Mark Twain first graders in Kathleen Hanberg’s class are learning to use on-line journals for writing, reading and sharing their work with each other and their families. Using a new app called Seesaw, the students write journal entries, read them to create voice recordings, listen and post them for classmates and parents to enjoy.
“It’s so exciting to see them recording and sharing their work,” said Hanberg. “They are really stepping up their game because they know their friends and families will be watching. They’re bringing their best work.”
According to Hanberg, the positive social interaction inspired by the online journaling is empowering the kids and engaging parents. It’s also helping teachers organize and assess student progress.
“We now have 75 percent of our students connected via parents on SeeSaw,” said Hanberg. “It gives parents a chance to really peek in on their child’s day at school. It shows not only academic progress, but also some of the social dynamics. Hopefully it helps answer the questions, ‘How was school?’ or ‘What did you learn at school today?'”
The class uses SeeSaw in all subjects explained Hanberg. In reading, students create their own audio books for others to watch and listen to. In nmath, students work with partners to demonstrate understanding of a concept. Other students then watch those videos and get reinforcement of the concept.
“I think SeeSaw is cool because you can take a picture of a journal entry and record your voice in SeeSaw. It is so much fun. With SeeSaw we can do math and make comments about other people’s writings,” said Brynnlee Dalisky, grade 1.
“I’m very thankful our district has supported students with this kind of educational technology,” said Hanberg.