Featured Application: Homework Help & Home Extensions

 

“When teachers design homework to meet specific purposes and goals, more students complete their homework and benefit from the results” – Epstein & Van Voorhis

 

Effective educators are always looking for ways to bridge the gap between school and home.  However there can always be challenges for extending learning beyond the school day.  Whether students need extra support or parents don’t understand the content being taught, meaningfully learning outside the classroom can prove difficult at home, when the teacher is nowhere to be found.

Until ShowMe!  Now every student and their families can have access to their teacher anytime, anywhere.  Using technology to enhance learning isn’t just for the flipped classroom or advanced tech-happy teachers.  One of my favorite ShowMe applications can be used in any classroom by any teacher, no matter how tech savvy you are.  

“Teachers cannot follow students home, so it is important that parents are provided with the tools to successfully be involved with their children’s homework.” – Nicole Schrat Carr

 

Common Core can leave parents wondering, “Whaaaaat”, struggling to understand new ways to solve problems without the traditional algorithm.  It can also leave students frustrated, saying, “But that’s not how Mrs. Smith taught us!”  If you are a parent, I’m sure you’ve felt this frustration too, thinking Mrs. Smith might be a little crazy.  Here is an example of a ShowMe made just for parents, explaining the importance and strategies of CCSS in a division problem.  

Including parents in student learning is one way to effectively bridge the home-school gap, but taking personal responsibility and feeling the ping of succeeding on their own is also important for student growth.  ShowMes provide extra support and home extensions, giving every student the opportunity to have a teacher available at any time.


“Homework that students can’t do without help is not good homework; students are discouraged when they are unable to complete homework on their own” – Cathy Vatterott, ASCD author

Every student needs extra help at times, or even differentiated support.  ShowMe provides extensions and aid, or even just to see Mrs. Smith show one more example.  Here is a ShowMe created for students to work side by side with the teacher on a difficult math problem.  The teacher completes an example, then encourages students to try the next one on their own.  This helpful, yet independent support, allows students to take control of their own learning, get help when they need it, and apply it on their own.

There are many strategies to use Homework Help with ShowMe; here are 2 simple and easy ways.  Click on each link to watch a ShowMe tutorial about each tool:

  1. Create a QR code to put directly on the homework page
  2. Link the ShowMe to your teacher website

Resources:

References:

  • Carr, N. S. (2013). Increasing the Effectiveness of Homework for All Learners in the Inclusive Classroom. School Community Journal, 23(1), 169-182.
  • Epstein, M. H., Polloway, E. A., Foley, R. M., & Patton, J. R. (1993). Homework: A comparison of teachers’ and parents’ perception of the problems experienced by students identified as having behavioral disorders, learning disabilities, or no disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 14(5), 40–50.
  • Vatterott, C. (2010). Five hallmarks of good homework. Educational Leadership, 68(1), 10–15.
 

Share. Involve. Inspire: Introducing Courses and Paid ShowMes

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”  – Benjamin Franklin

Here at ShowMe, we are constantly striving to create the best tools for teachers and students alike to immerse themselves in learning. Our community of over one million educators has proven that personalized, interactive lessons created and taught on ShowMe can inspire in new, profound ways.

Today, we are excited to announce even more opportunities for innovative education through the ShowMe app and community.

Courses
Since the launch of ShowMe, we have received numerous requests for a way to group multiple lessons on the same subject into one comprehensive course. Today, we make that feedback a reality.

To access Courses, start by updating ShowMe to the latest version on iTunes.
Once completed, navigate to My ShowMes and then to Courses.

photo 5-1

To create a course either search by name or navigate to a creator’s profile, and then Courses.

photo 5-1

In addition to creating your own Courses, you can also follow those made by other educators. To do this, head to your selected ShowMe profile and click Courses.

Paid ShowMes
We are also thrilled to introduce Paid ShowMes!

photo 5-1

Educators can now earn extra income by selling their premium lessons to the ShowMe community. Paid ShowMes cost only $1.99 from which $1.00 goes to the instructor.

In the near future, you will also be able to sell courses, which will begin at $9.99.

We would love to hear your feedback on the latest update! Be sure to share your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook or email us at support@showme.com

 

How-to: Use ShowMe for in class presentations!

Today’s blog post is written by Julia Wilson, our awesome community intern, who you will be seeing more of on the blog! 

Have Students use ShowMe as a Replacement for In-Class Presentations

I’ve always been a fan of in-class presentations. From my experience, students tend to put more effort into something when they know it will be shared publicly with classmates. They also tend to gain a stronger grasp of the material when they are required to present it in their own words.
In Short: the students work a little harder and learn a little better.

Now think of ShowMe as a twist on the typical class presentation method. The students are still required to work together, research a topic, and practice public speaking skills while creating a well thought out presentation. But instead of having students preform in-class presentations, break the students into groups and have them use ShowMe to create a presentation instead.

Benefits:

1. Save class time. Student presentations are time consuming and it can be difficult to keep the attention of all students while their classmates present. If each group of students is given an iPad, ShowMe can save valuable class time because each group can create their presentation at the same time.

2. A Great assessment method. After the students upload their ShowMe you will be able to go back and watch the presentation at a convenient time for you. If you wanted the presentations to count as a graded assessment, you could easily go back and watch each ShowMe more than once. (Instead of racing to fill out a rubric for students while they present in-class.)

3. Easy Sharing. It is really simple to share a ShowMe, you can even embed the videos onto your school website! Did one group really create an exceptional lesson? You now will be able to share any of the presentations with other students, teachers and parents as often as you’d like.

So the next time you are considering in-class presentations I challenge you to have your students use ShowMe instead. Be sure to let us know how it works in your classroom!

 

How to: Use ShowMe with Speech and Language Learners [Part 2]

Yesterday’s post about using ShowMe with speech and language learners is actually part of a longer series of How-tos I’m going to write. Of all the ways we imagined people using ShowMe, hearing about how it has helped students with learning and speech differences is the most powerful and moving to me. I think for educators in this field there is something awesome about ShowMe because it allows for personalized lessons that foster independence and reflection. For students who don’t have these resources at their fingertips, I’m proud that many of these lessons have been uploaded to the community for anyone to learn from!

This how-to idea comes directing from Gailyn Ryan in Minnesota. Gailyn works in an elementary school and is always coming up with new innovative ways for special education teachers to help students. Every year incoming students focus a good chunk of time learning how to write their name. However, with many students in a class it can be hard to differentiate for every one, which is where ShowMe comes to the rescue! This is how Gailyn changed the way the lesson was taught:

  1. Create a new ShowMe
  2. Tap record, pick your pen color and start writing the name of the student across the screen.
  3. While you are writing each letter, explain how you are doing it (“A” start at the top and make a line to the bottom…”) Make sure to pause after each letter to say it out loud. Depending on the abilities of your students you might want to say the sound the letter makes too.
  4. When you are done writing, say the whole name out loud and then hit stop. Save your ShowMe and upload it.
  5. Have your student sit in front of the iPad or the computer with a paper and pen. Push play on the video player
  6. While your student is watching, they should be following along on their paper mirroring what you are doing in the ShowMe. They can stop, pause, rewind or re-play as many times as they’d like until they are confident in their new skill.
As with yesterday’s ShowMe, its important to have this ShowMe readily available on the internet for your student to watch at home or share with others! This lesson can definitely be adapted for many other writing lessons–names are just the start!

 

 

How-to: Use ShowMe for speech and language learning [Part 1]

I’m super appreciative of everyone who emails and tweets all of the awesome ways that they’ve been using ShowMe. Today’s How-to was inspired Dana Hagan, a speech + language pathologist in Deer Park, NY who’s class I had the privilege of observing last week.

In Dana’s class, the 5th graders were learning about the Gold Rush in 1848. Using ShowMe with her group of 3 students, she had

  1. Choose an image from Safari that you’d like to discuss. Hold your finger down on it then tap Save Image when the button appears. This will save it to your image library. If you already have an image cued up, skip this step!
  2. Open a new ShowMe and write a sentence about what you and your students will be discussing
  3. Tap record and read it out loud. Clear the screen when you’ve finished this.
  4. Add the image from the photo library that you prepared at the beginning of the lesson. For Dana, this was a map of the United States from around 1849.
  5. Let each student pick a color and interact with the map while answering questions. For Dana, this was asking them to identify locations on the map that were significant to the Gold Rush.
  6. When you are finished, hit Stop. Take the time now to play back the ShowMe to your students and ask them to reflect on what they just made. Perhaps they have goals with speech and language that they can think about while they watch.
  7. Lastly, make sure you upload your ShowMe by hitting the Upload button. Not only will the lesson help other learners in the ShowMe community but it will also be helpful for your own students to re-watch their ShowMe, add it to their digital portfolios and proudly share with others!
Send the lessons you creating using Dana’s method our way, we’d love to see them!
 

How-to: Use ShowMe as a center in the classroom

On one of the school visits that San and I have been taking lately we visited a 9th grade Algebra classroom to learn more about the types of learning taking place on a daily basis. Our wonderful hosts at FDR High School were Brian Halling and Arisa King, who welcomed us enthusiastically to watch how they used ShowMe with their students.

Like many schools out there, FDR only has one iPad in each math classroom. However, Brian and Anita didn’t let the scarcity of iPads limit them, instead they showed us how they use ShowMe as part of centers and group work. How cool! Here are instructions for you to adapt to use ShowMe as part of center time in your classroom!

  1. Create or find a ShowMe on your iPad about a short concept that you want your students to learn about in class. Don’t forget to upload it to the site or send them the link so they can watch it at home after class!
  2. When its time for centers or group work, break up your class into small groups. Depending on the size of your class you could have more, but groups of about 3-5 students should work
  3. At the ShowMe center, have students watch the lesson you created. Allow time for them to watch it a few times, and answer questions about what they are learning as they go along.
  4. Once they’ve completed watching the lesson you’ve assigned, have them create their own ShowMe of what they just learned and save it for e-portfolios, to aid in future assignments or for them to show off to their friends and family!
Has anyone tried using ShowMe in centers for their class?
 

How-to: Let your students take the lead

We’ve had loads of teachers creating ShowMes over the past several months and they are really awesome ones at that. Lately however, I have been hearing about more teachers putting iPads in the hands of their students which I think is an excellent idea. Teaching a concept or process is a great way to demonstrate understanding! Here are a few ways I’ve seen ShowMe being used by students:

  • Keeping it Simple: Students create lessons around concepts being learned in class and share publicly through the ShowMe website or a class blog. This is a great way to show your students that their teachings can have a global reach!
  • Interactive Test: During a test, sometimes it can be difficult to assess a students learning or the choices they made to solve a problem. Using iPads and ShowMe to have them answer a question can be a great way to hear and see all of their thinking.
  • Collaborative review: One school in Minnesota was using ShowMe to create study review lessons for an upcoming test. The students worked in pairs to teach sections of the review and then were responsible for watching and grading the other sections with a class designed rubric. Creative and reflective!
  • Parent-Teacher conferences: This one is just an added bonus that can used after any of the above. Watching a ShowMe in a parent-teacher conference can give great insight into where a student is at in his or her learning process.
Do you have more ways for students to use ShowMe in class?
 

How-to: Use ShowMe with Edmodo!

Many teachers have asked how to use ShowMe in conjunction with their Edmodo page–what a great idea! Like I mentioned Ryan was doing, ShowMe is a great way to create a lesson that can help your students when you are not around. Through posting on Edmodo, you can easily communicate with your students. I spoke to one teacher, Sarah Burson, who says she likes to create ShowMes on the fly and submit them through the site whenever students ask for help after school. To do the same for your class or fellow students, follow these easy steps:

  1. Visit ShowMe and copy the embed code of the lesson you would like to share. You can find this by hovering over the video player until the word “embed” appears. Copying the url will also work too.
  2. Login to Edmodo.
  3. Click on “Library” at the top of the screen
  4. Click on “Add to library” in the top left of that screen.
  5. Select “links” and paste in the embed link or the original link for the ShowMe
  6. Title your link and you’re done!
Have questions about how you can use ShowMe? Send me an email at kika@showme.com
 

How-to: Use ShowMe with your class blog

I love blogs. They help to satiate my endless quest for knowledge and I never worry about losing an article or a page because I can track them with my handy Google Reader. I’ve also discovered that blogs are an excellent tool for creating a living portfolio of classroom learning. Instead keeping that info locked away, blogs let your teaching stay current and helps your students exhibit pride in work that is being created for everyone to see.

Many teachers have been using ShowMe on their class blogs in a few different ways,

  • Post a ShowMe lesson of what was taught in class for parents to see and for students to use as a reference when completing homework. Also a great resource for students that are absent from class!
  • Use your blog to help flip parts of your classroom. Create an engaging video that will let students confidently learn something new at home and come to class the next day to apply that knowledge.
  • Blogs are also great for student portfolios. Put ShowMe in the hands of your students for an assignment or to create lessons together. When you’ve uploaded your lessons, embed them on your students’ blogs so they can have an accessible way to view their work that is easily shared. It also won’t go missing over the summer!
So, how do you get ShowMe on your class blog? Well, follow these steps to get you there:
  1. Create your ShowMe! Add images, interesting antecdotes and relevant information. Make it awesome!
  2. Save your ShowMe, title it, and add important tags so it can be categorized on the site. The upload it
  3. Navigate to your ShowMes page and click on “embed” in the top right corner of the video player. Copy this text.
  4. Open the blog post you are writing. There will be a tab in the top right of the text boxt that says HTML. Click that
  5. Paste the link you copied earlier where you want it to appear in your writing.
  6. You’re done!
 

How-to ShowMe: A guest post by Nishi Kumar

This How-to ShowMe was originally published on TFAnet, the internal network for all Teach For America corps members and alumni. This past fall, after a successful partnership with Apple, each of the 9000+ corps members received an iPad for classroom use. Nishi Kumar, a valuable TFA educator and ShowMe community member wrote up her experiences with ShowMe and how it is assisting her in the classroom. Thanks Nishi!

I’m sure every teacher would embrace the ability to clone themselves. How else can you teach a lesson, redirect wayward students, hold high behavior expectations, support strugglers, and push high achievers all at the same time?

Although technology hasn’t come that far (yet), there is an iPad app I have started to use that has vastly increased my effectiveness in the classroom. Others have mentioned it, but I wanted to share how I use ShowMe to run a tighter, cleaner lesson.

ShowMe is a free application that works like an interactive whiteboard—you can record yourself speaking while explaining examples, solving equations, showing pictures or text, or doing a model/think-aloud. I know other teachers have been using ShowMe to record lessons for students to use at home on their own computers, but I have actually been using ShowMe to teach my classes the daily lesson. Every night, I record my intro to new material using ShowMe (I teach math so this usually involves problem-solving, procedures, or examples) and then upload it to the ShowMe website. Then in class, I can play the video I created for my students on the projector while they complete their guided notes tailored to the video.

The cool part is that while I am teaching (via ShowMe), I am also able to walk around the classroom, correct behavior, help some of my lower-level leaners, and monitor class progress. Voila! It’s like having two of me! And if students miss part of the lesson or the class, they can easily access the video on their own and catch-up.

A couple other benefits of ShowMe: since I can record my lessons the night before with my lesson plans in front of me, I never make mistakes or have to correct myself. My lessons aren’t perfect, but they are much better than they used to be. By 6th period, my voice used to be raspy, my brain fuzzy, and I would often forget to say something or have to back-track. ShowMe has made my instruction consistent and error-free.

A couple things to watch out for—you can’t rewind in ShowMe yet, although you can pause, so if you make a mistake while recording you have to delete the video and start over. Also, while my students were initially engaged by the idea that I somehow made the “video person” sound just like me, after a few weeks of ShowMes the initial novelty is beginning to fade. I’ve been trying out new engagement techniques (this week’s was counting how many times they spotted Casper the friendly ghost on the screen during the lesson), but I would be interested to see what creative ideas others have!

I challenge anyone reading this to try doing a lesson using ShowMe and see how they can use it in their own classrooms. Especially for those of us with large classes and many different periods, technology like this really can be the saving grace. At least until personal cloning machines come on the market.