Seesaw Improves How Students Interact with Teacher-Created Assignments

Back in March, Seesaw announced a set of updates that I’m pretty excited about.

For those of you not familiar with Seesaw, I often compare it to a combination of an LMS, a digital portfolio tool, and a parent/guardian communication tool.

Screengrab from Youtube Video showing the Seesaw app interface and the new updates for locking and unlocking items

It’s most often used by elementary teachers – case in point, 29.2% of the people who responded to my podcast survey use Seesaw, and of them almost 37% of them were PreK-6th grade teachers, and 0% were 7th-12th grade. (The other 63-ish% were in other roles like tech coaches etc.) It’s crazy though because it’s great for all ages.

Let’s talk about the updates!

  • In the past, if you sent an activity to your students, they were able to delete pages from the template. Now, students cannot delete the teacher-created pages, but they can create pages that they add.
  • In a similar vane, students were previously able to unlock parts of the template that the teacher had locked in place. Now, that option has been removed. If you lock it, your students cannot unlock it.
  • Previously, students could also reorder activity pages—typically by accident when scrolling—this has now been fixed. As the release says, they have ”adjusted the sensitivity of the reorder action in the Pages menu and disabled page reordering on drag gestures to prevent this issue..”
  • In the past, there were also problems with students accidentally creating new pages while drawing. They have now fixed that issue as well. 
  • And, finally, while many activities require students writing or drawing, some involve manipulatives that need to be moved around the screen. Previously, when opening one of these pages, the pen tool was selected and students ended up drawing on things instead of moving them.  Now, the app intelligently starts with the move tool if there are movable shapes and the pen tool if there are no movable shapes.

[Image Source: https://youtu.be/ax5EzL1iCDE?t=280, featuring the app interface from https://web.seesaw.me/]

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16+ Formative Assessment Tools for #RemoteLearning!

Title Image for Post. Reads: 16+ Formative Assessment Tools for #RemoteLearning and includes the URL for the post.Wow. March 2020 has been quite a month. And buckle up, folks, because it looks like April is going to be more of the same.

For many educators, that means screencasts of lessons, assignments in learning management systems, and lots of time on Zoom or Google Meet.

But what about Formative Assessment? If we’re going to teach new content during these extended school closures caused by the coronavirus and COVID-19 (I’m not sure if we should, but that’s another post) then we need to know if students are comprehending that new content!

So, I put that question out to the Duct Tapers (listeners to my podcast, the Educational Duct Tape Podcast). I got a handful of answers, which I featured in Episode 39b of the podcast.

A week later, I reached out for even more ideas! On Wednesday 3.25.2020, I hosted a #EduDuctTape Twitter chat focused on this and 2 other #RemoteLearning concepts. So, based on the thoughts shared in the episode and the ideas shared in the Twitter chat, I’ve got a BUNCH to share with you! So let’s dig into it! Continue reading 16+ Formative Assessment Tools for #RemoteLearning!

8+ Tools for Developing Learner Profiles

Mike Mohammad joined me in episode 28 of the Educational Duct Tape Podcast to discuss 2 questions that an educator might have.  One of the topics that we discussed was learner profiles.  Mike posed the question, “How can students create a profile of themselves as a learner to share with an audience beyond the classroom?

Tools for Learner Profiles Title Image

While Mike and I did not discuss the it during the show, I want to quickly compare and contrast the terms learner profile and digital portfolio.  While there are similarities (both are typically curated by the student, both showcase the students work in school and both are often done digitally) there are also some differences (typically, digital portfolios are a showcase of academic work and growth while learner profiles also often focus on the students’ capabilities, characteristics and aptitudes as a learner).

Regardless of which end result you’re looking to cultivate in your school (learner profile, digital portfolio or a blend of both), there are plenty of tools that you can leverage.

A week after the episode in which Mike and I discusssed this aired, I hosted a Twitter chat about the questions from our talk.

Here are some of the participants’ responses to the question about learner profiles:

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#EduDuctTape Episode 31!

In the 8th episode of Season 2, I talk with Jornea Armant of Flipgrid about video creation tools and connecting students with the entire learning community. We discuss Flipgrid, WeVideo, Seesaw, Adobe Spark, screencasting tools and more. Also, in my Soapbox Moment, what we do when a tech tool goes away.

Jornea Armant Episode Promo

 

15+ Tools for Student Voice

In episode 28 of the Educational Duct Tape PodcastMike Mohammad joined me for a chit-chat.  One of the topics that we discussed was student voice.  I posed the question, “How can educators provide opportunities for student voice?

Mike promptly made the distinction between student voice and student choice.  While both are powerful things to leverage in the classroom, they are very different (though we often lump them together, as Mike pointed out).

I think that educators’ definitions for the term student voice are inconsistent – some seem to believe that it simply means
– hearing each student’s answer or thinking
– while others believe that it means empowering the students to have a voice in some (or all!) aspects of their education.

Mike made it clear in his response that he subscribes to the 2nd “definition” of student voice.  His response fits with the description that Edutopia usesstudent voice involves letting “students’ input and expertise … help shape their classroom, their school, and ultimately their own learning and growth.”

I definitely believe that that is the type of student voice that we want to strive for.  In a recent #EduDuctTape chat, educators shared their favorite tool for empowering student voice.  It’s important to note that simply using the tool doesn’t provide opportunity for or empowerment of student voice.  It’s all about how you use it.

Here are some of their responses:

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#EduDuctTape Podcast 028

In the fifth episode of Season 2, I talk with Mike Mohammad about PearDeck, Flipgrid, NearPod, The Answer Pad, Formative, Classkick, Seesaw, Google Sites, student voice, learner profiles, digital portfolios & a wardrobe malfunction.

Mike Mohammad Episode Promo