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?


Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Tracy Hare

Tracy Hare, a middle school art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She strives to deepen students’ 21st-century skills by encouraging them to practice critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.

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