Using the Seesaw App in Speech Therapy

Sunday, November 13, 2016
What is Seesaw you ask? Seesaw is a free app that gives parents a peek into their child's therapy session and involves them in the process. I use Seesaw to communicate with parents as well as to archive student present levels of performance. It allows me to capture a photo or video of the student in action or add a pdf or link. I am honestly just scratching the surface with all that this app has to offer. Students are eager to show off what they know. Of course, proceed with caution: remain sensitive to student privacy and permission to be photographed/filmed. In my speech therapy sessions, I am careful to film only the student that the video/photo will be filed under. For example, if I have three students in a group, I will allow each student a moment during the session to film their individual segment.

What do I love about it?

  • It gives parents immediate access to their child's learning. Parents can comment on their child's photo/video if they would like (and you permit it in the settings). This past week, my students were eager to participate in Bottle Flipping for Articulation and Language. I was able to film a segment of our session which showed the parents how the students were targeting their speech/language goals and the students were then more than eager to take home their completed bottle and target page to practice at home. The video modeled prompts or cues that parents could use at home to help their child carryover what they had learned to the home environment in a fun, motivating way.
  • It archives student progress and allows for a great reference point to analyze growth. Video a student practicing articulation in the beginning of the year and then compare the end of the year. You may be amazed at the progress that you see.
  • Teachers can have access to their student learning as well! Teachers can see what their students are working on in speech and encourage carryover to the classroom setting.
  • You can add photo, video, drawings, links, etc. from your device or students can use shared devices to scan your class QRCode and upload it to their account.

How do I set it up?

  • First, you will need to download the Seesaw Class app and create an account. Parents will download the Seesaw parent app.   Seesaw is available on iOS, Android devices, Kindle Fire and Chromebooks.
  • Next, you will create a class. I recommend creating one class to represent your caseload or one class per building that you serve. I initially created 2 classes K-3 and 4-6 but have found that is not really necessary and a bit of an inconvenience to toggle between the two.
  • Under Manage Class, you will want to change the default setting so that students can only see their own work. Classroom teachers may allow students to view each other's work to comments, etc. but we need to remain sensitive to confidentiality with the nature of the service that we provide our students.
  • While in the class settings, you may also want to change the setting to allow parents to view their child's work. 
  • Add your students to your class. You can paste your caseload list directly into the app to avoid manually entering each one.
  • Invite parents to join. You can do this in 2 different ways. You can email the parents directly or print off individualized QRCode pages that the app generates for each student. I send home the QRCode pages so I could simply make a copy of them to have as a reference if someone needed another copy. 

What can I add?
  • Photos/Videos taken within the Seesaw app
  • Photos/Videos from your camera roll
  • Drawings 
  • pdf
  • links
  • notes

If you would like more information or tutorials, you can find more information here. The Seesaw site illustrates many more ways that the app can be utilized, such as in formative assessment, a recordable whiteboard, student blogging and more. If you use Seesaw and have any ideas that you would like to share, I would love to hear them!


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