At the end of a very busy term, the ICT PLC still managed to make time to come together and share their practice over the last two weeks with SeeSaw. In walking around the school I have been so happy over the past two weeks to see how much more use the iPads are getting as a result of starting to work with SeeSaw, and it has been really exciting to see all the different opportunities teachers and students have had to share, document, analyse and reflect on learning as a result.
I have also had many conversations highlighting both triumphs and challenges with many teachers since SeeSaw was introduced which has been really heartening, and I have appreciated the feedback. This was all definitely reflected in the enthusiasm of staff present at the PLC and the wide range of uses they shared.
What is everyone doing with SeeSaw?
Below you will find some examples of student work from SeeSaw - as you can see there is a very wide range of applications!
What do teachers say they like about SeeSaw?
- It is extremely easy to use and intuitive, both for them and the kids
- Kids are motivated to share their understanding and learning
- There are lots of applications for it in every subject
- It is fun
- Speedy way to grade and assess
- Lets you store and share digital work
- Gets parents involved and interested in their child's learning, and lets the teacher communicate goals and strengths in an accessible way.
What problems did teachers have?
- Videos are taking a long time to upload - perhaps this is a Wifi issue?
- In one class commenting was enabled but students had not been taught to comment effectively yet. This led to silly comments.
- Uploading group work in levelled maths or German groups for students who are in separate homerooms is tricky
- Keeping work organised.
What solutions did we find?
- The Wifi is being tested on Tuesday 5th April: Christian and I will use 50 iPads, during the school day, in three different locations, to test watching and uploading videos, which I think are the most challenging tasks our network has to deal with. From there we can make a plan to address any deficiencies over the summer to make sure everything works well for next school year. In the meantime, consider if a video is the best way to show the learning. If you are using it to record the students counting, for example, why not take a photo of the child and then use the voice recording function? This creates a smaller file and therefore faster upload times
- Commenting should remain disabled until the homeroom teacher feels their students are ready to use the function. Before it is enabled, the teacher should plan a lesson to help the students understand the expectations for commenting online. Additionally, it was suggested commenting should be used only in Grades 3-5.
- Over the Easter break, it is planned that we will upgrade to the SeeSaw for Schools (the paid version), which will allow us to make classes for maths, German, EAL and Exhibition, but maintain a unified account for each child. This will be a very useful and exciting development and I will keep you updated!
- Enabling folders is a good idea: the Homeroom teacher can decide how to arrange these, whether by Unit, English, Maths, Music, PE etc, or by the name of the current unit. Each co-teacher has editing rights in a class, so specialist teachers are able to create a folder for their own subject in each class they teach.
For each teacher, what it means to develop their use of SeeSaw will be different. For some people that will mean trying it out for the first time after Easter - if this is you and you would like some support planning or teaching your first lesson using SeeSaw, please let me know, I'm happy to help! Other teachers have been using it to differing extents and are ready to take their next steps and develop their use of SeeSaw.
Some suggestions for development:
- Try it out! I am here to help you, as are a growing body of your colleagues.
- Try a new input method - if you've made lots of videos, try adding a link to everyone's SeeSaw to make accessing a website easier during class, or have your students write a note, or take a photo and add annotations.
- Add folders to keep student work organised.
- Have a lesson about digital citizenship/online etiquette and enable moderated commenting for your students.
- Consider using the blog function, either as a teacher on behalf of your class, or have your students update the blog each week.
- Invite parents to view their child's SeeSaw (parents, once invited, can only see their own child's work).
Below you will find the slides from this week's PLC so you can follow along at home, and How To videos for each of the ideas mentioned in this blog post will follow before the end of the Easter break.
Have a lovely holiday!