When Kat Schilling and I first started talking about some tech areas she wanted to explore, we initially discussed teaching her first grade students how to utilize the app SeeSaw. We've seen classrooms across the district experiment with the app so students can showcase their 'great work' along with using their voice to explain thinking.
A small group of her students had just completed an animal research project and she wanted them to go back and reflect on their work. It made the most sense to tie the research and introduction to the app together. During our two weeks together, the students learned not only how to manipulate the app, but they discussed research at great length. What are the steps involved? Can I articulate those steps to another student? Could I teach the app to others? We even chose a new topic to replicate and reflect on the steps to ensure that we were secure in how to do them on our own. All along the way, the students were documenting their work in SeeSaw. They even added a checklist of steps, so that they could note their progress and keep track of what they yet needed to complete. The students developed a rubric. Both Miss Schilling and I could see their work remotely. My favorite student quote: "A rubric tells us if we did the right thing or the wrong thing and if we need to fix something."
By capturing their voices, their images, their reflections, their notes, it was not only an electronic portfolio, but it was a showcase of the process. They were able to go back through their individual feed on SeeSaw to discuss the research steps. At the end, we recorded their important ideas to share with others and dropped it easily into SeeSaw as a video. For all the times I've struggled to get a video off an iPad, this was a piece of cake. Thank you, SeeSaw.
More importantly, on Friday night I saw on Twitter a post by Miss Schilling where one of the students in the group was showing another student the video and his research work. He was teaching. When we empower students with meaningful purpose and allow them to experiment and play with the tools at hand, they in turn, teach others. Playing with Purpose to TEACH others.
First grade voices reflect on their research process
is an instructional technology coach for the Pleasant Valley School District. As a dreamer, teacher, librarian and reader, she looks for ways to help students find their voice and connect with others. @hopewelllibrary