Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Seesaw Blogs


Why Seesaw?

To say that Seesaw has revolutionized technology integration in the classroom is an understatement. From the first day that I became a technology integration specialist five years ago, I longed for a tool like this. I went to the extent of attempting to create this same magic with iPads using email and Kidblog. At the time, those were my best (free) options to increase student/teacher/parent communication. (Minus Edmodo, but that was very cumbersome for primary students.) 

With Seesaw, students can not only submit work from other great creation tools on their device, but can utilize the creation tools within it to increase communication at an even higher level. Students can record their voices over images and drawings, create videos that record their voices while drawing simultaneously, and can comment/like their classmates work. Parents can also participate by adding their own comments and likes to their child's work. 

This being the first year for my K-2 teachers being 1:1, it has been a challenge but teachers have quickly jumped on board with Seesaw. They are using it to leverage learning in fun and exciting ways. We have kindergarten students using it to create presidential campaigns and virtual voting booths. First grade teachers are using it to share images with the whole class so that the students can add their own comments/thoughts/knowledge about them. The rapid progress that has been made has been exciting because now we have a great tool for students to participate in virtual learning days so that students can participate in their lessons all from the comfort of their home!

Seesaw Blogs?

Believe it or not, Seesaw just upped their game again. A few months ago, they put into beta the edition of blogs. Now that blogs are officially part of Seesaw, teachers can essentially create a public page/website to communicate what is happening in class. This page could be used for announcements, sharing links to great learning websites/resources, or even file uploads. Better yet is the real purpose of the blog; teachers can post student student work. Students also have the power to submit their items for posting and the teacher can choose to approve it. As the teacher approves them, the work samples appear on the public blog page.

So What?

What's the big deal? Time. Consider the amount of time I might take to post items to my Blogger site. I must download images/videos from students/teachers. I must upload them to Youtube or to Blogger. While downloading and uploading, I need a good organizational system so I can keep track of the original items. If I choose to use Google Sites, I run into similar issues. Blogger and Google sites require very little time in terms of building websites...especially considering I was using Sharepoint when I taught fourth grade. However, with the simple push of the globe icon in Seesaw, the items I want for the public eye to see are shared instantly. I can do this from my iPad or Chromebook so it is extremely convenient. What I'm really trying to say is...it could replace your teacher website!

Share to blog icon in Seesaw

How to Start a Seesaw Blog

Recently, Seesaw posted a great overview on how to get started with a blog. Their video is a lot better than what I can produced and they kindly gave me permission to post it here. So please check it out and try it for yourself. See if a Seesaw blog would be the right communication tool for you.