The Best App for Student-Directed Digital Portfolios

One of the best ways to communicate growth of student learning is through a digital portfolio. However, with all of the various platforms for digital portfolios these days, the options can make your head spin. It can become difficult to distinguish which choice is best for your students’ ages and needs. Many times, the management of digital portfolios gets cumbersome and complex. However, the multi-platform app, Seesaw, just might be the answer.

Seesaw has the ability to empower students to independently document what they are creating in the art room as well as seamlessly record their processes and reflections through photos, videos, drawings, text, PDFs, and links. Because everything is kept organized within the app itself,  teachers can easily invite parents to Seesaw to share immediate evidence of their children’s learning.
Gail Perrody
Gail Peroddy is a 3rd-5th-grade art teacher from Minnesota who is using Seesaw regularly with her art students. She started to see the benefits of this simple, straightforward app within a few days. She told me, “Right away, I found Seesaw easy to understand and use and incredibly accessible not only to students but to their other teachers and their families.”

Gail feels one of the biggest advantages to using Seesaw as a digital portfolio app is the ability to manage many students at once. “Since I have 24 classes, I had each classroom teacher create a class and then invite me on as a co-teacher. As a co-teacher, I have the power to accept photos of artwork, write comments, and invite others, such as my students’ parents.”

The benefits of Seesaw don’t stop there. Here are some additional reasons to try out Seesaw in your art room.


  • You can teach students to upload their finished art to Seesaw. This provides an opportunity for students to take pride in their own online portfolios.

  • Seesaw alerts the teacher when a parent has viewed, liked, or commented on an image within their child’s account. This a great way to provide an instant connection between the art room and home.

  • If a student is absent, Seesaw can provide an avenue for missed instruction via posted photos or videos.

  • Seesaw can provide an online option for peer feedback, as the settings can be changed for students to see only their account or the accounts of all of their classmates.

Still feeling like you want more questions answered about using Seesaw in your art room? Join Theresa Gillespie as she presents about the app at the 2016 AOE Online Winter Conference. Theresa will give a detailed explanation of how Seesaw allows students to independently document photos of their artwork as well as record video and voice self-reflections. Learn how to easily share students’ work with classroom teachers and their parents all while keeping dozens of digital portfolios organized and manageable. If you’re interested, you can sign up right here.

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Have you tried Seesaw? What are your thoughts? 

What other questions do you have about this platform?


Tracy Hare

Learning Team

Tracy is a middle school art teacher from central MN who strives to create rich, meaningful content and resources through her Art Ed PRO Director role at AOE.


  • Jess Kate

    I’m also a 3rd-5th grade teacher and just registered to try it out myself. Just a heads up, if you try to make all of the classes yourself, you are maxed out at 10 classes. However, I emailed customer support and they said they’d adjust it so I can fit as many as I need.

    • Gail Peroddy

      To solve that problem, I had the classroom teachers create the class and then add me as a co-teacher. It saved me a lot of time so I didn’t have to type in 650 students names and then I could have all 24 classes!

      • Jess Kate

        When I first encountered the problem I reread your post and discovered that was how you did it.

        I did the bulk add, copying and pasting from my grade book so it wasn’t taking too long.

      • Kayla L.

        Another thing that you can do (something that I do as a K-5 teacher) is create a class of ALL of my first graders together. Although this is a large group (90+ students) I can then carry over their art from year to year without reconfiguring the classes.

        • Kayla L.

          (First graders was just an example, I do a class for each grade level)

  • Amanda Peet

    Are you still able to add folders, etc if you are added on as a co-teacher?

    • Gail Peroddy

      Yes, each co-teacher has the same power. Add folders, add new students, change the settings…etc.

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  • Ellen

    I am thinking about using this online portfolio for my students’ work, but I am wondering if it is possible to keep the students work the following year? Can you rearrange the students into different classes the following year, and allow them to access their artwork from previous grades to track growth??

  • Edward Baumcratz

    Do you recommend using this for high school students?