Thursday, January 5, 2017

Digital Student Portfolios Using SeeSaw

If you are anything like me you're always searching for new and easy ways to keep track of student work to have on file for conferences/IEP meetings etc. For years I struggled with binders, file folders, digit files on my desktop and so much more. I was so tired of it and knew I had to find something that would make my life easier. Tah-dah!!!!!!

SeeSaw is a FREE (you can pay for certain subscriptions but the free one is perfect!) app that allows you and your students to build digital portfolios. It is super user friendly, the kids love it and best of makes collecting student work samples SOOOOO easy.
Once you get signed up, add your students, download the app and connect it to your account (simply snap a picture of the class QR Code) you are ready to start.

The students are able to add photos, videos, drawings, notes or links right away. We use photo and note the most in my classroom.

Here are a few examples of student work from my classroom.

1) Rainbow writing. I snapped a picture of our worksheet and the kids select different colors right inside the app. It is also easy to differentiate. Notice how one of my students has one large word instead of all 5.

2) Using the Note option, I had my students type sentences using their spelling words and respond to a question following a story I read.

3) Using the drawing feature I had a student draw a picture after listening to a story I read aloud.
4) I took a picture of a vocabulary card and had my student write about it using the caption feature. For the second picture we took a picture of the work a student did on the Smartboard.

5) We are working on counting by fives so I used the video feature to record my student counting by fives. We took a picture of the chart and she touched the numbers while counting out loud (this is just a screenshot so the video portion will not work)

What I love about this app is once kids "turn" in their work you are able to approve it, make comments, like it. It is very similar to a Facebook news feed. As you can see here I have 13 items to approve.

Once you approve the items they are sorted and stored in each students individual folders. It makes searching for their work quick and easy.

There is also a parent feature where you can give parents access to their child's portfolio. I haven't explored this option yet. I am thinking about just sticking with the classroom option for now :).

I cannot tell you how fast my students picked this up and how nice it has been to be able to have instant data collection/digital portfolios. Make sure to sign up for a free account at

Have you used SeeSaw before? Do you have another digital portfolio app that you use?

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  1. I have a question about taking a picture and having the students draw/voice record over it. Do the kids have to take the picture on their iPad or is there a way for the teacher to load it so everyone can see it, and the students can draw/record over it?

    1. I know you can take a photo and send it to everyone. I have only had students comment and like it. It doesn't appear that there is a draw/voice record option. However, I am always using the shared devices option instead of the 1:1 devices option so maybe in there you can. Sorry I couldn't be more help.

    2. With the activities option you can now take a photo and set it up as an activity for your students. Then can then draw and record (or whatever you ask them to do). You can also assign different activities to different students.

  2. How have you used it for student led conferences if you haven't shared it with your parents yet?

    1. I have not but that is an excellent idea especially since students are in charge of uploading their work.

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