Today we have the privilege of talking with Ivona Maric, a math and physics professor in the Cleveland area. She shares our passion for reaching students in a meaningful way and shares, “If I can do it, anyone can, no matter what it is.” She is excited to start expanding her ShowMes past her own classroom and into the world with Courses, Groups, and the Explore feature.
Visit Ivona’s awesome ShowMe Portfolio:
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I have a Bachelor’s in math and physics, and a Master’s in math. I have been a college adjunct instructor since 2007 and have taught at more than ten colleges/universities in the greater Cleveland area. I always enjoyed sciences and explaining math to other students, even while I was in high school. It seemed like second nature and I am very organized and planned ahead that teaching seemed like the right route to take. It has been difficult to find a full time teaching job but I teach for the students, not the money. One interesting thing about me is that I was born in Bosnia (in Europe) and moved to the wonderful USA twenty years ago. I have achieved so much while overcoming new experiences that came with moving to a new country.
What inspires you?
This is a tough question… I would say seeing opportunities that are out there and what steps I can take to make some of them happen. What also inspires me is seeing that students realize they make some things harder than they should be, especially after I speak honestly, in a realistic way with them.
What are some tips you can share with other ShowMe teachers?
Keep the videos simple, use appropriate backgrounds, and minimize graphics used. When I need to have certain things stand out, I use the notebook look, even the yellow lined paper. It subtly prompts them to take notes. Some of my students have said they play my videos while they are on the bus to just listen.
Have an outline of the video on paper and then start creating a few pages before recording. Make sure to minimize noise as well as control any other interruptions, such as unsyncing your iPad from your iPhone so your video doesn’t get interrupted.
I encourage everyone to try ShowMe, for anything. I accidentally found it when I needed something to serve the purpose of creating videos for my students in a simple and affordable way.
What are some of the biggest challenges that teachers face?
I think the biggest challenge the teachers face is soft skills that most students lack. We cannot spend a lot of time teaching students how to take notes, review them, do homework, and study for the exam. Time management is a big key. This is what I have found at the college level to be the case, on top of attendance.
How has technology made a difference for your students?
Many of them find it very helpful but there are some that resist it. Once they see my videos though, they love the flexibility of it and that they can make a request to me and a day later have a video ready to watch, without any need for a login.
When you’re not teaching, what can we find you doing?
Well, you can find me at home answering emails, grading, preparing notes or assessments, and binge watching shows I miss due to my busy schedule. I also enjoy reading but I don’t get a chance to read as often as I’d like.
How has ShowMe played a role in your classroom?
I mention it to my students the first day I meet them and continue to remind them to let me know what they would like me to make a video on. Some of them have used KhanAcademy before and then I show them ShowMe website and they are shocked that they didn’t know about it. It plays an important role for me because it’s easy for me to use and I promote it in all of my classes.
Thank you to Ivona for taking time to share with us about herself and how she helps extend beyond her classroom. Be sure to check out her new ShowMes and upcoming Courses.