Sesame

I have recently shared the app Sesame to the Cube for Teachers database as an assessment tool.

As the website states, Sesame is "the smarter way to communicate, capture, organize, and plan assessment." This 21st century tool provides a unique opportunity for educators to document and assess students' progress. Last year, I was a teacher candidate in the Bachelor of Education program at Brock University. While attending some professional development workshops, I watched a presentation on Sesame to see what it was all about. Initially, I did not know what to expect, but I clearly remember one of my fellow teacher candidates walking out of the Sesame morning presentation stating "it is basically every educators dream." This sparked my attention...
I would like to provide my own insights on this app and why I really believe it is helpful for educators. I have tested out the website and app to try some of its features out and am happy to say that they are both straight forward and user friendly. Here are some of the unique features Sesame has to offer...

First, Sesame allows educators to organize their assessment documentation based on classes and then individual students. It is really easy to add a new group and students to that group! Each student can further be added to multiple groups if need be. A helpful feature to this app is how a students' photo can further be added. I can see this really being useful for educators teaching 5 different classes in the same subject each day!

Second, teachers can develop their own assessment tools such as rubrics, rating scales, and checklists based on specific curriculum expectations. Sesame offers a variety of curriculum to choose from including the Ontario and Alberta curriculum. I believe this feature is great because it will help educators organize their curriculum expectations to ensure they are aligning with assessment practices. I further like how teachers can actually go in and modify their rubrics to make them more personalized. Teachers can then assess students individually or in groups within the actual app. Note, the website is where educators would create their plans and assessment tools that will then show up in the app. The app allows for more mobility when you or your students are trying to take photos or videos of their work. 

Third, teachers and students are able to document their progress throughout the school year through pictures and accompanying comments. Teachers can even take videos of how students are communicating and thinking their ideas. The reason this is so crucial is because formative assessment measures that focus more on students' progress rather than their products are so valued in the 21st century. Educators and administrators realize the rich information that formative assessment measures provide. Furthermore, pedagogical documentation has become even more apparent in Full-Day Kindergarten programs where educators are required to take pictures, document, and display what students are learning about. This app provides such an useful and important tool for educators to document students progress and assess them within the same domain. There is no need to now sort through tones of papers and create intense portfolios with anecdotal notes written all over them. Sesame now allows educators to easily pull up students' portfolios within the app and show the student, their parents, or other educators a chronological digital portfolio of how well they are progressing.

Overall, I believe Sesame is the future of pedagogical documentation. Not only does this app allow teachers to digitally organize photos, videos, and notes about students, but it further ties in the importance of continually assessing and tracking students progress. I highly recommend this app for any educator at any grade level. Please check out the Sesame website and create your own account today! Also check out the video below showcasing a teacher and his thoughts on Sesame! It is a powerful 21st century tool. Also follow @sesamehq on Twitter!

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