Seesaw, a student-driven digital portfolio tool has announced a slew of new features designed to further help it on its mission to supplement classroom instruction through offerings that ensure personalized learning options for all students.
The portfolio tool, which was co-founded by former Google Product Manager (he helped build Google Calendar!) Carl Sjogreen, was released in 2015 as a free download and instantly won recognition for being a ground-breaking app of the year.
After its successful first year, Seesaw announced a premium option called Seesaw Plus that provides teachers with advanced assessment tools to help them further analyze and consequentially progress student learning.
Now, Seesaw is continuing to build on its momentum with the announcement of new features including text translation in over 50 languages and a text label annotation tool that allows students to add text labels onto any photo, drawing and video to better demonstrate their learning.
Veteran educator of 19 years Kara Brem began using Seesaw just six months after the tool was released and has so much faith in it, she’s become a Seesaw Ambassador who gives professional development lessons on the tool to her fellow peers.
"I haven’t found anything else that really puts the students first," she says.
Plus, she says Seesaw has been an invaluable tool when it comes to connecting parents to her classroom—especially those who can sometimes be left out otherwise.
"It has been such a huge eye-opener for parents. Parents have loved being able to have a peek into the window of a classroom and see what’s going on every time something is posted…they can have a sneak-peek of what’s going on in our room," she says.
"I have parents where English is not their first language and they’ve had a harder time in the past understanding what they’re child is doing," she said.
"But when their child is explaining something on a video [on Seesaw] and they just hear their child’s voice and the passion…no matter what language, it’s certainly very powerful."
Last year, Brem says the parent who interacted most with her posts on Seesaw was a parent who did not speak English as a first language.
The just-announced text translation feature which allows for translation in over 50 languages will likely only help non-English speaking parents connect even better.
In addition to these new feature announcements, Seesaw announced its participation in Computer Science Education Week. Seesaw is offering students and teachers "an opportunity to see how coding and design thinking come together to build a tool they use in their classroom each week" via a series of webinars that are designed with all grade levels in mind. Those resources can be found here.
Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor