If you have young kids that are going to school, there is no doubt that the answer you got when asking them about their day or what they have done in school was: “uh, I don’t know” or “nothing”… It’s not very helpful to engage in a discussion and show interest at what they have done.
There is a solution!
My wife is teaching grade one. Last year she decided to start using Seesaw, an app that allows to share the day-to-day life in the classroom with the parents in a similar way that Facebook would.
This video explains the teacher side of how the app works:
On the first day of school, each parents receives a QR Code inviting them to install the app on their mobile device and to connect to their kid’s classroom. Once subscribed, they will receive instant notification each time the teacher post something to the app, whether it be a picture, video, a general or private message etc. The teacher can post to the entire group or has the possibility to tag the kids in a specific picture and, this way, only the parents of these children will see these images, ensuring a little privacy and a cleaner feed.
No more “I don’t know”
All of a sudden, you have a direct view in the classroom of your kid and you can know right away what is happening and what they are working on. No more “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember”. Instead of asking what they did during the day, you can ask them about the pictures you saw, what was that activity and how did it work.
Teachers also has access to metrics that help them know how parents are interacting. The app provides the amount of posts, like, messages, visits etc. Here’s a screen shot of the weekly stats they get:
Screenshot from Seesaw app’s weekly stats
Here are a few interesting info my wife gave me about how she uses the app:
- 100% of the kids in her classroom have at least 1 parent connected to the app.
- 100% of the connected parents visit the app at least once a week.
- Parents interact and have the ability to like and comment posts, which they do often within minutes of posting.
- Read receipt on the messages she sends – something she would not get when sending emails.
- A more personalized approach on messaging, more like texting. (Quick, to the point, and less formal)
- Seen notification on each pictures/posts.
- She uses the app to encourage the kids to put more effort in their work since they will show it to their parents. Often the students themselves are asking for her to post, as they are proud of their work.
While my wife is not selling anything with this app, she is getting a direct access to the parents as well (it works both ways!), and this connection has proven very beneficial. She is getting regular feedback, comments and questions from the parents. While she shares how their kids are doing both academically and behaviourally, the parents feels directly involved and can now challenge their kids on what they did during the day. They have access to what they are studying, but more specifically HOW they do it in class. For example: Parents can work on a specific notion while doing homework with their child and can use the information shared to make sure they do it the same way the teacher do. Some parents have started doing their vocabulary words at home using dry erase pencils in the patio door since they saw on the app that they were doing this in the classroom’s window.
If the school provides devices like tablets, the app allows kids to contribute by posting content themselves, which in turn is curated by the teacher before going live.
On a parent and on a teacher’s side the value added to be using this tool to communicate is incredible. The only negative feedback came from parents who, the following year, had their child is now in a classroom with a teacher who does not use the app!
What do you think? Do you feel this would be a great way to introduce kids to social media in a health way?
Did your kid really do nothing in school today? http://bit.ly/2J8x6dk
What if you had a window in your kid’s classroom? http://bit.ly/2J8x6dk