at the end of the school year – It is available for parents to bulk download and keep for years to come.
Privacy concerns? Seesaw understands. I highlighted their best privacy features below, but you can also read more here.
- All student data is owned by you and your student, not Seesaw.
- Student work is private to your classroom by default, unless the teacher chooses to share it.
- Seesaw will never sell or share user data.
- They use security industry best practices and are both COPPA and FERPA compliant.
Ready to get started?
Sign up with my QR code below. With my code, not only will you get a totally free Seesaw account, you will also get a 30-day Free Trial of the new Seesaw Plus! Don’t worry, if you decide Plus is not for you, all the basic Seesaw features will still be available free and will stay that way, forever!
I hope you’ll love Seesaw as much as I do. Enjoy!