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Winnipeg School Division (WSD) educators are always keen to use innovative tools to assess students' learning and improve their retention.
In 2016, teachers from three schools started using Seesaw: The Learning Journal. The positive reviews prompted WSD’s technology team to encourage use of Seesaw in all elementary schools.
“It was clear that this powerful learning/process portfolio tool was a game changer,” said Keith Strachan, Learning Technology Support Teacher. “It supported student reflection and ownership over their learning process. By having students set goals, deciding which work to include, and reflecting on how the chosen pieces documented growth, student learning is becoming more self-regulated."
Seesaw allows students and teachers in WSD to capture and share learning in real time on any device in a structured and systematic way. Seesaw also provides a built-in audio recording, drawing and caption tools.
Students from 55 elementary schools are sharing what they've learned in the classroom and explaining what they know using images, drawings, videos, links and posts. The content uploaded by students then becomes accessible to teachers for review and feedback.
“There is no set time or place to do a reflection on Seesaw,” Mr. Strachan said. “Different students could be reflecting in Seesaw more often than others, and this could vary from subject to subject. But regular reflections and entries are being made in the form of post and comments in Seesaw from
Nursery to Grade 6.”
collection and management of evidence of learning simple.
There are no lost bits of paper as reflections are compiled digitally; and
teachers are able to record and reflect on learning and outcomes as it happens.
Example of a Seesaw entry
Teachers are now building reflection into most of the educational processes. It helps them differentiate instruction, have critical conversations and address aspects of learning. To help teachers use
Seesaw effectively, an eBook “Evidence of Learning in
Seesaw” has been created. The eBook is available on Mr. Strachan's blog breakingnewground.ca
The e-book outlines entry points in Seesaw in WSD and explains
in some detail how teachers and students are currently using Seesaw.
The Seesaw Ambassador program and the Seesaw
professional learning course provide extensive training opportunities for
teachers. The second edition of the eBook “Evidence of Learning in Seesaw” will also include
more guidelines and inputs.
Teachers are also sharing real time updates about students’ progress and classroom
learning with parents. Seventy-eight percent of WSD schools using Seesaw have
parents connected with the program as well. Mr. Strachan said the response and
level of engagement from parents is very positive.
With Seesaw running effectively and parent's active involvement in their children's
learning, schools may need to re-examine how student-led, parent conferences and tri-conference meetings might run or how they may look.
"We have found that by providing teachers,
students and parents with specific protocols for assessment, reflection and
posting, both learning and home/school communication improve,” said Mr. Strachan.
“A spin off of the clear protocols, is very little wasted or distracted time on the devices: rather it’s precious
and quite engaging.”