What is Seesaw? Is It a Worthy Competitor to Google Classroom?
Seesaw is a free digital portfolio app that focuses on communication and feedback between teachers, students, and parents. To the uninitiated, it may seem inferior to Google Classroom.
However, Seesaw is a more than worthy competitor.
In this article, we’ll break down the uses of Seesaw, its unique features and strong points, to see how it stacks up against Google Classroom.
The Main Difference
Seesaw is feedback-centered, with simple sharing options and seamless communication between all involved parties. Feedback is a vital part of learning, and Seesaw has nailed this aspect of their app.
If you’ve used Google Classroom before, you know that its base is different. It’s mainly a learning management app, with in-depth features that are streamlined around the teaching process.
Both of the apps are great, but they are different. If you’re choosing between the two, why not use both? Seesaw and Google Classroom work well together, and they allow cross-sharing between the apps.
If you’re interested, you can read more about integration here, on the official Seesaw support page.
What Is the Seesaw App?
As previously mentioned, Seesaw is multidimensional. For that reason, it offers more than anyone would expect. Note that even though the app is free, teachers can subscribe to the premium option (Seesaw Plus) for unlocking neat additional features.
This subscription gives them the ability to customize students’ goals, view detailed student progression charts, additional activity storage, and more. All of these are quality of life upgrades, which means that as a teacher, you’ll do just fine with the basic Seesaw app.
You can get the Seesaw Class app on the App Store or the Play Store, depending on your device. With it, you can post student assignments, give voice instructions, and add media files (photo, video) and text files to the tasks.
Scheduling assignments ahead is sadly a premium-only feature. This section covered some of the basic educational app features, shared with Google Classroom and some other apps. Now let’s see what features make Seesaw unique.
The Strong Points
The feedback options put Seesaw ahead of competitor apps. Seesaw makes sharing incredibly intuitive for students, parents, and teachers alike. Parents are kept in the loop, they are given teacher feedback, but they can voice their opinion too.
It’s a full circle of communication, which is crucial for successful learning. Not only can parents provide feedback, so can the student’s peers. Of course, teachers are in charge when it comes to permissions on viewing the assignments and posting comments.
Even the classroom differentiation works well on Seesaw. Teachers can assign different tasks based on student performance history and learning capabilities. Group work is also possible, which can be a fun option from time to time.
Finally, Seesaw has translation options within the app, allowing effortless communication with all parents.
The Weaker Points
Admittedly, Seesaw isn’t perfect. Some of its best features are locked behind a paywall. Luckily, the paywall isn’t too high. Even with Seesaw Plus, some essential education app features are missing.
Mainly, we’re talking about grading. Google Classroom has grading integrated into the app, while Seesaw doesn’t. Teachers are the ones who would benefit from it the most, so they’ll probably prefer Google Classroom overall.
Sure, Seesaw Plus allows them to view the students’ “key skills” and their progression, but a star system isn’t enough for teachers, even though most kids and parents enjoy it.
Finally, we have to address the fact that Google Classroom outclasses Seesaw with app integration tools. This tech behemoth sets the industry standards, and it’s simply unfair to compare Seesaw with Google.
Seesaw Is Different to Google Classroom
Are you a teacher or a parent? If you’re a parent, you’ll probably prefer Seesaw because it knocks the feedback options out of the park. If you’re a teacher, you’ll likely prefer Google Classroom because it will make your job easier.
Still, consider trying out both apps, and perhaps even using both in tandem. They complement each other and work well together. How was your experience? Did you check out Seesaw yet? Is there a feature you’d like to see added?
Tell us all about it in the comments section below.