One of the lovely traditions at my school is called the Treasury. Each year, students contribute pieces of writing to their treasury folders, and on their last days of 8th grade, their folder is presented to them. Families sit around tables in our cafeteria looking at pieces of work from kindergarten to 8th grade. I've been wishing for the last three years that there were a way to capture the digital work I do with students in a similar fashion (our art teachers use a great site called Art Sinfonia), especially because I am often recording voices, and I think it would be lovely to share that with parents as kids get older.
A few weeks ago, as I was browsing ISTE conference sessions, I came across a description for Seesaw, a "digital portfolio." Intrigued, I signed up (it's free). It is perfect.
It's rare that I get gushy and excited about an app, but this one is a keeper. I've been able to create free accounts for every kid in kindergarten, second and third grades (though I did hit a limit with my first "class" and had to create a second). Within Seesaw, I can share links, videos, and images in each child's private folder, which their parents then access at home. They can even leave comments!
Seesaw was quick to set up, intuitive, and it opens up a whole new way of communicating with parents. I'm so excited to share this app with my colleagues next year and to really encourage families to sign up. Even better, they are good about student privacy - I don't need to supply any information other than a name for kids, parents can only access their child's account, and the representative I've emailed with told me that they will periodically check in that I still want accounts open if they've been inactive for awhile.
I've only just begun experimenting with it, but it's going to be a goal of mine next year to really push this app out. I can really see this working across the curriculum, and as a great tool for our SPED teachers to demonstrate student progress over time.
My name is Ms. Bery. I am a PK-8 library media specialist in the Boston area. In addition to being a certified school librarian, I am also certified in instructional technology, and have a strong interest in exploring and integrating technology in new and exciting ways in the classroom.
I am also a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Local Digital Innovator, and a 2015 recipient of the Massachusetts School Library Association's President's Award.
Check out the Sandbox for apps and websites I've found useful in supporting student learning and creativity. I also review children's, middle grade, and young adult books on Instagram.
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