Safe and Flexible Schoolwide Messaging with Seesaw

We all know that communication between administrators, teachers, parents, and students builds a positive environment to support learning. Seesaw has updated messaging with trust, privacy and safety in mind. All Elkhart elementary buildings will have access to this new messaging beginning in May. 

You will notice that your messaging looks different. Watch this short six minute video for an overview. 

Messages is the new safe and flexible schoolwide messaging tool in Seesaw. Messages is designed to be used by all of our users – administrators, teachers, students, and families.

  • Administrators can send messages to fellow admin, teachers, students, and family members within their school (or any combination of the above in a group conversation!). If an admin needs to send an announcement to a large group of users, they can do so by tapping ‘Add Classes’ and sending messages to an entire class or multiple classes by “audience” (teachers, students, and/or family members). 
  • Teachers can message any student(s) and/or family member(s) from any class at their school, as well as other teachers (including those who do not have their own classes) and admin. Teachers can also message any of the classes they teach. 
  • Family members can initiate messages with teachers, admins, and family members connected to the same student, and can message multiple people in the same conversation (e.g. two family members or other co-teachers).
  • Students can ONLY start conversations with the teachers in their classes. Students cannot initiate messages with any other account type, including other students. Students can reply to group chats with other students that were initiated by the teacher.  (Watch the linked video above for more info.) Students are not able to reply to announcements.

In addition to expanded flexibility for who can send messages to whom, there are also two different conversation types when initiating messages to two or more conversation recipients:

  • Announcements: When initiating a message to two or more participants, Admin and Teachers can choose to send an announcement that only they can send messages to. Recipients are not able to reply to announcements.
  • Group chat mode: When initiating a message to two or more participants, Admin and Teachers can choose that all replies to a message be visible and all recipients can reply in the conversation.

The new messaging features a new “read” status for everyone.  If you want to delay when a message shows you have read it, you will want to ensure that email notifications are enabled so that you will also receive the message in your email. By reading it in your email, not in Seesaw, the message does not show “read” in Seesaw messages.

For example: a parent sends you a message on Monday at 7pm. You may have read it, but don’t reply until Tuesday during your prep. The parent, however, sees you read it at 7pm Monday and sees no response from you. Avoid this with email notifications and reading messages through your email during off hours. Email notifications will only send message notifications. You will not be notified about every activity submitted. Here is how you check to see if email notifications are enabled:

  1. Click on your name in the top left corner within Seesaw
  2. Tap the gear icon
  3. Choose account settings
  4. Scroll down to class notifications. Be sure the toggle appears blue next to email notifications.

Last, have everyone update the Seesaw app on iPads by going to Self Service and tapping “reinstall” for Seesaw. 

Want to show your students how to manage and use the new Seesaw messaging? Share this video!

You are now ready for the newly updated Seesaw messaging!

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