ECI832 Major Project Wrap Up: Curtis Bourassa EdTech Reviews

Over the course of the semester, I have created and curated a project that allowed me to explore three apps TikTok, Seesaw and Wakelet. In each of the apps, I provided an overview of the app, a look at the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, a personal review, and educational review, key features, and additional resources.

My journey started by jumping right into TikTok.  I discovered that TikTok was a great way to waste time, as it was so easy to be immersed in the short videos.  I researched the privacy policy in-depth for TikTok due to the controversy that surrounds the app.  I provided a personal review of the app, created a summary of the personal review on an infographic that I had created. For the educational review, I took research that I had found online about how educators are using the tool in the classroom setting, as well as how teachers are using it for professional growth.  I finalized the review of the app with some key features that are found within TikTok, and some additional resources with a link to a Wakelet collection of some of the articles that I have studied.

My journey with Seesaw.  Seesaw was an app that I was using prior to the course, but I was not utilizing it to the best of my ability. Again, I worked through all the parts of my project.  One of the major highlights of this project was my ability to speak to two educators and one tech coach from Texas on how they are implementing this app in their schools or school districts. I also became a Seesaw Ambassador during this semester.  This allowed me with the inside scoop of everything Seesaw, and ultimately has assisted in my support for teachers during this pandemic.  The school division has ultimately named me as the Seesaw go-to person for remote-learning.

Wakelet.  Wakelet is an app that I was using occasionally before the course.  But I did not use the app to its full potential.  I held a meeting with Dean Vendramin on how he implements Wakelet in his high school classroom.  This was the highlight of my study with Wakelet.  Dean provided many thoughtful ideas on how to implement the app in the classroom and how it is important that we use tools to curate knowledge, but also have for students to help them read laterally.

Check out the website that I have created for my final project.  Or for an overview check out the vlog that was created with Dean Vendramin and Matteo Di Muro For a quick overview of my website that I have created.

Major Project Update: Seesaw Interviews with Leigh Tremblay and Sarah Ross

Over the course of my project, I wanted to interview classroom teachers on how they are implementing Seesaw, Wakelet, and TikTok in the classroom.  I had the opportunity to interview both Leigh Tremblay and Sarah Ross on their use of Seesaw in their classrooms.

I believe that it is important to get classroom opinions on how to implement these tools into the classroom.  Both Sarah and Leigh give a great perspective on how to implement Seesaw in the classroom at two different grade levels.  A grade 4/5 class and a grade 1 class.

Leigh speaks of engaging parents in her classroom by using Seesaw and the importance of building those relationships in the school and classroom. Sarah speaks to how she is engaging students with the app, and how she is implementing the program with the blended-learning project she is doing for her ECI832 master’s project.

Check out how these two great teachers are implementing Seesaw into their classrooms.

Interview with Leigh Tremblay

 Interview with Sarah Ross

Major Project Update: Untimely Technology Difficulties

Hi Everyone,

If you have been following my digital project you will know that I have been working on creating an in-depth guide to three apps that I have been studying.  Seesaw, Wakelet, and TikTok.

Yesterday evening I had a conversation with Elizabeth Benno, a Digital Literacy Coach from Lovejoy ISD.  Elizabeth is a Seesaw Ambassador and she speaks all over Texas on how to integrate technology in the classroom.  I met Elizabeth in a Seesaw PD Session that she held in Austin, Texas in February 2020.  Now, due to some technical glitches on my behalf, I was unable to get the recording on the audio or the video from my conversation with Elizabeth so my blog post will have to do for this week’s major update.

Below summarizes some key points of our conversation that we had in our great discussion all around how to integrate Seesaw in the classroom.

How are teachers using Seesaw in the classroom?

Some of the ways that teachers are using Seesaw in the classroom is to provide a glimpse into what is going on in the student’s day.  Some teachers may just take a picture and post that picture to the student’s learning journal.  Some of the teachers that Elizabeth is working with also use Seesaw as a platform to support the Global Read Aloud Project.  Students are able to share their learning through their learning journals and it can be expanded to connect with other classrooms through Seesaw’s built-in blog.  In Lovejoy ISD, Elizabeth has stated that their goal for Seesaw is the following. “Teachers will have at least one form of evidence for each outcome, recorded and documented in Seesaw”.

  • Elizabeth has shared that teachers begin by using Seesaw to share the gems as to what is going on in the classroom.
  • Global read aloud
  • School District has a goal that every standard will have evidence in Seesaw.

2. How can we make connections with others using Seesaw?

Seesaw allows us to connect up to 10 family members to one student’s blog.  This is a powerful tool that we can use to extend the ability for our students to have an audience.  Elizabeth talked about how using Seesaw for Schools allowed administrators to the ability to comment on student work.  This allows for collaboration and relationship building within the school.

One of the highlights of Seesaw is the ability to use the classroom blog feature.  Seesaw blogs are a safe way to interact with and connect with other classes.  These are teacher moderated, can be set to public blogs or password-protected blogs.  Once a teacher signs up for blogs you can connect to other classrooms using Seesaw Blogs.  This is a powerful took that Elizabeth uses with the teachers she works with to connect with others for the Global Read Aloud Project.

3. How can teachers get started with Seesaw and What are Some Ideas to Dive Deeper with?

The starting place for teachers is to get them to highlight some of the great things that are happening in the classroom.  This could be as simple as taking pictures of the student’s work.  However, soon teachers need to relinquish this control and give students control over their own student portfolios.  Seesaw is most powerful when students take control of their work.

Elizabeth shared a great story and lesson around a Global Classroom Project that she initiated with a teacher in her school district in Texas, a teacher in Canada and a teacher in New Zealand.  In this experience, the students educated each other on their interests and parts of their culture. This project inspired students to educate each other on different games, sports teams, among many other differences.

4. What is the Difference between Seesaw for Schools and the Free Version of Seesaw?

Seesaw for Schools and Seesaw Plus allow you access to the skills portion students achieve.  The skills section is a great tool that allows educators to provide students with a mark on a 3-6 point scale.  Elizabeth highlighted that since Seesaw for Schools the digital portfolio follows the student from year to year.  The teacher could look in the past to view if a student struggled in a certain standard/outcome or indicator.  This is a great tool to see growth over the years, or to identify areas that students need assistance in.

Furthermore, students have access to drafts in Seesaw.  This allows students to save work in progress and finish it later.  This is a premium feature only available in Seesaw for Schools and Seesaw Plus.

Seesaw for Schools offers regional data storage options which were very important to my school division’s decision to purchase Seesaw for Schools. This means that data that is entered into Seesaw is held in Canada, rather than the United States. It is also integrated with our Student Information System (SIS).

5. How do you engage parents with Seesaw?

This starts early.  Have a Seesaw station at an open house or meet the teacher night early in the year, help parents get on Seesaw, learn about Seesaw.  By getting parents on board with Seesaw early in the school year provides the opportunity for parents to learn how Seesaw works.  Be sure to send home the highlights of your students as parents love to see what their children are doing at school.

Major Project Update: #Wakeletwave with Dean Vendramin

The past two weeks I have been working on adding to my major project.  Focusing my research around Seesaw and beginning my research with Wakelet.  Specifically, I looked at using some of my new-found knowledge of being a Seesaw Ambassador to find resources and content to add to the Overview page, and have been developing the Privacy and Terms of Service page.

Here is one of the interesting pieces of information that I had found within Seesaw’s privacy policy.  “Within the United States under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), a teacher can act as a parent’s agent and provide consent on their behalf if the service is solely used in the educational context. To read more about this read COPPA and Schools.”  Although this does not directly apply to us in Canada.  I find it worrisome as teachers can provide consent on the parent’s behalf.

I also interviewed Dean this past week on how he uses and is using Wakelet in the classroom.  Check out our video interview or our podcast located below.

Some of the key takeaways from this video include the ways that Dean incorporates Wakelet into his classroom and his uses professionally.  The ability to curate resources from Twitter and save resources.  Using Wakelet as a way to store Current Events.  Students can use Wakelet as a way to supplement their work in class to highlight the resources that they have used to supplement their learning.  Students are able to work together and curate resources together.  This encourages collaboration among each other.  Wakelet also allows you to embed it with Flipgrid.  Dean also shares how he uses Wakelet as a monthly newsletter.   Be sure to check out our video to learn how to use Wakelet in the classroom.

Major Learning Project Update: Vlog #1

This will be a brief update as I am going to be taking you on a tour of some of the things that I have accomplished on my Major Learning Project.  The past month has been crazy, to say the least.  Texas for an edtech conference, wedding planning, dealing with a car accident, and the Major Digital Project! The majority of my time has been collecting information.   Through research, connecting with people on Twitter, and through connections that I have made at the TCEA conference, I was in Texas.

The past couple of weeks I have focused on organizing some interviews, and have dove into exploring Seesaw. I thought that it would be in my best interest to explore Seesaw by becoming a Seesaw Ambassador.  This 3-hour course breaks down Seesaw to all the levels.  I learned more about using Seesaw to reach a global audience through the Seesaw Blog.  I am excited to explore this option as if done properly could promote an abundance of Mike Ribble’s Digital Citizenship Elements.  I will be highlighting some of the key learning pieces through becoming a Seesaw Ambassador, and I will be showing how you can become a Seesaw Ambassador as well.

I have some big plans ahead that include some videos/podcasts, some educational TikTok plans, and some Wakelet collections to share.  Be sure to check out these TikTok Tips that I have highlighted in the video below!

Check out my vlog below to see what I have been up to with my Major Digital Project.