Friday, October 13, 2017


A couple of things sparked the writing of this blog post. The first was a colleague's comment about the quality of work being shared using  the Seesaw app. I personally love Seesaw, it is a great home-school communication tool and is very easy to use. It is the latter benefit that can also lead to a negative consequence. It is so easy to use that students can be tempted to share anything and everything without any thought about what or why they are sharing.

There are two problems with this. Firstly parents/whānau can be overwhelmed by the volume of items that are shared. If they are continually receiving items there is a danger they will be less enthusiastic about what they receive and less likely to respond. Therefore one of the benefits of Seesaw, which is that parents/whānau can easily see and like or comment on work, is likely to be lost. Many parents/whānau would find it difficult to be frequently responding to their child's journal entries. One solution to this is to limit the quantity of what is shared. There could be a daily or weekly limit for example or a per subject limit.

Another solution ties in with the second problem which, as mentioned above, is quality of the work being shared. This will involve discussions with students about what they are sharing and about criteria for  sharing. This does not mean taking agency away from learners, they can still make the choices about what they share, but base their choices on criteria such as links to their learning goals or sharing something they consider to be an example of their best work. These two criteria would not need to be both applied to the same piece of work. There could be work being shared, for example, that is an example of progress towards a learning goal.

Part of this solution would be a requirement to reflect on the piece of work. This reflection could, for example, state why they consider it to be an example of their best work, or the how it shows progress towards their goals and what their next steps might be.

This brings me to the other prompt for this post, an article on TeachThought: 20 Types of Learning Journals. This lists 20 different types of reflection learners can be doing. Encouraging students to use some of these on their Seesaw shares would be a great way to increase the quality of their posts and make shared items more meaningful to both the students and those at home.

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