3 Tips for Using Defined Learning and Seesaw

Nothing can create more powerful opportunities for your students than combining rigorous content with an engaging student learning system. Seesaw and Defined Learning make a great pair!  Here are three tips to get the most from using Seesaw to carry out Defined Learning tasks.

One important recommendation is to be sure that all of your directions are accessible for all of your students.  It’s no surprise that students with different learning styles do better when information is presented in different ways. Seesaw allows you to create content with embedded directions on each page.  

  • You can use the Text tool to create a label with written directions.  
  • You can use the Microphone tool to record your voice and model the process on your screen that you’d like your students to duplicate.  
  • To appeal to even more modalities, you can use the Camera tool to use your webcam to record yourself talking, giving directions, and/or showing an example of the finished product.  

For example, on a single page, you can use a text label to paste in the directions from Defined Learning, the microphone to record yourself reading the text and clicking on any activities and/or links on the page, and a video of yourself with the final product, explaining how you did it.

When your class is working on a Defined Learning task and/or resource you will most likely have them break into smaller groups.  Managing several groups doing different tasks or working with different research resources can get tricky.  

  • In Seesaw, change the icons in front of your students’ names to correlate with their group.  
  • Simply click on the wrench icon in your Class, choose Manage students, click a student in your class and change the icon.  

For example, all the students working on Task 1 together will have a puppy, Task 2 a unicorn.  Now you can scroll through your class and quickly tell who is working on what.  You can also consider creating new folders in Seesaw for each task.  As you create an activity around a task or research resource, assign it to a folder of the same name.  When you need to assess the work, simply choose the appropriate folder under your Activities tab, and you’ll see all the student assignments associated with each particular task.

Finally, younger students often struggle clicking around to different sites.  Keeping them in the habit of starting in Seesaw, regardless of the assignment, will make everyone’s work easier. 

  • When you create an activity in Seesaw, you have the ability to add multimedia instructions or examples.  Click this option and choose Link.  
  • In Defined Learning, when it’s time to assign and share your customized task, you are given a Defined Learning Share Link.  Simply copy and paste this link from Defined Learning into the Link box in Seesaw.  

The students will see a hyperlinked page with an image of their Defined Learning login page.  When they click on the picture, they will be taken directly to their assigned task. 

Defined Learning tasks provide students with rich learning experiences.  Using Seesaw to assign, manage, and complete the tasks gives your students the tools and agency they need to be successful and make great gains in their development.


About the Author: 
Meaghan Whitten is a Seesaw Ambassador and Technology Integration Training Specialist in upstate New York. She also spent many years teaching middle school English Language Arts.


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