Monday, August 15, 2016

Using Seesaw for a Book Study: The Results

In May I wrote this blog post on how I was planning on using Seesaw to run a summer book study on George Couros' book, The Innovators Mindset. The book study is now over so I thought I would write another post on the experience.


Seesaw is a digital portfolio tool designed for students to share their learning. Seesaw is super simple to use which is why I decided to use it for the book study. I also liked that Seesaw would allow participants different ways in which to share what they were learning as they read the book. And Seesaw works the same on any device so it wouldn't matter if participants were using iPads or laptops, Seesaw works on anything.

We had people take pictures of passages in the book and annotate the pictures using the tools in Seesaw. A few people used the voice record option to add their explanations. We had people share links to websites and YouTube videos for people to review. I used the video record option when I caught up with George at ISTE and had George record a personal message to our book study participants. This was a huge hit! Every post had a like or a comment and most posts had multiple comments. I wasn't sure if we would be able to generate good discussions using an online tool but I am really proud of the comments people made and the support they provided to other participants. I have received feedback from some of the participants who really enjoyed using Seesaw for the book study.

The biggest issue I had was getting people into the class. I used the Google sign in mode which made sense for our staff. When using Seesaw with a Google sign in, people still need a code in order to access the class. The code is only good for 15 minutes at a time. I set up a specific date and time to send out the code. Unfortunately, no one was available at that time to use the code. So I ended up exchanging multiple emails/Tweets with participants making sure they were available to use the code and sending codes out. But once people were actually in the class, we had no issues. I had one participant who had used Seesaw with her students but the rest had either never used it or had just dabbled with it. No one asked any questions about how to make Seesaw work. That speaks to the simplicity of this tool!

Now that the book study is over and done with, I would say that Seesaw was a great tool for a book study. If you want to do an online book study and are looking for a tool, Seesaw should be at the top of your list!

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