A 100°F (38°C)-warm Hello from Abu Dhabi

One morning, Cynthia popped in my cubicle and said “Hey, look what I’ve found”. Since she had all her kids grown up, unlike me, with a 5-year-old-daughter sticking to me until bedtime, she had more time than me finding interesting gadgets in the Internet. With this in mind, I turned to my American colleague with envy, “What is it this time?”. That was the moment I met ShowMe.

That night, I did not sleep until I finished my first four videos. I was so excited that I could not go to bed before uploading the links to my course “web”site, which literally had webs all over. And after a couple of hours of sleep, I rushed to school and introduced ShowMe to my students. My course website came alive as I shot more videos and uploaded links, announcements and other materials. And in one-and-a-half month time, I had a total of 17 thousand hits for my 30+ videos.

This is not a success story, or I am not trying to show off, as I still could not be able to show a significant increase in the students’ marks. Yet, I think, this is not the only way I can tell the change in my students. Some of my students, who hadn’t scored more than 10% in the past exams, got significantly higher marks from the last exam. The level of noise in my classes dropped, and mostly replaced with the “academic noise”; my students started discussing the videos, or asking solutions to the problems, etc. Students were also able to adjust their pace in working on the course material, which they liked so far.

I certainly had problems and failures, too. Some of my students completed most of the videos, but they could not succeed in the last final. Some of them could not complete the core videos, hence they were not ready to take the final, and they failed. As a teacher of 93 students in 4 sections with 28-hours-a-week load, I could not be able to follow all my students’ progress promptly and take action accordingly.

But I accept this as a warm-up session. Now that I am familiar with ShowMe and I have explored the do’s and dont’s of ShowMe in the class, I am ready to use it more efficiently. Starting today, I will share my humble experience with you, and search for answers to questions that arise while using this awesome application. I hope I may initiate exchange of ideas, or even a brainstorming, which may improve us in our profession. It may be interesting for you to follow posts of a Turkish math teacher in Abu Dhabi, who tries to teach Algebra to the grand-grandsons of the inventors of Algebra. Or… er… maybe not. Anyway, I will post here for some time, thanks to Kika.

NEXT: How I use ShowMe in my teaching?