One of the goals of the BPS EdTech team for the 2016-2017 year has been to explore digital portfolio options for our elementary students. Mr. Murphy and I are thrilled to have six (and counting) Fox Hill teachers piloting the device agnostic See Saw digital portfolio application. These teachers include:
First Grade- Tara Carroll
Second Grade- Natalie Stone
Third Grade- Heather Lisano
Fourth Grade- Dave Daley
Fifth Grade- Jamie Jaffe & Roseann Lee
Here are ten reasons why we’re EXTREMELY impressed with See Saw:
- See Saw is one of the most intuitive apps we have seen for both teachers and students. There has been little to no “coaching” of teachers on how to use See Saw because the interface is incredibly user friendly.
- Teachers create a See Saw class in literally less than three minutes. The most “time consuming” part of creating a See Saw class is entering student names. If you’re not fast on the iPad on-screen keyboard, you can make this process even quicker by copying and pasting a student roster.
- Students become members of the class almost instantly by simply scanning a QR code within the See Saw app. There is no Google login required which saves a lot of time! Teachers can simply hold up their iPads so students can scan the QR code (our recommended method) or they can print a poster for their classroom with the QR code.
- Each student can be assigned an elementary-level appropriate avatar. This may not seem significant on the surface, but the elementary students we’ve seen using See Saw LOVE this feature!
- Teachers have full control over the content that is added to a student’s portfolio. They receive a notification when an item has been uploaded and either approve or deny the item.
- Teachers can add personalized feedback to work that is uploaded. They can “heart” the item, leave text comments, or audio feedback, which not only connects with students in a meaningful way, it is a huge time saver for a busy teacher.
- Students can leave feedback on each other’s work, either a “heart” or comments, and this is an excellent way to create a positive digital classroom community. It’s also an effective way for students to learn from each other.
- The visual interface is perfect for the elementary level. There are six options for students and teachers to choose from: photo, video, drawing, camera roll, note, and link.
- See Saw is compatible with many apps we use at the elementary level including: GSuite for Education, Book Creator, Chatter Pix, Tellegami, iMovie, Explain Everything, and many other applications. Sharing a completed digital project to See Saw is a quick and simple process for students.
- Parents can access the work of their child in See Saw from any device without needing a Google account. Parents can only see the work of their child and receive a notification when an item has been uploaded.
In the education world, we often hear that technology integration should be invisible. Based on our experiences so far, See Saw epitomizes this statement. Fox Hill teachers who have been piloting See Saw have had their students upload videos, photos, and Book Creator projects. We are confident that the teachers who are piloting See Saw will continue to explore its capabilities and use the app to showcase their students’ academic growth and development. We’ve heard students say they like See Saw because it is fun, easy to use, and they can comment on each other’s work.
Ultimately, we’d like all Fox Hill teachers to give See Saw a try at some point before the end of this school year and discover how they can use this app to share student work and develop a safe, positive, and respectful digital classroom community. Below are some photos of students and teachers using See Saw including fifth grade teachers Mrs. Jaffe and Mrs. Lee’s class, fourth grade teacher Mr. Daley, third grade teacher Mr. Lisano, and first grade teacher Mrs. Carroll.