Featured user #5: Meet Mark Herring

Meet Mark Herring, one of our favourite educators from New Zealand! Mark has been a big fan of ShowMe from the start and is adding it to his tool box so he can continue doing innovative things in this classroom. Way to go Mark!

Visit Mark’s excellent ShowMe portfolio, complete with examples of student work!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m the Assistant Principal at Myross Bush School in Invercargill.  We’re a fantastic rural school with 170 students and an incredibly supportive community.  I’m also a classroom teacher of 27 10 and 11 year olds.  That’s Year 5/6 in New Zealand terms.  I’ve been teaching for 6 years and at the start of the year I was an ICT Facilitator for a local cluster of schools, here in Southland. 

I’m also a big outdoors fan.  I’m into running, mountain biking and have I’ve just reignited a love for skiing which is a bonus of living down here in the south.

How do you use ShowMe?

I’ve been using ShowMe to create videos by students and myself.  At the moment it’s mostly been to consolidate some learning that has occured or to help students grasp a concept when I’m not around.  I’ve been looking into ways I can encourage students to take more responsibility for their learning  – seeking the skills and answers they for themselves without relying on the learning being ‘spoon-fed’ to them.   ShowMe has allowed me to create a teachable moment for them whereever and whenever.  Even at home if they are that motivated and lots of them are.  I’m also looking into how I can use ShowMe to record student reflection on their learning, especially because the videos are so easy to embed into their student blogs.

What’s the coolest ShowMe you’ve seen (aside from your own)?

The best ShowMe I remember was one created by a student here in New Zealand in a classroom run by Stephen Baker (@palmyteacher).  He put me onto ShowMe.  I saw the power of student voice and using that tried and true method of having someone teach someone else something to make sure they have really understood the concept.

What advice do you for someone new to creating a ShowMe lesson?

Just have a go and don’t be embarrased to put yourself out there.  Teachers can be quite shy about having their colleagues see them teaching and a showme vid can be seen by lots of them.  Also, I’ve been amazed at how quick the students pick it up.  They’re a lot faster at mastering a new technology so I’d just let them at it!

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges for teachers?

I’m concerned a the political meddleing that is happening world wide.  I think there are lots of politicians who are listening to some ‘experts’ about how schools should be run and, in the process, missing the rea; essence of what a rounded / holistic education is all about.  I hope that we, as a profession will continue to have the courage to stand up for our convictions and always put our students first in our decision making.

Where do you see education technology headed?

I’m excited where technology is taking us.  I’ve been passionate about personalised learning for sometime and have see the power and potential for our students.  It’s amazing to see them grow in confidence and enthusiasm for being in control of their learning.  I had a student tell me last week that our class doesn’t feel like school anymore!  That’s really encouraging to me cause when I was at school I was pretty bored most of the time.  Any technology that empowers us, inspires us and gives us the flexibility to create our own learning journey is a great thing – just like ShowMe.  I’m looking ahead to seeing what we know as traditional school continuing to break us out of the four walls mentality that we’ve had since the industrial revolution!  I think the change has only just started.  I hope we’re bracing ourselves!