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Is anyone using Seesaw within their Canvas courses? How have you set up the work flow and what have you learned?

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We really like the parent notification piece of Seesaw but are looking for the best way to use it within Canvas as well.

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Community Contributor

I'm sitting with five primary grade educators right now and SeeSaw has come up . . . I was unfamiliar with it, but hope to learn more as this discussion continues in the Community!  @mresend1 

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We haven't found the ideal way to use SeeSaw with Canvas but one thing that has come out of our attempts is that kids love it! It is being used primarily in a 6th grade Reading course. The teacher reports that the kids are especially fond of the video response option. However, navigation of the users within a course is difficult. When kids login, they can see everyone else and have to find their names (listed alphabetically). We are in the infant stage of really using SeeSaw, and there may be a better way, but the teacher experimenting with it reports this as the greatest drawback. We are using the free version. She is happy with the ability to moderate posts and finds that overall, Seesaw has been a great motivator and provides the students with an authentic audience.

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I've been using Seesaw with my adult ESL student (who have primarily low digital literacy skills) for a couple years now. It has been one of the easiest apps for my students to learn how to use. I would like to try out Canvas for next semester to help teachers and students see progress on standards over time. (I've tried many LMSs over the years and haven't found one that really works for us yet.) Finding tools that help streamline using multiple apps in class has been my biggest challenge, especially with almost no budget to work with.

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Thank you  @twilliams4  for submitting this question! Based on your inquiry, I feel that this is a better discussion than a question that has a single “correct” answer. However, because another Community member has clicked the “I also have this question!” button, I am unable to convert it to a discussion for an ongoing conversation.

Because it is my goal to clean up the K-12 space before the end of 2018 so only the only open questions are those that are still relevant!

With that goal in mind, I am going to mark this question as “Assumed Answered” so it is removed from the list. The status will not prevent Community members from contributing and continuing this conversation! Smiley Happy

Community Onward,


Thank you for this  @kristin_bayless ! Our school is a similar set up with Seesaw and 1:1 iPads in our Junior School. We are rolling out Canvas in January/February and have added Seesaw to our course menus using the Canvas redirect tool. The idea is not that students or teachers would really use it - they have the app for that. It's more to use Canvas as a 'one stop shop' with access to all our tools. We'll see how it goes.

What I am curious about is how you manage parent communications. Do you use Seesaw or Canvas? We'd like to be able to use Canvas for this - and leave Seesaw solely to the portfolio pieces - but we are finding that with the Canvas parent app not allowing for pages to be viewed - it's not useful for our JS families. Therefore, I'm wondering if using Seesaw for comms might be a better way to go.

sarafriz‌ In response to your question and because (as Canvas Admin) my contact with the classroom and parents is limited, I asked a couple of our TOSAs working with the elementary schools.  Here are their answers about SeeSaw versus Canvas in the ES for parent communications.


From my perception the Seesaw parent piece is much stronger and much easier for parents to use and engage with. However in anything like this is really depends what is being used and what they want parents to see or how they want them to interact. If it is straight forward messaging parents or sharing student work Seesaw wins out. If they want to create a window into course and course work then of course Canvas.
Seesaw is a much more user friendly tool and a more transparent look into what is happening in the classroom. Parents are notified when a student posts & can receive the notifications via text. It also allows parents to choose their home language so messages from the teacher are translated as well as any text/comments attached to student work. Overall, in the elementary setting, Seesaw seems to be more frequently used by Ts and Sts which creates more communication home.
I also agree that it depends on how each tool is going to be used and what kind of information they would like to share with families. For example, Canvas provides a more detailed look at assignment due dates & grading. However, the timeline of when that information reaches home is teacher dependent. Seesaw is more student driven, allowing for a more real time look at student learning.
Hope this helps!

That was really helpful  @kristin_bayless  Thank you.

I hope that Canvas will be able to emulate the functionality of SeeSaw one day so things can be a bit more streamlined.

Community Contributor

 @Bobby2 ,

My understanding is that our teachers who use both SeeSaw and Canvas don't view them as competing products even if there is a bit of overlap. I saw one of our 4th grade teachers do a school board presentation and she referred to SeeSaw as the classroom's "online journal" and she referred to Canvas as the LMS.  SeeSaw, Canvas, and Google were listed as her three base platform apps, and then she referenced numerous apps she uses to supplement teaching and learning as the need arises.  We've found that SeeSaw has a lower barrier of entry for ES teachers who need to develop their comfort level, but they add Canvas to the mix as they move into using LMS functionality.  SeeSaw is currently only used in our elementary schools.

Hi Sara - 

What do you mean that you "added Seesaw to our course menus using the Canvas redirect tool"?

Community Contributor

Hi Jacqueline,

You can you can add web resources to your course navigation using Canvas' redirect tool (see documentation here): Edu App Center. We added a Seesaw redirect in all courses in our Junior School sub account. Image below of what it looks like. Let me know if you have any more questions. We just launched with parents and students this week - so we'll see how it all goes.



Screenshot of Seesaw redirect link in Canvas.