I found another winner on my list of “tech tools to investigate.” It’s a Digital Portfolio tool called Seesaw. I learned about this tool from a colleague who teaches middle school language. She asks her students to start building their portfolio in their first year of language instruction and they add to that portfolio throughout all of their language study.
I set up a free account and created a sample class so I could see how the program works. Seesaw is very intuitive and quite easy to use. There are sample videos and step-by-step instructions for anything you might want to do. Here are some of the things I really like about Seesaw:
- Instructors can create posts to share with a whole class, individual students, or a select group of students.
- You can decide how public or private you’d like your class’s posts to be. There is an option for a public blog as well.
- Students and instructors can post in various forms. There are options for creating videos and photos, you can link to other sites, you can upload files, and there is even an option to draw.
- Students and the instructor can comment in written or recorded form on any post.
- The instructor (and students) can tag and organize their posts into folders. This is great for tracking proficiency gains in the various modes of communication.
This free tool is similar to VoiceThread but actually has many more capabilities. I would definitely recommend this tool for students who will work toward a Minor or Major in languages. As we know, metacognition is an important and powerful element of language learning and Seesaw is a fantastic way for students to be able to review and consider their proficiency gains over time.
Please make an appointment with me if you’d like to explore Seesaw together. I’d be happy to show you how you might be able to incorporate it into your classes.