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What is Seesaw for Schools and How Does It Work for Teachers and Students?

Seesaw
(Image credit: Seesaw)

Seesaw for Schools is a digital app-based platform that allows students, teachers, and parents or guardians to complete and share classroom work. As the company itself says, Seesaw is a platform for student engagement.

Using the Seesaw app, students can show what they know using various media, from photos and videos to drawings, text, links, and PDFs. This is all on the Seesaw platform, meaning it can be seen and appraised by teachers and even shared with parents and guardians.

The student portfolio grows over time, allowing them to carry it through their academic career. This is a great way for other teachers to see how the student has progressed over time – even showing how they worked to get the final result. 

So how does Seesaw for Schools work for students and teachers?

What is Seesaw for Schools?

Seesaw for Schools allows students to work on a tablet or smartphone to create content that is automatically saved online within a personal profile. This can then be accessed by the teacher, via app or browser, to assess work from any location. 

The third stage is sharing in which teachers can allow parents and guardians to see the work of the students and share positive feedback, helping to provide encouragement in the classroom.

The Seesaw Family app is a separate app that parents and guardians can download and sign-up for and then have access to the child's progress from then on. 

Family communications can be managed and shared by the teacher for a secure and controlled level of content, so parents and guardians don't need to worry about being overloaded.

Seesaw

(Image credit: Seesaw)

Seesaw for School supports translation, allowing it to be used by ESL students and families who speak multiple languages. If the device language settings are different from the original message, for example, then the device will translate so the student receives the content in the language they're working with. 

Seesaw does so much for free it's very impressive. Of course Seesaw for Schools, which is a paid solution, offers premium features such as monitoring students' progress toward a key skill, bulk creating and inviting, a district library, schoolwide announcements, admin support, SIS integration, and lots more. (Full list below.)

Teachers can setup a class blog, allow peer-to-peer feedback, and enable likes, commenting, and editing on work and on the main blog itself. This can all be scaled as the teacher sees fit to ensure everyone is using the platform fairly and in a way that positively encourages progress for each student.

How does Seesaw for Schools work?

Students can use Seesaw for Schools to track the progress of their work in real-time. From recording a video of themselves working on a math problem to snapping a pic of a paragraph they wrote to recording a video of them reading aloud a poem, there are many uses in the real-world classroom or for remote learning.

The teacher is also able to build and view digital portfolios for each student, which will automatically grow over time as the students add more content. This can work the other way too, with teachers sending assignments to students with individual instructions tailored to each one.

All of it can be shared to parents and guardians via the app or added to a blog that can be private, in class, or more public, to those who are sent the link.

Seesaw

(Image credit: Seesaw)

How to setup Seesaw for Schools

To get started a teacher simply creates an account, via app.seesaw.me. Then sign-in and at this point, it is possible to integrate with Google Classroom or to import a roster or make your own. Click the green check to move on.

Then add students by selecting the "+ Student" in the bottom right. Pick "No" if your students aren't signing in with email, then pick if the student has a device each or share, then add names or copy and paste a list.

To connect families, follow the same process as above only selecting the "+Families" from the bottom right, "Turn on Family Access," then print personalized paper invites to send home with students or send notification emails to families.

What does Seesaw for Schools offer over the free Seesaw version?

There are plenty of extras that justify the expense of getting Seesaw for Schools rather than simply using the free version. 

All of those features are:

  • Bulk invite family messages
  • Bulk create home learning codes
  • 20 teachers per class (versus 2 for free)
  • 100 active classes per teachers (versus 10 for free)
  • Create multipage activities and posts
  • Save drafts and send back work for revision
  • Unlimited create, save, and share activities (versus 100 for free)
  • Schedule activities
  • School or district activity library
  • Customize and manage standard using Skills
  • Private teacher-only folders and notes
  • Schoolwide announcements
  • Admin-level support for teachers and students
  • School and district analytics
  • Portfolios follow students from grade to grade
  • More streamlined experience for families
  • SIS integration and centralized management
  • Regional data storage options

How much does Seesaw for Schools cost?

The Seesaw for Schools price isn't a listed amount. It is a quoted cost that will vary based on the individual school's needs. 

As a rough guide, Seesaw is free, Seesaw Plus is $120 per year, then the Seesaw for Schools version jumps up again with a lot more features.