A Response to “Learning via Networked Learning”

In a blog post by Miranda, she experimented using a digital portfolio application called Seesaw. I’m really impressed with how much of the content that we are learning about she has been able to put into practice. I had never heard of this app before so was intrigued to find out about what it had to offer. Ease of usability is one of the most important factors when deciding if implementation of technology is worthwhile for me and I was pleasantly surprised with the benefits Seesaw has to offer. In this post I will share some of my thoughts about how the use of Seesaw could benefit stakeholders in a classroom.

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Seesaw allows students to document their own work by adding it to digital portfolios of their own creation. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from many teachers is that the administrative work involved in being a classroom teacher has increased enormously over the last few decades. In transferring this responsibility to students themselves, teachers are relieved of a great deal of administrative work, leaving more time for them to focus on something more important; facilitating high quality learning experiences.

Some more critical individuals may argue that this is shirking a responsibility of teachers but I think that this change offers significant benefit for students, too. Firstly, students must determine what documentation is most relevant for their portfolios. Secondly, students must curate the work that they are documenting in a way that is logical and best illustrates what they have been learning and creating. This process of reflection “force students to actively think about their work and the portfolio as a whole” and “provides further meaning to the assessment”(McDonald, 2011).

Lastly, Seesaw makes student assessment more accessible to all parties. Teachers are able to share private comments about how their students are developing and parents are able to access their children’s assessment tasks as they are progressing. As a teacher, I believe this kind of accessibility and transparency are effective tools for encouraging parents and other friends and family members to become more involved in students’ academic development outside of the classroom.

I’m curious to hear what the challenges or downsides of implementing this kind of software in classrooms are.

Reference

McDonald, E. (2016). Student Portfolios as an Assessment Tool. Educationworld.com. Retrieved 31 August 2016, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/columnists/mcdonald/mcdonald025.shtml

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