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  • Meredith Blackerby

Online Art Portfolios - A MUST!

I am going to start by giving a HUGE shout out to Seesaw! This online educational resource is not specifically designed for art classrooms, but has been working flawlessly in my art room!

Have you ever wanted to start an online art portfolio with your students, but haven't been sure where to start? Well here is my glowing review of Seesaw and how it has not only decreased the amount of wasted papers/worksheets in our classroom, but also has opened up a platform where students are excited to share artwork and give feedback to their peers!

If you have never used or looked at Seesaw, here is what the homepage looks like (this is an example of one of my 6th grade groups, but I have one for all grade levels):


A teacher is only allowed 10 different classes at a time so for me it made sense to do it by grade (2-6) and school (I am in two different buildings). So the page you are looking at right now is for the two 6th grade classes at one of the schools (see the title on the right-hand side - "Lincoln 6th Grade").

Each class has a homepage where the students can see posts by other students as well as like and comment. It is a little bit like the homepage of a social media site, but on Seesaw it's called the "Journal". Students can toggle back and forth between their own personal journal and the group journal by clicking on their name. They can also use buttons on the homepage to access assigned activities, see messages from the teacher and upload photos, drawings, videos, etc.

Activities and Assignments:

Activities are all assigned by the teacher. You can choose to assign them to specific classes. Seesaw has many pre-made assignments that you can use although not many of them fit well into my personal curriculum. You also have the option to create your own assignments.

If you are used to creating assignments on google forms or something similar, this is going to be very different. This is not a "type in a question and add multiple choice answers" kind of platform. What you will need is a template (I used screenshots of word documents) of a blank form that students will then fill out using text boxes, images, and writing tools.

When a student needs to complete an activity they will choose the "Activities" button on the home page which will bring up a list of all active assignments. To complete an activity the student will need to find the appropriate assignment and click the green button labeled "Add Response". Within the activity, students will have access to text boxes, writing/drawing tools, and the ability to take photos, videos, or voice recordings.

Our main use of Seesaw is turning in projects for quarter grades and tracking student progress throughout the year. We have easy access to each students' project history even when the projects have been taken home which is SO useful. This way we can track and evaluate former projects later in the school year.

Here are examples of some of the activities that I have created and uploaded onto my Seesaw pages:

(Above) Turn-In Activity - Students fill out this activity once per quarter

(Above) Alternate Assignment - Students fill out this activity if they do not have a project to turn in. This assignment will take the place of a project grade on their report card.

(Above) Take-Home Activity - Students fill out this activity anytime they want to take a completed project home.

**I will go into more detail about how to create activities like this in a separate blog post!


I would LOVE to hear other reviews of Seesaw or any success stories from other online programs! If you have any other questions or comments about how to use Seesaw in your classroom, feel free to comment or email!

Stay smART and Happy Holidays!

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