Unit 1: What is Seesaw and how does it support student learning?

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Unit 1: What is Seesaw?


In this unit we will learn about an important on line resource that can be used to support teachers, students, and parents. We will explore how Seesaw has effected students learning both inside and outside of the classroom. We will also learn the benefits that Seesaw can provide to parents and how it can connect them with their child's classroom.


1.1 What is Seesaw?

1.2 What are the Educational impacts of using Seesaw?

1.3 What are the benefits of Seesaw?

Unit Objectives

By the end of this Unit students will be able to:

  • Define what Seesaw is using their own words
  • Name 2 educational impacts of using Seesaw
  • Explain how Seesaw can be used to connect parents with their child's classroom

1.1 What is Seesaw?

We all know what a seesaw is right? It's the fun playground equipment where you and a friend can balance back and forth by pushing off the ground. But what if I told you there was a different kind of Seesaw, one that is meant to make teachers lives easier? Welcome to Seesaw, an online educational platform that is used by teachers to support their students learning both in and out of the classroom.

Seesaw is similar to google classroom but is designed with elementary students in mind. It makes it so students can connect with their teacher outside of the classroom, but also so teachers can create lesson plans, assess student work, upload pictures, give instruction, and comment on student work. Teachers can provide work to their students in several different ways. Teachers are able to choose from an extensive library of lessons or a wide range of subjects, or they are able to create their own unique lesson. When teachers create their own lesson they are able to choose how to deliver the instruction to their students through either voice recording, video recording, or written instruction. Teachers are also able to choose the ways in which students can respond and be assessed on their understanding of the lesson. Once students have submitted their work the teacher and other students can comment and give feedback.

Watch the video below to learn what Seesaw looks like for students:

1.2 What are the Educational impacts of using Seesaw?

Seesaw is a digital portfolio, which allows students to collect work and reflect on their learning. This process is an important learning tool that can be used by posting pictures, recording audio clips, creating a unique drawing, and interacting with other classmates. Seesaw has also been known to be highly motivating to students to complete their work. In a 2018 study of 37 children it was found that 23 out of 25 parents found the web based app to be highly motivating for their children (Jarvis and Martin). Not only has Seesaw been known to increase motivation, but it has also had a positive impact on students reading interest. In a student interest survey of 30 students 68% of students responded that they like reading stories in a pre-Implementation survey. In a post implementation survey student response increased to 84% after using the Seesaw app (Rou and Yunus, 2020). In this same survey only 31% of students said they think reading is fun before using Seesaw. Rou and Yunus found that after using Seesaw 61% of those students said that they thought reading is fun. Seesaw has also been proven to have a positive effect on digital native students in their speaking class (Nur and Riadil, 2021). Through their study they found that Seesaw provides multiple forms of media for which language teachers can provide content to their students. Nur and Riadil also state that Seesaw application can facilitate digital native students’ learning activity more interesting especially in speaking class.

1.3 What are the benefits of Seesaw?

One of the main benefits of using Seesaw is how flawlessly it can connect parents with their child's classroom. Parents are constantly looking for ways to be involved in their child's learning and now thanks to Seesaw that is easier than ever. Parent involvement through Seesaw all begins with a simple invitation for the parents to join the Seesaw classroom. Once parents have joined they are able to start interacting in multiple ways.

One benefit to using Seesaw is teachers are able to post pictures and videos throughout the day of what is happening in the classroom. Parents have access to these videos and pictures where they can then either like or comment on the picture. Parents are able to see in real time what their children are learning and how they are interacting with their classmates.

Parents are also able to see the assignments posted by the teacher and student responses. Students identities are protected through Seesaw as parents can only see work that their child posts, or work that their child is tagged in.

Parents also receive notifications posted by the teacher. Parents can then like or comment on those notifications. Pictures can also be attached by parents in response teacher notifications. This is a way parents can continuously interact with their child's education and be an active part in their learning. It is known that positive, frequent parent communication and involvement increases children’s achievement (Ryan, 2018).

Based on a 2018 study of a kindergarten classroom parents shared their overall experience using Seesaw. In this study 91% of parents stated that using Seesaw is better than using other technologies, and 0% of parents said they had any difficulty navigating or using the app (Ryan, 2018). 54% of parents stated that they used Seesaw daily to interact with their child's classroom and 23% of parents said they logged on 3-4 times a week. It was also found that only 15% of those parents had ever used the app before. This data shows that Seesaw is not only simple to use, but is also a great tool to increase parent communication and participation.

Watch the video below to learn more about how parents can use Seesaw to interact in their child's classroom:

Check for understanding:

  • What is Seesaw?
  • Why would you use Seesaw?
  • How does using Seesaw support student learning?
  • What are the benefits of using Seesaw?


Click the link below to be directed to Unit 1: What is Seesaw? assessment.

Unit 1 Assessment

Click here to move onto Unit 2:

Unit 2: How can I use Seesaw to assess student work?


Jarvis, Andrea and Martin, Zachary. (2018). The Impact of Using Seesaw Between Students, Parents, and Teacher in an Elementary Setting. Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/maed/288

Nur, M. R. O., & Riadil, I. G. (2021, April). SEESAW MEDIA: DIGITAL NATIVES’PREFERENCE IN 4.0 SPEAKING LEARNING CLASS. In English Language and Literature International Conference (ELLiC) Proceedings (Vol. 3, pp. 202-208).

Rou, L. Y., & Yunus, M.M (2020) The Use of Seesaw in Increasing Pupils' Reading Interest. Universal Journal of Educational Research. http://www.hrpub.org/

Ryan, Alison, "What Happens When the Seesaw App is Used in a Kindergarten Classroom?" (2018). Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning. 1. https://digitalcommons.acu.edu/metl/1