Tips for using the CUHAL Seesaw Manual, and Tech Broadly [part 1]

The purpose of this book is to provide guidance to people navigating the online education platform, Seesaw, which was adopted by many primary and elementary schools during the coronavirus pandemic. This manual was produced by the CommUnity Health Action Lab through a partnership with the Iowa City Community School District and the University of Iowa. It was created using ethnographic research methods with affected community members and it is founded in technology adoption theory and supportive communication literature. CUHAL publishes resources as soon as the first draft is ready and updates in real time. This means that we plan to update it frequently and add/edit content as we get feedback. Our goal is to get this material to the community as quickly as possible at no cost, which means no editors and we appreciate your patience. All of the content is designed with examples from the Iowa City Community School District, but we have added suggestions for how to get to the same type of information for your school district (when applicable). We appreciate your patience with the process.

The March 2021 Version of the Seesaw Manual covers the following:

  • – A basic orientation to CUAHL publications and the manual
  • – A basic orientation to technology
  • – How to get Internet/ get online
  • – How to connect a device to the Internet (Chromebook, PC, Mac, Apple and Android tablets)
  • – How to get to and navigate Clever and the Clever Badge
  • – An overview of Seesaw including an icon glossary
  • – How-to instructions for the calendar, the weekly schedule, and assignments (activities)
  • – Detailed step-by-step instructions for assignments: finding them, figuring out how to complete them, saving drafts, submission, and review

All chapters include images to aid the step-by-step instructions.

These resources are frequently under construction or being updated, but are published as soon as possible for immediate community use. We appreciate your patience with the process and any blunders we may make.

One thing that the CommUnity Health Action Lab does is produce free, evidence-based resources that are grounded in theory. Lab co-director Dr. Magsamen-Conrad guided the production of this manual. “Dr. MC” is one of the most well-respected researchers in the country working at the intersection of community engagement and communication. In one of her previous projects, she spent more than five years on a multi-generational technology training project where she began to develop concepts related to technological capital, digital privilege, and the digital divide. This book is written for individuals who, through no fault of their own, may be “technologically undercapitalized.” Many people who write about how to use technology enjoy a level of “digital privilege” that makes it hard for them to realize that they may have started an explanation using elements of “technological capital” that are not universally understood. The authors have taken care to peel back instructions and explanations so that this manual is understandable at all levels. You may find explanations that you do not really need – that’s cool. Bask in that digital privilege and know that the text is there for others who aren’t as lucky as you are.


Surviving Seesaw – You got this! Copyright © by Kate Magsamen-Conrad. All Rights Reserved.

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