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Friday, April 3, 2015

SeeSaw Gets a Bunch of Helpful Updates for Organizing Digital Portfolios

Disclosure: SeeSaw's parent company is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com.

Back in January the developers of the popular Shadow Puppet Edu app launched SeeSaw to help teachers and students organize digital portfolios on their iPads. Since then I've shown the app at a bunch of conferences and it has been a hit. One teacher recently sent me an email about how happy she is with it. She described it best by saying, "it's like Educreations, online portfolio, drawing tools, photo booth, etc. all rolled up in one. I LOVE how it feeds to the teacher easily for checking purposes (unlike Google Classroom that needs 100 clicks to open your class' work). It's perfect for 2nd grade."

To get started with Seesaw create a free classroom account. Students join the classroom by scanning a QR code (you will have to print it or project it) that grants them access to your Seesaw classroom. As the teacher you can see and sort all of your students' Seesaw submissions.

SeeSaw allows parents to create accounts through which they can see the work of their children. As a teacher you can send notifications to parents when their children make a new SeeSaw submission.

This week SeeSaw received a handful of updates that will make it even easier to organize digital portfolios through your iPad and your students' iPads. Here's what's new in SeeSaw this week:

  • Folders: Now you can organize student work in to folders. You can set up colored folders for subject areas or learning objectives, and choose whether students self select folders when adding items or teachers do it as part of item approval. Folders are visible to teachers, students and parents. You can browse work by folder across your class or for a particular student.
  • Teacher Flags: Teachers (and co-teachers) can flag items to review later -- at a parent teacher conference, with a student, or however you'd like. Which items have been flagged are only visible to class teachers and co-teachers.
  • PDF Documents: Now you can add PDFs to Seesaw journals. You can import PDFs from many other iOS apps (like Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Google Drive, Book Creator) using the iOS share extension / open in feature. Just tap share in those apps and select Seesaw.
  • Tag Everyone: Want to add a class photo to Seesaw journals, or send a quick note to all parents in your class? Now you can add an item to all student journals with a single tap.