How to use Google Apps or Google Drive with Seesaw on the web

Teachers and students using Seesaw on the web can add work created in Google apps like Docs, Slides, or Sheets directly into Seesaw portfolios! For information on using Google Drive on mobile, view our Help Center article here.

There are two options to add work from Google Apps: 

Link to Google FilesIf you want students to be able to access Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Drawings, Google Form, videos, or other Files in Google Drive, you can add a link to those files into a post, activity example, or template or message.

1. Tap the Link icon and paste in a link to the Google file. Students will need to be logged into their Google account to access the Google links or the file permissions need to be set to "anyone with the link can view."    

Upload Google Files: If you want students to annotate on top of a Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets, Google Drawings, you can upload to those files into a post, activity example or template or message.

  • Seesaw will convert your file into a series of annotatable pages.
  • Students will also able to access a link back to the original file  as a PDF and in Google.
  • Families will be able to view these files in their child’s journal even if they don’t have access to Google apps or access to Google Drive. 

How to Upload a Google File

  1. Tap the green +Add button to add a new post. 
  2. Tap Upload
  3. Tap Select from Google Drive.You will need to sign in to your Google account before you can browse files in your Google Drive.
  4. Select a file. If the file can be added into Seesaw, the Select button will turn blue.


You will be taken to Seesaw's annotation canvas. 

  • Free users can upload 1-20 pages of a Google item or PDF and add a voice or text caption. 
  • Seesaw for Schools users and users previewing Seesaw's Premium Features can upload 1-20 pages of a Google item or PDF and use all creative tools on all of the pages.


Troubleshooting: I added My Google File and now students can't move anything
When you upload a file from Google Drive into Seesaw, we don’t retain all of the interactable elements. We flatten the slide and then you can add more things in Seesaw. If you don't like this, you have two options.

Option 1:  Import your file using the steps above, then remake the parts the you want to be interactable in Seesaw using Seesaw’s tools.

Option 2: Use the Link tool to link to the file in Google directly and have the kids do the work in Google (instead of importing the pages into Seesaw via the Upload tool). Students will do their work in Google and when they’re done, they can either link to their file in Google Drive via the Link tool or upload their completed response in Seesaw via the Upload tool. If you add /template/preview to the end of your Google Docs or Slides URL, Google will show a button that asks students to make a copy of the file before doing their own work on it.


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