Using Seesaw to Teach Students Social Media

Seesaw is a tool that we use in Primary at my school, but so far it has been limited to simply an e-portfolio that showcases student work. One of my goals this year is to get the most out of this amazing tool.

The words “social media” strike fear into the hearts of many teachers and parents, yet we have to accept that about 90% of teens will use some form of social media. While nobody is advocating that we give our youngest kids Facebook and Twitter accounts and let them explore the dark underbelly of the web, many educators are starting to teach the basics of responsible social media use in their classrooms. Seesaw is the perfect tool for this.

Here are three ways to use Seesaw to teach social media use to students:

#1: Use Connected Blogs

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Seesaw’s automatic settings allow students to see their peers’ work within their own class, but how can students see the work of other classes and year levels at your school? The best way to do this is to connect your class blog to other blogs in your school. Maybe you’re doing a multi-year project and need to share a survey with the grades below and above yours. Just post it to your blog and all of your connected blogs will be able to access a piece of work that otherwise would only be viewed by your immediate class.

How to get started? In order to connect a blog, you have to have the URLs of the blogs with whom you wish to connect. I suggest setting up a Google Doc so that teachers can copy and paste their URL into a shared document. Then you can choose how many blogs you want each class to be connected with. Our school is starting connecting each class with their “grade span”, meaning the classes in each year level before, within, and after (i.e. I’m Year 5B, check out the photo above to see the “grade span” that I am connected with.)

#2: Compare Features of Seesaw with Twitter and Facebook

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Seesaw is very similar to the most popular social media websites. This gives teachers the perfect opportunity to teach appropriate use of social media in a safe online environment. Here are some of the conversations that Seesaw could evoke in your class:

  1. When and what to”like”
  2. How to write an appropriate comment, post, or tweet (in less than 140 characters?)
  3. How to maintain your feed/wall
  4. How to write provocative titles that people want to read
  5. How to download files from social media
  6. How to tag the right people to a photo or video
  7. How to share onto a blog
  8. What is public and what is private
  9. Appropriate use of emojis, punctuation, capitalization.
  10. Cyberbullying, Trolls, and Cybersafety

#3: Tweet Directly From Seesaw

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If you have a class Twitter account, why not select a few pieces of work per unit to share right off of Seesaw?

How? In my class, I don’t have students do this themselves. Instead, I gather students around my iPad and model responsible social media use as I show them how to share a piece of work from our class. I tell them that this piece of work is now being shared with millions of people, and that it is no longer private. I show them the power of hashtags by using them and explaining their function as an online filing system, and I follow up by sharing all of the likes and retweets that the piece of work gets in the Twitterverse with my students. Whenever someone reaches out to our class for an educational project, such as the Wave From the World project that my students participated in, I share it on Seesaw.

Social Media is an important part of our lives, and, like it or hate it, it is important to teach the fundamentals of responsible and effective Social Media use. If you haven’t already, follow me on social media @MrZachG:

And check out @SGroshell’s TPT.
First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth - TeachersPayTeachers.com

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