Today, I wanted to explain how I used Seesaw last year, and how I plan to improve it this year. If you are new to using Seesaw, it is a place for students to store their work. Students can add a picture, video, link, note, drawing or file. It also divides your students into classes, so they can see other’s work (if you choose). Last year, I used it any time that students had to write something. Most of my students just added a “note.” Students were able to do so very quickly. My main goal was to have a place for my blended class to journal. Having Seesaw was MUCH better than having each student have their own blog. I had to approve each piece before it posted, so I was able to read briefly through each piece. It was also really easy to leave comments on their work (as you can see below).
Students could also leave comments on each other’s work. I encouraged students to do so from time to time as well. I had to approve the comments too, which is another great feature. (Interpersonal writing anyone?!)
I appreciated that Seesaw collected all of their work in one place. It made it easy for me to check who had done the assignment. It also helped students reflect on their work. Below, I have added some quotes from students on their self reflection about how their writing has improved by journaling:
In addition to writing, I had students record on Vocaroo then add the link to their journal. This way, they could include more speaking practices into their portfolio. I had them complete this with partners, and it was easy to add another person to their journal. (I also had students write poems in tandem for their journals, and they could tag their partner.)
Finally, Seesaw helped me write comments last year. I easily could access their work, and I could give them specific thoughts about how they were doing. We write comments very early in the year, and it gave me concrete advice to tell my students.
I was really pleased with how Seesaw worked this past year. I want to continue to evolve how I use it. This year, I am going to add a few more goals for my students.
- I want to record my voice on their journals instead of just typing. I also want them to respond using the voice recording. While they will still start by writing, I want them to speak their comments.
- I would also like to encourage kids to leave voice comments on other posts.
- I noticed that Seesaw added video in beta. I want to play around with this option for students to add to their work.
- I want to try some speed writing that was suggested during last week’s Langbook. I will give students a set amount of time to just write about any topic that they choose. I will continue to do so throughout the year, and I want students to compare their work from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. This will also provide them with concrete examples of how they are improving.
Have you used Seesaw? I would love for others to share how they use Seesaw in class!