By Traci Piltz
As a kindergarten teacher, it’s always been important to me to find good quality apps that are super easy for the kids to use, plus allow for creativity, integration across a variety of curricular areas and provide students with choice. (Being free certainly doesn’t hurt, either!) The PicCollage Kids app fits this profile perfectly, and is one of the apps I use most frequently in K-2 classrooms. Students love the ability to utilize the fun fonts, backgrounds, and stickers to personalize their projects and publish their research and writing. I love that the PicCollage Kids version has more free sticker options, and no video ads!
However, as students created these amazing digital projects in our classroom, we had no way to share them. Sometimes I would take screenshots and post onto our class website, but let’s be honest, that was a tedious process. What I really needed was a digital portfolio tool that would allow students to easily and safely share their PicCollage creations with an authentic audience. Enter: (drumroll, please) Seesaw!
Seesaw is a free tool that allows students to upload projects into their own digital learning journals. The items in their journals are shared with their teacher, classmates and (if the teacher chooses) with parents. It is super easy for students (yes, even kindergartners!) to upload their PicCollage creations into Seesaw and use the additional tools to enhance their collages even more. Once students have completed a PicCollage, they’ll use the “share” button and choose “save to library” to save their collage to the camera roll of the iPad. Here is an arctic animals example from a kindergarten classroom. Students researched the animals, then shared what they learned using PicCollage Kids.
Students then log in to Seesaw using the simple QR code login process, then choose the “camera roll” option to upload the collage into their learning journal.
Students now have access to other tools, including a microphone, arrow pointer and drawing tool. The collages can be enhanced by adding additional details like annotations, a title, or student voice (my favorite) to read or tell about the collage.
Teachers can also use the PicCollage Kids app in combination with Seesaw as a fun and simple way to share classroom photos. I keep the Pic Collage app on my phone, and make quick collages of field trips and other fun classroom happenings. Uploading these collages to Seesaw is a great way to share these classroom moments with parents – teachers can share with the whole class (where all parents can view them) or just specific students (where only those students’ parents can view them). This is a simple, safe and fun way to connect with the families in your classroom!
Some things just go together, like peanut butter and jelly, milk and cookies, PicCollage Kids and Seesaw. If you have any questions about using these apps in your classroom, please reach out to me. I love connecting with other educators, and I especially love talking about PicCollage & Seesaw! 🙂
A kindergarten teacher at heart, Traci Piltz now work as a technology integration specialist for K-2 teachers in our district. She loves how technology transformed her kindergarten classroom into a place where students could learn, create and share in brand new ways! As a PicCollage, Seesaw and Book Creator Ambassador, it makes her happy to share meaningful ways these apps can be used in classrooms! You can connect with her on Twitter @TraciPiltz, by email firstname.lastname@example.org or on her blog.