Seesaw has officially launched in our classroom! I am so excited that I have now started the process of handing the power over to the students. The lead up work of learning the basics of what Seesaw is all about and how to launch it is over and now the fun begins with implementing it into our classroom.
GIF Credit: Giphy
The first step to getting going was ensuring that all of my students had permission to participate. Seesaw is luckily one of the social media platforms listed on our schools media release and consent forms so if students already had permission on that form I did not need to get extra permission. Not all of my students had blanket permission so I decided that I would send another note home for permission just for their child to use Seesaw in our classroom. I explained to these families the following:
Seesaw is a secure online learning journal that is private and only accessible by the teacher, students and parents. You will only have access to your own child’s work and all of the content is stored securely.
I feel that Seesaw is a great way to introduce children and families to social media as it is secure so I feel that it is a great platform for students to learn about digital citizenship. I feel that it is important to express to parents who are unsure about giving permission for social media that their child’s work will not be posted publicly and that it can only be accessed by the student, the parents and the teachers. In the introductory letter I included information about Seesaw as a program and the benefits to our learning that this program will provide. I attached a separate permission form for students who still required permission. See the attached letter for the information that I provided to my parents!
Once permission was taken care of we started to explore the app in class. In small groups students were given the opportunity to explore the features on the app. I was amazed at how quickly the students were able to navigate the different features. During the students first time on Seesaw I asked them to add a picture of themselves and to voice record anything they would like to about their introduction to Seesaw. I had the students add this to their journals so that when their parents logged on for the first time they would get to see some entertaining photos of their child to welcome them to Seesaw.
Shortly after the notes about Seesaw went home parents started connecting to their child’s journals. It was so exciting to see how quickly many of them jumped on board. Many of the parents were commenting and liking their child’s first post to Seesaw. Some parents commented how excited they are to follow along with their child’s learning. I got the exact reaction from parents that I was looking for. One of my professional goals this school year was to connect more with parents and I feel that this is a great start and Seesaw helps me connect with parents all in one location. Within a few days I have half of my class connected online! I plan to follow up with parents who have not yet connected, to help get them connected and make sure that they are not having any issues figuring the app out!
As the week moved on I added to the students journals throughout the week. I wanted to demonstrate to the students what types of work they could add to their journals to share with their parents. This gave me the opportunity to model and demonstrate how we can use the app during class time to communicate to our families what we are currently working on. I wanted to ensure that we added work to their journals this week so families can get on the app and learn what it is all about!
I also made sure to suggest to the students when I felt like they were working on something that would be great to share. I set up a Seesaw station in the classroom and told students that when they were finished their work they were more than welcome to go and share their work with their families. My goal is that the students will become independent in wanting to share their work and choosing what they would like to send home. I see the benefits of using Seesaw in an upper elementary as the students are at the age where they can decide what they want to share with their families.
I feel that the first week using Seesaw in our classroom has been awesome! I can already see how this program will fit and work within my classroom.
Moving forward I have a few learning goals that I want to accomplish:
- Students become independent in sharing
- Students learn how to use tools on Seesaw to document and reflect on their learning
- Seesaw becomes interactive as the students comment on each others work
- Encourage families to become social on Seesaw with their children
- Continue to learn about the features of Seesaw and more ways to incorporate it into the classroom
- Continue to use Twitter to follow @Seesaw as professional development