Featured User #4: Meet JR Ginex-Orinion

JR Ginex-OrinionMeet JR Ginex-Orinion, one of our original beta testers who has created numerous outstanding chemistry ShowMes. He’s been very busy lately with a happy new addition to his family, so it was great to finally sit down and catch up over Skype!

Visit JR’s awesome ShowMe Portfolio:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I currently teach chemistry at my alma mater in Orange County, California. It was a bit strange at first when I started teaching though since I taught alongside the same teachers who had taught me in high school!

What are some tips you can share with other ShowMe teachers?
Avoid creating ShowMes that are too long – I recommend sticking to 2-4 minutes per lesson. People usually go online to search for specific topics, and you need to maintain the audiences’ attention and segment information so the main message is clear and direct. This is especially true for instructional videos.

Prep the brain by writing the ShowMe topic on the video screen from the start so people know what to expect. Remind the viewer why he or she is watching the lesson.

When you’re recording, make sure you’re in a room that has sound dampeners (ex: curtains). This will greatly affect the quality of the sound recorded.

What are some other cool tech products being used in the classroom right now?
We actually use Google applications quite a bit with the students. It’s an easy way to communicate outside of the classroom and disseminate worksheets and assignments. Doceri is also a great classroom tool, which automatically projects what’s on the iPad onto a large whiteboard screen.

What are your future plans for ShowMe?
I found Showme to be particularly helpful last year during the end-of-year review process, and I will definitely continue using it as a review tool this year. As I continue to move in the direction of flipping the classroom, I hope to eventually implement a 50/50 hybrid instruction curriculum using a combination of instructional videos and on-site teaching.

Right now I’m still brainstorming some new lesson ideas. I might create some ShowMes that help other people produce showMes. I look forward to working with other people to help produce better lessons!

Any closing remarks?
I really hope technology changes the face of education. The tech is out there, and people are finally starting to use it.


InspireMe Contest Highlights (Pt 2)

We met the first batch of InspireMe talent in last week’s blog post – check it out! Part 2 showcases more of the fantastic contest entries along with the creators behind the lessons. We can’t wait to see what’s coming next as we enter the school year in full-swing!

InspireMe Contestants

Terry Woolard
Watch now! The State of New Jersey

The State of New JerseyTell us about yourself
My name is Terry Woolard and I am the Supervisor of Educational Media and Technology K-12 Online Learning. I hold a Masters Degree in both Curriculum and Instruction as well as Information System Management.

What inspires you?
What inspires me is watching the faces of my students light up when they understand something for the first time, when they realize they are able to achieve, succeed, Be Better. I am happily married and the father of five, four boys 16, 14, 8, and 5; and a girl 6.

Brian Davis
Watch now! Gerrymandering

GerrymanderingTell us about yourself
My name is Brian Davis, and this is my 9th year teaching in Memphis City Schools in innercity Memphis, TN. I taught computer literacy to middle school students for five years, and I am currently teaching U.S. Government to 11th and 12th Graders at Whitehaven High School where I also serve as the school webmaster. I completed the process for National Board Certification this past year, and I am waiting to hear whether or not I passed this December. I love using Showme, because it enables me to provide instruction to my students on their own time at their own pace, allowing me to give them more remediation and different learning activities during classtime that was being used for instruction. The ease of getting the videos to the website is a HUGE plus.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by seeing the faces of my students who dreaded Government because it is boring light up when they see that Government is a fascinating topic when it is taught with enthusiasm and a heavy dose of multimedia and technology. Students tell me all the time that they did not want to take Government and they took it only because it is required for graduation, but that they ended up learning more from this class than any other class because it is interactive. This really excites/inspires me.

James Sutton
Watch now! The bloomtrigger project

The Bloomtrigger ProjectTell us about yourself
My passion is in architecture, design, digital concepts and rainforest conservation. This has led me to launch ‘the bloomtrigger project’ as a revolutionary way for people to protect their own part of the rainforest. To discover more check out bloomtrigger.com. Little known facts about me… I’m learning (Brazilian) Portuguese, I keep bees and I’m part bionic (I have a mechanical heart valve).

What inspires you?
Baz Luhrmann “Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.” I agree with Baz Luhrmann on this, I think worrying is pointless. You’re much better spending your energy on thinking up creative solutions for problems rather than worrying about them. This one thing that inspires me why to develop simple, affordable and creative tools to help people to protect rainforest and I think Showme is an excellent example of an empowering educational tool.

Janine Ritter
Watch now! Chain Rule

Chain RuleTell us about yourself
I’m a secondary maths teacher from Brisbane Australia. I was fortunate to attend the ISTE conference this year and this inspired me to produce flip lessons for my math classes. The students view these lessons before my class so I only have to spend a little time at the board and the students have more time to work on questions in class. The students have responded well to the lessons and have told me they have also used them for revision as well.



InspireMe Contest Highlights (Pt 1)

We want to extend a warm thanks to everyone who participated in the InspireMe Contest! We witnessed an incredible amount of talent and we want to highlight some of those fantastic contest entries along with the creators behind the lessons. Of course, there’s still a lot of knowledge to be shared, and we look forward to seeing what’s to come down the pipeline!

InspireMe Contestants

Spencer Leu
Watch now! Compound Interest

Compound Interest ShowMeTell us about yourself
I’m a financial guy (CFP(r) Professional) who enjoys helping people understand personal finance and investing better. I’ve spent over 10 years in the financial services industry and have held roles in service, marketing and sales. My favorite role has always been making financial topics easier to understand and helping people make better financial decisions.

What inspires you?
New concepts in education like the Khan Academy and technology that promotes this type of education like your ShowMe app.

Watch now! Writing a Conclusion

Writing a Conclusion ShowMeTell us about yourself
I am an ESL Instructor at a University in SoCal. I’ve taught ESL overseas, and have taught from pre-k to college level. Because I teach international students from all over the world, at all levels of Second Language Acquisition, my job is full of fun cultural and language challenges! There is never a dull moment.

What inspires you?
My ESL students, of course! They are so brave to come study a new language in a foreign country, so when I make them feel that they can overcome the fear of English, they try very hard to improve their skills. The best ideas for lessons have come from observing them. This quarter I taught English through Social Media and I’ve used ShowMe for many tutorials for students who were absent or needed review. They love it!

Laura Holmgren
Watch now! Stepping Up with ShowMe

Stepping up in ShowMeTell us about yourself
I earned my B.A in English from UC Irvine, a certificate in Web-based Instruction from Simon Frasier University, and a Masters in educational technology from Leslie University. A high school English for twenty-four years in private and independent schools in Southern California, I also coach my school’s fencing team and recently started offering an interdisciplinary, project-based elective course entitled New Media Psychology and Application. In the classroom, I might describe myself as a cross between Jane Eyre and Mary Poppins: a mix of seriousness of purpose and focus with the spirit of play that manifests in the creative use of technology rather than in magic, song, and dance.

What inspires you?
The possibility to make a positive difference in students’ lives if I can engage their interest, spark or fan the desire to learn, and help them surpass their self-imposed limits to achieve personal growth inspires me to give as much to my students as they give to my class. Learning to communicate effectively and, equally important, developing something worthwhile to communicate empowers students to then make positive differences in the world themselves.

Iris Qiu
Watch now! Chinese 上

Shang (Up) in ChineseTell us about yourself
I am currently teaching at 3d Avatar School.  I installed ShowMe when it was still at testing stage.  I did not pay much attention on it at that time.  I was actually inspired by watching my son (7 year old) playing with Showme. He was drawing, talking to himself and laughing. Then  I thought I probably can create some interesting stuff for my students. The first idea came into my mind is about 书房(study room) and 厨房(kitchen) which my students always struggled on. Chinese character 上 is actually my third ShowMe entry. I believe ShowMe has great potential in language teaching.  It is such a great tool for us!



Featured User #3: Meet Pedro A Tamayo

Featured User - Pedro A TamayoMeet Pedro A Tamayo, an economics professor from Madrid. Learn about basic economics concepts in Spanish! ShowMe has truly gone global 🙂

Visit Pedro’s awesome ShowMe Portfolio:

Keep up with Pedro through Twitter, Facebook, Blog

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I teach Economics at the Spanish distance University (UNED), to students of different areas like Social Work, Law, and Public Management. My teaching activity is fully based on e-learning, that’s why I try to select the best tools to develop content for my students. When not working, I like to read novels, watch movies, and try new tech gadgets.

How do you currently use ShowMe?
I’m trying ShowMe as a tool to be used massively next course into an Economics teaching & learning open community, Facebook based, we are designing. Its simplicity to use and to embed, with its powerful explaining capabilities, make it perfect to review complex ideas and to show graphical explanations of economics concepts. And so we will contribute to enrich the open community of ShowMe.

Do you have any advice for someone new to creating a ShowMe lesson?
Try to make it simple, as if you were using a piece of paper to explain a single idea or concept. And make it short, a five minutes recording as much.

What’s the coolest ShowMe you’ve seen (aside from your own, of course)?
I think all ShowMe lessons are cool because each of them has something to explain. I value very much the power of simplicity when explaining something, as if you were in front of a whiteboard into a classroom. If I have to choose someone, I like very much those recorded by kids, because they show a great creativity when explaining something to others or to themself, much more creativity than adults.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges teachers face?
To engage students. It’s a challenge that we can afford using properly new tools, and new approaches, competing with the informal learning they have access to.

Where do you see education technology headed?
I think that education technology and its future development is headed to foster open learning and teaching, and to change the places where we teach in. Learning is no longer only an activity closed into bricks schools or universities, and there are very interesting movements in that way, as the Flipping the Classrom experiences are showing.


Featured User #2: Meet Erica Brown

Featured User - Erica BrownHey everyone! This week we had the opportunity to chat with Erica Brown, an Honors and AP Chemistry teacher in Cape Cod with about 20 years of teaching experience. We love her chemistry ShowMes – be sure to check them out!

Visit Erica’s awesome ShowMe Portfolio: 

You say that it has been awhile since you created a ShowMe, but what can we look forward to once you’re back in the ShowMe game?
I plan on creating some general interest videos like “Why Ice Floats”. I also want to develop some ShowMes for this interactive textbook I’m working on. The students can watch the videos as they go through the curriculum. I really love how showmes can be easily embedded into my personal website.

What are some interesting ShowMes you’ve watched?
I mostly watch chemistry ShowMes. The “First Order of Kinetics” ShowMe was very interesting. However, you need to remember to put yourself in the students’ shoes. The difficulty students might have with ShowMe is that each video concept is very isolated. It would be great to watch lessons in a more organized curriculum/playlist.

Speaking of watching online videos, how do you feel about the flipped classroom concept?
I started assigning videos last year (ex: Khan Academy) for students to watch at home. Some of the more advanced students complained about the videos going too slowly, while other students loved the assignments. I’m actually pushing for more teachers at my school to start using online resources in their curriculum. It’s been an uphill battle so far.

Any future plans for ShowMe?
I want to have students make their own videos for extra credit. On a side note, I also plan on using Skype at night to interact with students. Students are so busy nowadays after school with extracurricular activities!

With school out, what have you been doing with your spare time?
I spent a lot of time this summer at the beach. I also love to garden. It’s actually a nice break from all the electronics to just take a step back and spend some time outside with Mother Nature. The fresh air really helps clears my mind, and you never know where new inspiration may strike!


Featured User #1: Meet Joe Erpelding

Featured User - Joe ErpeldingWe’re excited to present today our first ShowMe Featured User! Meet Joe Erpelding, a principal/teacher in California who has created several awesome math ShowMes including one of our personal favorites, Compare and Order Whole Numbers.

Visit Joe’s awesome ShowMe Portfolio: http://www.showmeapp.com/user5377

Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I’m a principal at an elementary school in California. I also teach math there.

How are you and the teachers at your school using ShowMe?
I really like the idea of having two people talk to each other during a ShowMe. My son is usually with me in my videos, and he and I can talk about common misconceptions people have. Right now we’ve only made videos about math, but we hope to create some science lessons soon.

Other teachers at our school plan on using ShowMe to implement a partially flipped classroom starting next year. The lessons will be level specific instead of grade specific. We’ll start pushing out more content around August in preparation for school.

What’s the coolest ShowMe you’ve seen?
I’ve seen a lot of math ones, but I get really excited about science ones. I also really liked the sports strategy ShowMes.