App connects kindergartener to mother on other side of the world

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ATHENS, Ala. - One Athens City School teacher thought outside the box and started using an app to teach the kids in her classroom. But the program has proven to not only teach, but keep parents involved; regardless where they are at the moment.

These kids are using an app called Seesaw. It allows teachers to make-up interactive assignments, like taking pictures of shapes, and outlining them, making learning a little more fun. Then, they post them; showing off videos and pictures of what they’re learning.

“It’s kind of like instagram for the classroom,” said Diane Trout, Kindergarten Teacher.

The cool thing about this app? Their parents see everything that’s posted, and comment back. “If the parents respond with audio, they love hearing the audio,” said Trout. “It feels like a game. It’s not learning to them, even though they are learning.”

But for kindergartener Casey Buskirk, it’s connected her to her mother, who, until recently, was on the other side of the world. “Where does your mom work? Afghanistan,” said Buskirk.

“[Her] Mom couldn’t see her read, mom couldn’t see what she was doing in the classroom,” said Trout.

But now, she can follow along. “She could tell her about it on the phone, but this was a good way to show her what Casey is learning in the classroom.”

“I’d read the comments to her and her face would get all red and she’d just grin,” said Trout.

Casey was a girl of few words, but there was no doubt that she missed her mom while she had been away; and those moments to connect made her feel one thing. “Happy,” said Buskirk.