Saturday, October 10, 2015

Seesaw: Features

I used Seesaw {the free ePortfolio tool} with my K-4 students last year, and it helped us make the Science Lab almost completely paperless, so it's no wonder I continue to rave about this tool! As a Seesaw Ambassador {look for me in the southwest section!}, I get constant updates about what the team is doing to improve their {already awesome} tool, so I was inspired to write a series of blog posts on Seesaw. Check back frequently over the new couple of weeks or follow me on Twitter to make sure you don't miss any of this series! 

Due to the amazing new feature additions Seesaw has added over the past 6 months or so, I wanted to start the series with a feature review. 

What Kids Can Do
  • Sign in with a Google account {e-mail address required}, class code {no e-mail required}, or Seesaw-generated QR code {no e-mail required}
  • Take a photo or video from within the Seesaw app
  • Upload a picture or PDF file from the web
  • Import a photo into the app from the camera roll
  • Annotate on top of a photo or document using a variety of colors and a finger or stylus
  • Write on a whiteboard-like background using a variety of colors and a finger or stylus
  • Record student voice over a photo or drawing
  • Record student voice as they're drawing on a photo or whiteboard
  • Choose an an animal avatar or upload their own avatar picture {like a selfie}
  • Copy and edit a classmate's journal entry and add to their own journal
  • Like or comment on a classmate's work {if the teacher chooses to enable this option}
  • Share a link that they've copied from elsewhere
  • Type notes on digital notebook paper
  • Add work to a teacher-created folder for better organization

What Parents Can Do {if the teacher chooses to activate these options}:
  • See just their own child's journal work
  • Pay $10/year to keep the journal going from year to year
  • Like or comment on just their own child's work
  • I've heard they're working on giving parents the ability to download their child's journal at the end of the year...yippee! :)

What Teachers Can Do:
  • Set up your class for free {e-mail the Seesaw support team if you need more classes}
  • Invite co-teachers to classes
  • Invite parents to view their own child's journal
  • See which students have viewed work in their child's journal
  • Privately "flag" items to review later
  • View items in a feed similar to Instagram -- scroll down to see work
  • View items in a calendar view -- see how many items were added to the journal on each day, and click the calendar day to view items that were added that day
  • View the entire class's journal or one student at a time's journal
  • Add an item to the journal for kids to view and/or copy/edit/add to their own journal {see the kid section for more details on these abilities}
  • Add folders to better organize work
  • Like or comment on student work
  • After work is turned in, the teacher can edit which child's journal that work goes into, delete it, share it on social media, or download it to their computer

Other Great Aspects:
  • Totally free. There's a premium option ($10/year for parents or $5/child for schools), but I used the free version with no problems! {More information coming about this in a later post.}
  • Available via iOS app, Android app, Chromebook, or web browser
  • School version ($5/kid) gives an administrator dashboard that gives an overview of information on all classes {more info on this in a later post}
  • If kids used a selfie as their avatar, you automatically have pictures of everyone to use later as substitute teacher help when you're gone
  • During parent-teacher conferences, you can open that child's Seesaw journal and give the iPad to the parents -- the child's journal will contain enough sample work to be able to do most of the talking for you!

Other post in this series:
  • Features: available 10.10.15 {what students can do, what parents can do, and what teachers can do}
  • Getting Started: available 10.11.15 {signing up, creating a class, classroom sign in vs. individual sign in, creating folders, helping students sign in}
  • Student Navigation: available 10.12.15 {icon glossary, submitting work, viewing work, copying and editing, feed and calendar view, liking and commenting}
  • Teacher Navigation: available 10.13.15{finding student work in the feed, individual student journal, calendar, folders, flagged work} 
  • Pushing Work to Students: available 10.14.15 {converting printed files to digital ones, sharing PDFs vs. image files, pushing work to everyone vs. pushing work to select students, AirDropping images}
  • Interacting with Student Work on Seesaw: available 10.15.15 {student work: dissected, editing people and folders, downloading and sharing items}
  • More Options: available 10.16.15 {managing class, students, parents, folders, other, and administrative details; student avatars; premium version}

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