Constructing Knowledge: When Seesaw and Databases Come Together for Research

January is Knowledge Constructor month! It is never too late to start encouraging your students to seek and locate information, evaluate the accuracy of sources, use digital resources to curate resources, and to pursue answers to meaningful questions. Knowledge Constructor works across content, and across grade levels – and the skills of Knowledge Constructor are more important than ever. Furthermore, research has shown that when students are active in the meaning-making process, they understand concepts more deeply and meaningfully.

(click here for a PDF version of this poster)

One question we may be asking ourselves is: What opportunities do we have to give student multiple ways to locate information/evidence and build claims/knowledge?

Consider modeling research strategies and skills with students to engage them in seeking answers to compelling questions. For those teachers using Seesaw, a new update to the photo tool has been added! Now, the camera option in Seesaw can flip around, opening up new opportunities for modeling with your document camera (although you do not need a document camera to access this feature). Consider modeling for students how you might annotate on pen and paper, and either record yourself doing this, or take a simple snapshot with greater ease than ever before! By flipping the camera, any words or symbols that you write will now appear correctly to students. Note that students can also use this camera option in Seesaw to record their own annotations of a text, solving a math problem, and more.

(image courtesy of Seesaw)

Seesaw can also be utilized to help support students while engaging in independent research through websites, databases (such as PebbleGo and TrueFlix), and other curated resources. For example, Seesaw choice boards can help link to PebbleGo, and provide templates and scaffolds to guide our emerging researchers. Check out this sample activity (geared towards primary students) below!

After exploring informational databases, students can use the Seesaw canvas to codify their learning. This could be done through pencil and paper notes that are then uploaded in a click of the button, or typed directly into the canvas using the text tool. Better yet, let students choose which format suits their learning best! Finally, students could share their final thinking within Seesaw, or you could provide other creative options for students to share their inquiries and answers (Adobe Spark, Sway, and Flipgrid come to mind!).

Happy researching, and happy Seesaw-ing!

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