Reflections on Seesaw Part One: Why I Want to Be a Seesaw Ambassador

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
In some of my recent posts from this school year, I have mentioned using the Seesaw app. Seesaw is a digital portfolio for housing student work and sharing it with parents, but it is so much more than that, too. Recently, I was twice asked to reflect on my use of Seesaw in my classroom. My first reflection was for a digital workflow badge I earned for our district’s technology challenges. I answered a series of questions aimed at getting me to share some activities where I used Seesaw and to reflect on how I was using Seesaw instructionally and any frustrations I may have had while integrating the app into my instruction. I was also required to reflect on my use of Seesaw as I decided to apply to become a Seesaw Ambassador. Seesaw Ambassadors are educators who are actively using Seesaw in their classrooms and are eager to share the wonderful possibilities Seesaw opens for the classroom. I only had to answer one question: “Why do you want to be a Seesaw Ambassador?”.
These reflections prompted me to write a 4-part blog series about ways to effectively use Seesaw instructionally and my journey to (hopefully) become a Seesaw Ambassador. Today’s post is the first part of the series where I answer why I want to be a Seesaw Ambassador.

I was among around 3-4 teachers at my school who piloted Seesaw at the beginning of the year.  Because of Seesaw's potential for the early childhood classroom and the amazing experiences of the teachers and students using it, the number of teachers using Seesaw at our school has more than doubled, maybe even tripled! Originally I wanted to use Seesaw as a digital portfolio for students, a place for students to show what they've been learning through the year. And while I was so excited to digitally curate student work and for parents to get a glimpse of what we do each day in a way they haven't been able to in the past, Seesaw has become more than just a place to digitally display student work.
After using the app for half a school year, I've expanded its uses in my classroom, including using it for digital assessments, "smashing" Seesaw with other apps for students to demonstrate their content knowledge, using Seesaw's recording tools for students to show their understanding and hear themselves read, and supporting English language learners. Currently, I've been working on making our Seesaw feed more interactive, where students and I comment on their work to give encouragement and constructive criticism. Next, I want to "assign" work through Seesaw, where students receive instructions through the feed and then complete the activities within Seesaw. (Check back for the rest of the posts in this series as I elaborate on each of these ways I’ve used Seesaw.)
Seesaw allows my students to complete more hands-on performance tasks to demonstrate their learning, which is more authentic than a paper-based assessment. It also compels students to explain their thinking, which gives me more insight into what they know or any misconceptions they may have. Furthermore, it makes students more responsible for their learning because they know there is an audience beyond the teacher--their peers and parents. More importantly, using Seesaw has made me a more creative and reflective teacher. I'm constantly considering new ways the app can help me reach my instructional goals.
As you can see, I am already an enthusiastic user of Seesaw . . . but I have also been a great promoter of Seesaw! I have shared many of my experiences using the app in my classroom with my faculty and on this blog and have even lead a training for my peers on the basics of Seesaw. I’ve connected with Seesaw on Google+ and Twitter and have retweeted their tweets and others about leveraging Seesaw in the classroom. It would be an honor to officially represent Seesaw so I can learn even more ways to engage students and be able to share my experiences and help Seesaw reach even more teachers and students! Being an Ambassador would also be a great way to connect with other educators and expand my professional learning network!

So keep your fingers crossed and check back later in January to find out if I was selected! Until then, stay tuned for my next post: Four Ways to Use Seesaw in Your Classroom Now!

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