1. What is Seesaw?
Seesaw is an app and web platform that allows pupils to create a digital record or ‘journal’ of their learning. Items posted to Seesaw may be organised into folders, or may respond to specific tasks set by teachers within the platform, but they can also be posted into an open stream that is viewable by the rest of the class. The format of these items may be a written note or document, a video or an image – perhaps a photograph of a piece of handwritten and/or drawn work, which may also include a voice recording or annotations.
Similarly the teacher can set the task itself using a range of different formats. Pupils may also comment on one another’s work, for example offering praise or making suggestions for improvements. Optional settings can help teachers moderate pupil activity on the platform.
2. How can Seesaw make learning more personalized?
Seesaw can be used to personalise pupils’ learning experiences in several ways. One is the way in which tasks are set; teachers are able to assign tasks using text, images, audio, video or a combination of these. Where a combination is used, children can access the task in the format with which they were most comfortable and can also track back to review instructions they may have missed or not fully grasped the first time. Pausing video and audio footage also means that pupils can self-pace their engagement with the materials.
When Seesaw is used in the classroom task setting may take place outside of the app itself, which is primarily used as a platform for pupils to record their work and share their thoughts with their teacher. Seesaw enables the children to do this in multiple ways. They can create their work on paper, then photograph it in Seesaw; they can type directly into the app; they may even record their voice or a video. In this way they are able to personalise the way they express their ideas and learning, using a means of expression that gives them the best fluency of communication.
3. What to consider when implementing Seesaw?
There are three types of Seesaw plan; Seesaw, Seesaw Plus and Seesaw for Schools. The first is completely free but lacks some useful features; for example, you can only assign two teachers to each class and each teacher can have no more than 10 classes. Larger schools may at least want to consider Seesaw Plus, at $120 per teacher per year, which gives you up to five teacher spots per class and as many as 25 classes per teacher, or Seesaw for Schools where these numbers increase again, as well as giving you the ability to create and share an unlimited number of activities and gain access to much more detailed analytical and management tools (prices available upon request). Many schools report that Seesaw works well both in school and as a home learning platform so it may be worth investing in as part of a flexible blended learning strategy.
4. Where can I get started with Seesaw?
The Seesaw website has a training and professional development section which features a range of resources to help teachers get started with the tool. (https://web.seesaw.me/training-and-pd)