This Friday was the first meeting of the ICT Professional Learning Community (PLC) and we had a very impressive turn out, despite the Friday afternoon timing - thank you so much to the teachers for making the time to come and be a part of the PLC (and next time I think we need a bigger room!). Big thanks also to Mike for providing on-the-spot technical support and help throughout the session. At the end of this post you will find an embedded version of the Slides from the session so you can keep up to date with everything that was said and take part remotely if you wish!
What was the topic?
This month we are learning about SeeSaw, which is a digital learning journal platform that works both on the iPad and the PC. It is extremely easy for students and teachers to use and every class in the school has already been set up to facilitate immediate use for our staff.
What was discussed?
After a brief video introduction to SeeSaw, which you can see on the How to use.... SeeSaw page, the PLC teachers were shown how to log in as a student, to a specially created PLC Test Class, to allow them the opportunity to experience what the students can and can't do, and explore the options for the types of data that can be added to SeeSaw. Some took photos, some recorded themselves annotating and explaining their photos, some took videos and others uploaded pictures from their camera roll. Most were on task... ;)
After this, we shared some ideas for how each teacher could imagine using SeeSaw in their classroom or subject and recorded these ideas on Mentimeter, which is a very handy tool for gathering feedback during or after meetings or lessons with older students. You can see the full results of that Mentimeter by clicking on the image below:
As you can see, a lot of the PLC members felt that this would be a really useful tool for pre-assessing, making thinking visible, assessing and for evidencing practical skills such as singing, art, dance or PE. In essence one of the most useful things about SeeSaw is it lets kids get their work off the iPads, which has always been a problem, and it provides an instant, user-friendly interface for recording progress. As a homeroom teacher, I cannot tell you how many hundreds of photos of students I took with the best of intentions to work out who was in which photo, print the requisite number of copies of each photos, put them in the right portfolio etc etc. SeeSaw makes that task obsolete, because the students can be responsible for doing that themselves, and because as a teacher, adding photos to student SeeSaws is extremely fast and intuitive.
After that, we talked about some of the barriers we are facing with SeeSaw and the potential pitfalls, as with any new technology there is the potential (certainty?) for problems - and that's ok!
Key points arising from our talks were:
- Managing SeeSaw for teachers who have mixed groups from several classes
- Having sufficient or sufficiently accessible iPads - ensuring these are charged, available and that there are enough to make SeeSaw easy to use
- Moving towards developing student and parental responsibility and digital citizenship skills to enable commenting
- How manageable parental access to the SeeSaws will be if this is introduced in the future
Again, we used Mentimeter to share some of these thoughts, and you can see these by clicking the image below:
After discussing these issues a little, and sharing possible solutions to them, the PLC members each set a manageable goal for their integration of SeeSaw over the coming two weeks, for example:
- Introduce SeeSaw to the students and teach them to use it to take a photo or video of a partner
- Use SeeSaw with a 4th or 5th grade class to record students singing
- Use the recorded picture annotation function to have students reflect on their architecture building project
I hope that PLC members will take some photos or video of their students using SeeSaw and share it with me so I can add it to the blog and share our wonderful practice as it develops and in 2 weeks, before the Easter break, we will meet to find out how goals have gone and share any new ideas that have arisen since this meeting. I completely understand that we cannot always be available for every meeting, so please do not feel that you must attend every session, or none at all. Please come whenever you are available, even if that is only to drop in for 15 minutes. Likewise, if you are unable to make any session, but you are interested in learning about the tools introduced to the PLC, please make an appointment to come and sit with me one on one, or in a small group at lunch time or after school.
In the meantime, if you are trying out SeeSaw, or you want to try out SeeSaw in your class and you have any problems, concerns or ideas, please get in touch, or feel free to comment below for others to see!
Thank you again for your participation, positivity and risk-taking attitude!
Have a lovely weekend