Final Project: Using Seesaw in Kindergarten and learning about technology

My goal in taking this EC&I 832 masters class was to use SeeSaw in more effectively and frequently in my kindergarten classroom.  I also aimed to learn and use more about social media and create a digital footprint for myself.  A digital footprint is very important in today’s world!
Image result for oh my gosh gif
GIPHY
Prior to taking this class, my knowledge of technology and media practices was very limited.  Since taking this EC&I 832 class, I have been using Seesaw more effectively and I learned a lot about social media and media practices.  I have also created many social media profiles and now have my own digital footprint.  

SEESAW (Part 1)

I have taught kindergarten for 19 years, and I thought the paper portfolios for each student were suffice enough to help parents overview what their child was doing and learning in kindergarten.  However, in 2017, our Regina Public School board announced that all kindergarten teachers were expected to use Seesaw as an online portfolio for each student in their classroom.  I wondered how I was going to learn this new technology in order to be able to post items online in portfolios because I was very anti-social media for years.  I only had one way to go.

Debbie Harry GIF

GIPHY

I began using  Seesaw in 2017.   Seesaw  is not a new app, but I am new to using digital technology in the classroom.  This caused me some anxiety but I heard that some teachers in our school division were using Seesaw  in their classroom, and heard that parents loved using Seesaw.

PREMISE

As a kindergarten teacher, I feel that it is important to involve families in the learning process, and every fall I invite families into the classroom at conference time to work with their child in areas around our classroom in order to see what their child is learning and will be learning.  This is called a “Celebration of Learning”.

Projects Research Menu

https://wordpress.oise.utoronto.ca/robertson/

I wondered how I could continue this Celebration of Learning throughout my kindergarten year, and not just at fall conference times and progress reporting periods.  One area of weakness I found was establishing and maintaining home-school contact. I wanted to try something new because notes being sent home and worksheets were not getting home past the boot room at the end of the day!

Seesaw offered me a way of reaching out to parents in a novel way. Perhaps a way that is more meaningful for both the parents who I am trying to build bridges with, and the children.

USING SEESAW

Seesaw is extremely user friendly.  Friendly for teachers with setting up student portfolios, for parents signing up to observe their child’s portfolio, and for students in maintaining their own portfolios.  I had to download the Seesaw application and then register an individual account.  Then I set up my classes and each individual students into their own portfolio. After doing this, I have been adding photos, notes, or other into each student’s portfolio.  Parents need to download the Seesaw app onto their device, and get a bar code to scan into Seesaw in order for them to see their child’s portfolio.

I begin taking snapshots of students during their day and posted these on each student portfolio.  From this, I added text and sent home online newsletters and notes for parents to read.  This has been successful and the parents have enjoyed seeing pictures of their child during the school day.  I also use pictures for assessment purposes when a student needs extra work or support from home.

Seesaw is made with three related, but separate audiences in mind: teachers, students and parents.

1) Teacher Engagement

Setup: To begin with, the application is engaging for teachers in its ease of use and overall simplicity to get the portfolios going. Teaching ourselves, and parents (and our students) how to properly use an application can sometimes be a very big hurdle.

Seesaw has published a set of easy to use ‘getting started guides’ that I found to be quite useful. The guides suggest a series of very specific lessons designed to scaffold the use of Seesaw with young learners. For example:

 

2) STUDENT Engagement

Student use of Seesaw in kindergarten is limited because for these youngsters, they are mostly taking pictures of what they want and putting on their own seesaw portfolio.  Most students ask me if I can take a picture of what they made or did, to which I usually comply to their request.   In order for the students to add photos or other to their portfolios, they need to scan a QR code (which you can print and display in the classroom). Once they scan the code, they select themselves and then they are ready to take a picture, or video of their demonstration of learning.

3) PARENT Engagement

Sometimes this takes a bit of explaining and tutorial training for parents to sign up to Seesaw.  I send home a parent letter that asks families for permission for me to use Seesaw with their child. Once the permission letter is signed, I can post items on their child’s portfolio and then give parents their QR code for entry.  What is really useful is that Seesaw can be accessed by multiple parents, different family members, and/or extended families.

Apart from using Seesaw to overlook items in their child’s portfolio, parents can also use the app for communication with the teacher and even homework assignments . Seesaw has been an effective way for parents to get a hold of me quickly during the day.

What I find interesting is that Seesaw lists and displays data on family engagement and tech usage. I receive monthly updates via email on how many families are using the program and activity counts of what I have posted.

SUMMARY

I find Seesaw to be tremendously useful in supplementing my teaching practice in many ways. It allows my students to show off their learning by using social media. It allows me to use social media for assessment purposes when needed and it allows parents access into their child’s learning process. It also allows me to communicate with families in a quick and effective way.

Seesaw is easy for teachers to get parents and students set up, for teachers and students to build up their portfolio.  Most parents report that they fully enjoy using Seesaw because they can see what their child is doing at school.

Using Seesaw has helped me to achieve my goal of using more media practices in my kindergarten classroom and I have enjoyed learning about this great tool.  Recently, I have expanded my knowledge and usage of social media by setting up a facebook page, twitter account, and a LinkedIn account.  I am interested in learning more and more about media practices.

Advertisements

Posting for Seesaw

Here is my first posting for my major project…

My Up Goal: Using Technology and Online Portfolios: Seesaw

Here is my second posting for my major project…

No where to go but Up! 

Here is my final project that I blogged about Seesaw and increasing my knowledge about technology …

Final Project: Using Seesaw in Kindergarten and learning about technology

News just in…. I don’t have time to know the news!

GIFY

News Just in this week in March, 2018, one kindergarten teacher from Regina Public School Division was quoted saying,

“That is the honest truth, I do not have time to know the news!”  

All kidding aside, when I do have time in my busy schedule, my main sources of learning about current events and news stories are watching local tv stations, listening to local radio stations, my phone newsfeed, and picking up the occasional newspaper from the grocery story (ok, I admit I do read the headlines of the paper while I am waiting in the check-out line as this would determine if I purchase that paper or not!)- this may be the attributing factor of the lack of people actually buying newspapers in this digital age!!??

Since I just recently joined in the social media frenzy,  I also see news posted on facebook and/or twitter.  I am learning that these stories may or may not be true, so I am constantly questioning if the online news is fake or real.

GIFY

After watching Jocelyn & Jaimie’s vlog, I  have learned a strategy to reveal if a story online is true or fake.

I try to research most of the online news feeds by checking the sources listed, checking the author and the date, googling the news on the web, questioning if it is a joke or not and asking people around me.

Sometimes it is easier to see if there is a bias to the story, but other times it is not.

 

 

Image source

Most stories I have read through social media have been true, however one there is one story I am not sure about.  Has anyone else heard they are making wine out of coffee beans?

Tell Me More The Office GIF

GIFY

Lastly, I hear about news stories when talking with friends and family.  News events come up in conversations with people in person, in phone calls, or text messages.  These stories I believe to be true; after all, what our friends and family tell us is true, right??

In conclusion, whatever area that I listen to current events or news stories, I have to be cautious not to form judgments or bias against people or groups.  Just through listening to stories on the news, some people I know have become very prejudice towards others.  I believe it is wrong to do this but I know it happens to a lot of people and it is quite common to see others spread their negative opinions openly on social media too!  Now that I am getting more involved with social media, I hope that I do not conform to those behaviors of others who are openly posting their bias and judgments all over the place.  In my opinion, keep your opinions to yourself (as I am sure someone will say the same about this post!).

good news GIF by CBC

GIFY

New roles for teachers in the digital age?

Upon reflecting on this past week’s discussion about education in this digital age, I believe there is a huge need for teachers to educate students, families and communities about digital citizenship.  All students need to learn the proper knowledge and necessary skills to develop appropriate and responsible online behavior starting in kindergarten up to grade 12. 

Dog What GIF by Nebraska Humane Society - Find & Share on GIPHY

https://giphy.com/gifs/3o7527pa7qs9kCG78A/html5

Before taking this EC&I832 class, I possessed limited knowledge of technology, but as I continue in this journey, I am expanding that knowledge each week.  Each teacher should be on a similar journey as our world is changing and schools need to adapt to new realities of education. 

Recently, I asked my kindergarten students who had devices they used at home.  Most all of the students raised their hands.  Then I asked if their parents had talked to them about rules or safety using technology or their devices.  Not a single student raised their hand.  That shocked me, so I decided to teach my students a mini-lesson about digital citizenship and safety using devices.  

The first thing we discussed was always checking with an adult before you take and use a device.  We have an ipad accessible in our kindergarten classroom, and the children have to ask permission and use a sign in sheet in order to use it.  This is working well.  The goal is for each student to have a turn on it if they want to.  There are some children that are not interested in using the ipad, and others who would play on it all day if that was allowed.

The next thing I talked about was to only go onto the internet if there was a parent around.  We looked at some ads that could come up, and sights that pop up and ask for money or want to sell things.  I also talked about things that may pop on screen that would only be for adults to see, which is why it is so important for them to have an adult around them when they go onto youtube or other internet places.

I also talked to them about social media. If they knew what facebook was, or instagram, or snapchat.  Some mentioned that their parent used it, others said they used it themselves (which I am lead to believe that they did use it with parent supervision).  We discussed that social media can be good to get information about our world, but that some of the information was not true and could be “false news”.  Some students said they heard that turn from their parent.  I said it was important for all people in our world to use social media with caution, and be careful of the potential danger it could have.  I did find that talking about social media was more advanced for these kindergarten students, but I knew that staring the conversation was important.

Mr. Patrick Maze‘s had a wonderful discussion about the dangers of social media and posting pictures that include alcohol, however I did not mention this to my young students.

d&d wtf GIF by Hyper RPG

https://giphy.com/gifs/8YBilKpjTM22rvVd8c/html5

 

 

 

 

 

 

After my mini lesson to teach my kindergarten students about digital citizenship, I am now interested to learn about the practices that other teachers are doing in their own classrooms to discuss digital citizenship.  This topic is left to be continued and I sent around a message for feedback in what is currently in place teaching digital citizenship in our school….stay tuned….

 

Who me? Yes, you! Couldn’t be! Then Who?

Our professor, Alec, made a statement in our #EC&I832 class a few weeks ago stating that he always checks up on people’s digital identity (DI) and if a person doesn’t have a DI, he does not give them the time of day! Ok, he wasn’t that harsh when he explained it, but his statement made me think about my own digital identity, or lack there of one.  What does my small digital identity say about me?

Does a digital footprint really show a person’s true identity anyway?

Confession to be told, I am ignorant.  My two teen-aged children would say, “In more ways than one, Mom!” But I admit I am ignorant about my digital identity.  Hopefully that is not what people see as my digital footprint.

Practice and Publicity

I have a profile on LinkedIn and just recently on Facebook  and Twitter.  To my knowledge, I have not posted pictures or text that would be considered rude or insulting.  One thing I questioned was in response to one of my cousin’s comment on Facebook to a picture of me wearing a rider shirt that it was offensive to her, so I replied back saying “at least it wasn’t a bomber shirt!”  Well, that could of been totally misconstrued, however, my comment was in reference to Winnipeg Blue Bombers football team.  No one said they were offended, not did I get a message from law enforcement, and thankfully, I got to edit my message to sound more politically correct.

Although half the time I do not know what I am doing personally on social media, I do get to snoop on other peoples’ posts and things.  Many times I question the character of the person posting and it makes me think of how they get away with saying some of the things they say.

https://eportfoliouct.wordpress.com/

As the above image states, digital footprints can either give you a positive identity or a negative one.  Hiring managers and recruiters check candidates social profiles for purposes of character reference.

Do people care about their own digital footprint? 

Some of the things I see people post on their social media have been quite controversial, especially messages about Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump.  It is shocking to me to see that more people either are not aware of or just do not care about the lasting impressions that their digital footprint leaves.  If anyone has any thoughts, just reply to my blog and let me know.

No where to go but Up!

Digital citizenship or social media was never an interest of mine, mostly because I possess minimal knowledge with technology, but I finally took the plunge, thanks to my EC&I 832 class, and joined Face Book.  Everyone who knows me is shocked that I connected in their digital frenzy, but I do think this is important to become a digital citizen and be aware of our digital society.  I am tired of my two teen-aged children and most of my Gen Y colleagues getting frustrated with me with my limited knowledge of the digital world.  Most of my kindergarten students, know more about technology than I do! So I have decided to do my final project on becoming a digital citizen and using more technology.

A few weeks ago, the new principal at the school I work at challenged all teachers to make an “Up Goal” for themselves that would help them to be a more effective educator this year.   She wants us to share this goal with her along with the reasons for choosing our goal.   My “Up Goal” is to increase my knowledge using technology in the classroom and to effectively use online portfolios: Seesaw.  Seesaw allows parents and families to see their child’s activities, pictures and classroom information in our classroom.  It can be used as an effective communication tool between teacher and parent.  My final project will focus on my journey in becoming digitally literate and the use of Online Portfolios: Seesaw in my classroom.  Within this project, I will include information about digital citizenship.

I am beginning to learn what it means to be digital literate and the nine elements of digital citizenship.  I really like the comment in the article Digital Citizenship: The Critical Call to Educate and Prepare 21st-Century Learners (Robyn D. Shulman) where it states that, “Education institutions, parents, community programs and youth organizations must make digital citizenship a priority to ensure our young leaders are on solid ground for a positive future. The call for teaching digital citizenship must no longer remain in question; it is a critical priority for youth, our communities and the nation.”  Shulman goes on to say that, “Digital Citizenship is more than just a curriculum to be taught in a classroom; it is an ongoing process to prepare youth for a society immersed in technology, personally and professionally.”  I believe I need to become a digital citizen in order for me to teach my kindergarten students about our digital world.

This article encouraged me how important it is for me to be more knowledgeable about technology and to learn more about digital citizenship in order to teach and prepare my students in a digital society.  Teaching kindergarten students about digital citizenship will not be an easy task for me, but I will try to build on my own learning journey about being a digital citizen and share this with my students.

In my quest to learn about digital citizenship, I want to focus on two elements in  Ribble’s 9 elements.  The first element is digital communication, which is needed in order to develop effective communication with families in Seesaw.  The second element of digital citizenship I want to focus on is digital health and wellness and I desire to share the information regarding this with my students and their families.  In my final project, I will pole my kindergarten students about what they know about digital citizenship and what the students do online at their home.  I hope to create a survey to parents that asks more specifics about digital citizenship and it they have talked about digital safety with their children.  I desire to share information about digital health and wellness with my families but I will need conduct more research about what would be appropriate to send home.  If you have any comments or ideas about this, please provide.