Your questions answered: How can we get the most out of the free version of SeeSaw?

In this new series we answer teachers’ and school leaders’ most pressing questions about all aspects of remote learning. Got a question? Email us!

My school wants to use Seesaw but we don’t have enough budget for paid membership. How can we get the most out of the free version?

Seesaw is a great tool, but there are some limitations to its features in the free version that can be restrictive – particularly the fact that only up to two teachers can access any one class. One way around this is to sign up for a trial of SeeSaw Plus. This is a kind of scaled-down version of SeeSaw for Schools. You still have to pay for it (around £120 per teacher, per year) but they do offer a 60 day free trial, which could be a short term solution. In SeeSaw Plus a class can have up to five teachers, as well as opening up a few other extra features. At the time of writing it is also possible to access some of these features for free by becoming a Seesaw ambassador. Learn more on this page of the Seesaw website.

However, if this isn’t right for your school there are a few workarounds that might be helpful to be aware of and which may mean you can still get what you need out of the free version. 

  • Enabling access for more than two teachers

There are all sorts of reasons why it’s often useful for more than two teachers to access a particular Seesaw class, but unfortunately this feature is only available with the paid models. There are a couple of solutions, though neither is ideal:

– Temporarily remove one teacher from a class when another teacher needs access to it. We realise this is fiddly and annoying, and perhaps this is manageable when there is only one class teacher who can be the main admin for the class. As soon as you have a situation where two teachers share a class and perhaps also want to give support staff access it becomes a bit restrictive.

– Dedicated MFL or PE teachers often have a particularly hard time as they may teach every child in the school. One solution in these cases might be for those teachers to actually have a separate set of classes which include the same children, and which may involve the entire year group. Eg in addition to your individual class accounts, you might have a class called “Year 3”, which includes 80 year 3 pupils and where the two teachers are the PE teacher and the French teacher. This does come with the obvious logistical challenge of having multiple classes for the same children so it isn’t a perfect solution, although if you use Google or email sign-ins to let older children sign in, they will be able to access all of their classes from the same dashboard. You may well find that different solutions work better for different year groups.

  • Evidencing work

Though the limit of two teachers per class can make it difficult for staff to share what their pupils are up to in real time, the PDF export function can be really helpful for cataloging and evidencing what a class has been doing in a form that can be accessed by other school staff. There are two ways of exporting a PDF: by pupil or by folder. The first of these is simple; just click on an individual pupil, then click “print PDF”. To print from a folder you first have to create the folder in the class settings and make sure all relevant work is in it. Typically, folders tend to categorise work by subject area, but it may be that in the current circumstances teachers find it useful to create a new folder each week with the current date, and for all work that week to be saved there. Then, to export a given week’s work, you’d click on the folder icon on the right, choose the right date, and then click “print PDF” to save or print all of the work in this folder. You’d probably want to delete the folder once the week was over, but as long as you’d saved the PDF that shouldn’t be a problem and it wouldn’t delete the posts themselves, just the folder tag. You could even combine the two to save a particular pupil’s work from a particular week. These PDFs could then be stored and organised in any cloud-based system.

  • Sharing activities between teachers

Teachers working in the same year group will undoubtedly want to share and collaborate on what they are doing. Though they may not be able to log in to one another’s classes, that doesn’t mean they can’t collaborate at all. If teachers are using the “Assign Activity” tool to set tasks for pupils, they can create and save activities in their “Activity Library”. Once an activity is in your library it’s very easy to share it with another teacher. You just open up the activity, click the dots and choose “Share Activity”, then copy the link. This generates a link like this one:

https://app.seesaw.me/pages/shared_activity?share_token=8ToznVfMSj2dCRyNu_bM_w&prompt_id=prompt.c2e2e139-c04b-4c70-bc5e-843bb8c06382 

If another teacher clicks on this link they can then choose to “Save Activity”, which will add it to their own library, allowing them to send it to their class. In this way teachers across year groups can share the responsibility for planning work for each other’s classes, even if they only ever log in to their own class.

 

 

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Creative technology projects

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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

14/06/22,
09:15
- 15:30
EYFS, KS1, KS2
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.

Presentations

The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

24/06/22,
09:30
- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
25/11/21,
09:30
- 14:25
KS2

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum
21/02/22,
-
KS1

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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