After using Kidblog for the last couple of years in my kindergarten class, I am completely sold on the idea of blogging and creating digital portfolios. Even in primary grades. (If you're not sold, click here to read a wonderful article by Kathy Cassidy about blogging with little kids.) However, after introducing Kidblog to a few teachers this year, I realized that their "update" created some problems with the interface of Kidblog and the "user friendliness" that I used to love. So ... I began searching for solutions.
A colleague in Bozeman suggested Seesaw, so I asked my friend Sally Bishop if I could come try it in her kindergarten class. In 10 minutes, we were sold. This app is terrific and EASY. Kids login using a built-in QR reader and a QR code that is generated for your class. They open to a screen with several options, including drawing, video, photograph and notes. Students can create projects right in the app and upload to their learning journal. They can take photos or upload previously created projects from their camera rolls, and they always have the option to record or add text. The teacher has control over who can comment and "like" student posts, as well as if classmates and parents can see the posts. Seriously, this app is great! Here is an example from Mrs. Bishop's kindergarten, after a bus safety field trip:
Getting started is a piece of cake! Visit their website: web.seesaw.me and create your account. You will create a class and add your students' names, then Seesaw will email you a login poster with QR code.
Older students have the option of creating their own accounts using email accounts - this could be a cool option for students using their D2 apps accounts.
Another thing I love about Seesaw is their teacher resources. I receive emails with project ideas from Seesaw, and the projects are always leveled by grade and/or skill. Their website has a wonderful area for teachers, filled with tutorials. Click here to see the Teacher Resource page.
Have I mentioned that it's FREE?!
I have introduced Seesaw to lots of classes, and I'd be happy to come help you get started, too. Just go to tracipiltz.youcanbook.me to find a time! Here are some examples from Mrs. Davey's first grade. Her students were studying bats, so we started using Seesaw by making a drawing of a bat, then adding a name using the pen tool and a bat fact using the text tool. Students then had to post their drawing to their Seesaw learning journal. They did this in about 30 minutes, and most moved on to posting photos, as well. I am excited for parents to be able to connect to these accounts and see what their students are doing - I think they are going to be as excited about this as I am!