Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tech Tuesday:SeeSaw-The Digital Learning Journal

Hello! I'm Jonna from The Primary Life. It's Tech Tuesday here at The Primary Peach and I am so excited to share one of my favorite tech tools with you!
The free Seesaw app has absolutely transformed my classroom! It is a digital learning journal that allows parents to view their child's work and leave written or audio comments. It has been instrumental in helping my kinders to become digital experts. They love exploring and discovering new ways to use this app.
So, what is so great about Seesaw? It's amazingly easy to use, even for children as young as 4 years old. It allows them to create and upload their work independently. Also, the support available from the Seesaw team is outstanding. They are always ready and eager to help with any questions.
I was searching for a way to extend our work beyond the four walls of our classroom. However, all of the blog-like options I came across required a login.  Then I found Seesaw and their QR code login was exactly what I needed for my students.  I was SOLD!  When you sign up for Seesaw, they automatically generate a QR code login poster for your class.  As you can see from the picture above, students can easily access the poster to login with minimal assistance. 
After logging in, students see this screen where they can easily find and select their name next to their avatar. There are a variety of avatars available, but you can also upload your own photo or drawing.
So what can students do in Seesaw? After finding their name, students see this screen.  They must choose what type of item they want to upload.  
The note option allows students to type in text and also add their voice. We haven't used this a lot in kindergarten, but it would be a great tool for older students.  They can also take a picture by simply choosing "camera" and selecting the green button.
The link option allows students and teachers to upload URL links. The drawing tool is a popular choice among my students, because they can not only draw but, add text and their voice. Once students have finished their work they follow the green check marks and it is uploaded to their journal.
I absolutely love the folder option in SeeSaw.  You can categorize by content, groups or even have students create a "BEST WORK" folder to share with their parents. 
When parents download the free Seesaw parent app, they receive email notifications. This tells them that their child has uploaded an item to their journal. The ability for parents to see and comment on their child's work is such a powerful tool.  It goes beyond "What did you do today?" and opens up a dialogue between parent and child. 
These are just a few examples of what your students could do in Seesaw.  It is amazing how quickly students become experts at using this app. 
 In this example, one of my students did a book review of the Grouchy Ladybug in Tellagami. Then we uploaded it into Seesaw. 
In the example above, we "grew" a plant in the Chromvillle app, exported it into Seesaw and added our voice.  VOILA! Super easy!
App Smashes may seem a little intimidating. However, THEY'RE NOT! They are super simple because Seesaw has made it so easy to use these apps along with theirs.
If you would like to know more about Seesaw, I would love to help!  Also, the Seesaw website listed above has a wealth of information-including lots of videos that are great for the Seesaw novice.
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