Given the nature of sporadic substitute teaching, opportunities for me to use assessment technologies rarely present themselves, if ever. Naturally, classroom teachers are choosing to assess students, rather than asking a guest teacher to do it for them. Therefore, for the purpose of this blog post, I have chosen to study Seesaw, in hopes that when I return to teaching (full-time), I will be able to use this assessment technology.
I first heard of Seesaw in this class, during discussions around educational technology and it’s benefits to teachers, students and parents. Based on my impressions from class discussions, Seesaw seemed like a popular tool and thus, I assumed it was user-friendly. Even some of my classmates, who claimed they were just in the experimental stages of using technology in classrooms, had tried Seesaw and liked it. I related to this group of classmates as being in the early stages of using technology for instruction and assessment. Therefore, if it were successful for others like myself, using Seesaw seemed like a great starting point in implementing technology in my future teaching practices.
When considering how I will use Seesaw, I reflect on my classmate Joe’s recent blog on his use of this assessment tool. In past weeks, Joe has shared that he works as a learning resource teacher. In past teaching experiences, I too have worked as a learning resource teacher. Therefore, I have paid special attention to Joe’s use of Seesaw as it will relate closely to my future experiences in this role. In Joe’s blog, he describes himself as using Seesaw in his Leveled Literacy Intervention groups in order to “inject an element of fun and pride into our efforts with literacy, as well as to establish an easy, meaningful line of communication with parents.”
After exploring the Seesaw website and watching the videos that Joe included in his blog, I can see how Seesaw would foster an active home-school connection when using interventions such as LLI. In the following video, Seesaw models how students can send parents samples of the work that they complete in their classrooms. It is evident that the children have a sense of pride, sharing their work with their parents and in return, positively respond from their praise and feedback.
As I continue to explore the Seesaw website, an obvious benefit of this assessment technology tool is that it allows both parents to access their child’s school work and academic development. In a family situation where a child’s parents are living apart, separated or divorced, children would know that both of their parents can view their work and respond to them. I assume that this would alleviate some of the stress or miscommunications that can often occur when not all family members are living together.
The most obvious challenge to an assessment tool like Seesaw would be that parents who do not have access to mobile devices, computers or tablets would be unable to receive their child’s updates and messages. Families living in lower socioeconomic statuses would often be at a disadvantage due to a common lack of access to technology.
On a personal note, while I do not have a classroom of right now, I plan on exploring Seesaw further through the day-to-day teachings and activities of my children. Tonight, I downloaded the Seesaw teacher app and asked my husband to download the Seesaw parent app. I have created profiles for my kids and plan to start using Seesaw this week, by sending their dad updates on the pre-kindergarten readiness activities that we do at home, at our local library and preschool. Although not as ideal as experimenting in a classroom setting with a large group of students and families, I’m hoping that a little homeschooling creativity can allow me to learn more about Seesaw in the next coming weeks!