Assisi Catholic College
Seesaw helps Assisi Catholic College give students an authentic audience, differentiate instruction and empower parents to be effective partners in student success.
Leree Mazzer is the Assistant Principal-Special Projects at Assisi Catholic College. Assisi is a Prep-Year 12 Franciscan school that serves just over 1300 students in Queensland, Australia.
“Within Catholic Education we try to think of the whole child and we really value the partnership we have with parents. They are the primary educators of the child and we want to form rich, working partnership between our teachers and administration and parents. Seesaw gives us a capacity to do this in a unique and effective way”, Leree says.
Replacing Paper Portfolios and Giving Students an Authentic Audience
Before using Seesaw, “we used paper portfolios, which evidence of work went into but were very one dimensional, paper-and-pencil type evidence and not reflective of the rich learning experiences our students engaged in. Teachers had to do a lot of work if they wanted to share anything with parents that was digital or creative, and so it tended not to happen because it was just so onerous.”
Seesaw gives Assisi students a legitimate publishing space and a real audience to share their work and get feedback. “There’s a real sense of pride when they know they are going to be sharing their work with their parents, teachers and the principal. It’s not just doing something for the teacher, it’s their learning. They feel that ownership of their work. We’ve always told them that, but with Seesaw they really feel it.”
Using Seesaw for Differentiating Instruction and Assessment
Assisi teachers have found creative ways to use Seesaw across the curriculum, like for differentiating instruction. “One of our prep teachers uses Seesaw to simplify her assignment workflow and differentiate learning that way. She will add something into Seesaw, different levels for different students, and her students sign in with the QR code, complete the work, and send it back to her for feedback.”
An unexpected outcome of Seesaw “is that the photocopying budget has gone down dramatically. We used to spend thousands of dollars in photocopying! That has significantly reduced now that teachers are posting so much into Seesaw instead.”
Seesaw makes it easier for teachers and students to collect evidence of learning and student achievement. “Many times in the past students needed a certain level of literacy to demonstrate any skill, even a math skill. Now teachers can differentiate more and students can record their work in the way that suits them, a photo, a drawing, a voice recording, typing. They have more choice.”
Many teachers at Assisi have also embraced using Seesaw to showcase students’ learning journey, not just the end result. “We’re using Seesaw to show evidence of the progression of learning or ‘distance traveled’, not just the summative or end assessment. Our Grade One teacher marks each post against the criteria the student is working towards and can really show evidence of growth towards those standards.”
Informed Parents are Better Partners in Student Success
Because of Seesaw “there is an openness to share with parents the full learning journey as it occurs. There’s a growing confidence that parents can see work that is incorrect, incomplete, that isn’t the task that was set, or work that’s above and beyond what was asked.”
Because parents are more informed, they can support their child better. “Because they see what’s going on in real time, parents now know how to encourage their child’s growth and learning. Parents have the opportunity to be more effective partners and build on their child’s learning that has happened--or maybe not happened--at school.”
Another benefit of frequent communication with families is that “parents come into conferences already informed. There are no surprises about what their child can or cannot do because they are seeing it every day. The conversation is much richer about where the child is going, which is a huge change.”