Tool Reviews



Watch overview videoSeesaw Overview (2:34)


Seesaw is a free web-based application that can be accessed using any mobile device or laptop. It has been used to engage students and provide accountability to parents as a digital learning portfolio. Seesaw empowers students to create, reflect, collaborate and share their learning with others, including peers, teachers, and parents. Using this app, students can use creative tools to take photos, draw, record videos, or any other form of media to document their learning in a digital portfolio to share with others, as well as. receive feedback.

Justification for Using this Tool

One of the most important features of the Seesaw application is its ability to engage student learning by leveraging their digital technology skills. Seesaw aligns well with the Engagement Theory, which is a framework for technology-based teaching and learning. This theory is based on the underlying premise that when students are motivated and meaningfully engaged in the lesson task(s), they learn more effectively, tend to retain the information, and can transfer their learning to other contexts (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998).

Another justification for using the Seesaw app as a communication and collaboration tool, especially at the elementary school level, is its ease of use. Seesaw is very easy to learn for young students and without a strong technological background. It does not require students to have an established e-mail or Google account. Seesaw has been used as a simple way for teachers to teach their students to develop their own digital learning portfolios, and then share with others, such as their parents, (Toner, 2017).

Using Seesaw, students can create artifacts such as drawings, photos, videos, notes, etc. or they can add files from their devices. With the built-in audio and video recording features, they can easily provide reflections of their work to communicate and collaborate with others. Likewise, they can easily share their thoughts regarding their learning as they post their artifact(s) to their Seesaw digital learning portfolio, (MacLean, 2016).

Strategies for Use

Strategy 1 – Strategies for Using Seesaw

Watch overview videoStrategies for Using Seesaw (1:44)

This video provides strategies for students, teachers and parents to use Seesaw as a digital learning tool to provide classroom and home connections.

Strategy 2 – Additional Tips for Teachers

Watch overview videoAdditional Tips for Teachers When Using Seesaw (2:12)

This video provides additional tips for teachers when using Seesaw as a digital tool for student engagement and learning. The information has been summarized from the Seesaw website.

Helpful Resources

Resource 1 – Creating Digital Learning Portfolios with Seesaw

This blog provides a rationale for the benefits of using the Seesaw application to enable teachers to collaborate with students in creating digital learning portfolios using mobile devices or laptops. Students can add artifacts to the digital portfolio through Seesaw, and then, teachers can review student assignments and provide feedback. Likewise, students can provide their reflections on their work or the lesson to the teacher.

Resource 2 – How to Use the Seesaw App in the Classroom

While Seesaw has been used mainly as a student-driven digital portfolio to engage learners to create, reflect, collaborate and share information with others, it also facilitates effective home-school communication between teachers and parents. Other suggested uses for Seesaw in the classroom include, using the drawing tool to lessen the need for printing off worksheets; providing teaching and learning through the flipped classroom approach; applying the app as a reading and fluency tool; or providing opportunities for peer collaboration and feedback of student work.

Resource 3 – Tips for Using Seesaw

This website blog provides additional tips and strategies for using Seesaw as a digital tool for student engagement and learning. The information has been gathered from the Seesaw website and placed into one conveniently accessible location for teachers to easily find the basic information for this web-based learning tool.


Kearsley, G. and Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory: A Framework for Technology-Based Teaching and Learning. Educational Technology, 38(5), 20-23.

MacLean, E. (2016). Document the learning through digital portfolios. Education Technology Solutions, 74 (Oct/Nov), 32-34.

Toner, R. (2017). The Relationship Between Digital Portfolio Use, Parent-Teacher Communication, and its Effect on Home-Based Parental Involvement in Middle School. M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership Research Projects, 29.


Submitted by: Gary Lew
Bio: Gary Lew has been in the educational field for the past 25 years and is currently an elementary school principal within the Durham District School Board. He is completing the Master of Education program, with an interest in instructional design and leadership in educational technology.


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E-Learning Essentials 2020 Copyright © 2020 by Power Learning Solutions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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