I hope you didn’t just say “What is Seesaw?” If so, pop over here for some basics. Well, we are getting closer and closer to back to school and there are some new features you need to know about and my take on them (in case you were looking for ideas or opinions from me)!
Before the 4.0 update, you had to actually go back through the journal to see comments, likes, and more. Now you can find out what is happening in your class with the notification center, similar to Facebook notification (Side note- Follow me on Facebook!).
*Students will have a new Notification Center as well if you have 1:1 or Google sign-in set up for your class.
I love that I can see the parent comments and respond to them easily with this. I rarely have time for much during the school year and I feel like this will be a big time saver.
Printing with Ease
Do you have a digital project that you would like to share with others? Add them all to a new folder and print the entire folder of items all at once! They print off with a QR code to help others access any video/audio content as well! You can also now print directly from iOS devices.
I will be using this to make bulletin boards! Students can record their ideas about a topic or answers to a question, add them all to one folder, and I can print all at once! Parents, administrators, and everyone in the school LOVE QR code bulletin boards!
There is a new option for those that are looking for something more beyond the free version. Seesaw Plus is $120 for the full year, but you can get some months free by sharing with others (One month of Seesaw Plus for free for you!). Here are some features that come with Plus:
Private Folders and Notes
Teachers will be able to use the portfolio as a center managing assessment data. Student work can be put in private folders that only teachers (up to 5 teachers per class) can see. Parents and students would not receive notifications of these posts or see them. Teachers can also record (audio or text) private notes on a post as well.
I plan to use these for recording observations on their writing that I may not want to allow parents and other students to see. All I have to do is take a snapshot of their work and I can even record exactly what I tell them! Or I can type in notes for myself. The BEST part is, I have a consultant teacher working with me this year and she can add notes and see mine!
The assessment options continue with the ability to create and track skills. Teachers can add (a limited number) of skills to track for students. All co-teachers can help to track these goals.
I am interested in using these with some students that have IEP consultant teacher minutes, so we can work to track their goals together. I am also planning on starting with one area (writing) to see how it goes! I can’t wait to come back and share more about this feature with you!
You will be able to see class progress towards skills or just show individual students. The visual examples that Seesaw has shown, look amazing! This tool is really meant to be a student portfolio, but I think this will help keep everything in one place.
Seesaw for Schools
In case you are lucky enough to already be at a Seesaw School or are ready to convince your admins, there are a few other features you need to know about! You get all the Seesaw Plus features above! You can have more teachers per class and more classes per teacher. If you are an admin, I recommend you read up on this more Admin Dashboard is a great way to keep in touch with what is happening around school!
The best part of Seesaw for schools is that you attach the student to their i.d. number. This allows their journal to travel with them until they are no longer enrolled! This is a real portfolio, all digital, that can show progress over a school career. What a powerful tool because the students really control so much of it!
The other great part of the i.d. number, is that students can be enrolled in multiple classes and parents don’t need to sign up for each one. This really opens communication. Our speech pathologists started using Seesaw this year to show parents what they were working on and how they were practicing. It was eye-opening for me as the classroom teacher as well! Simple communication that benefits students.
So if you haven’t jumped in yet, now is the perfect time to get started! Stay tuned for more ways to use Seesaw and so many more teaching tips!