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 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.

 

How-to: Create ShowMes to help your students with homework

I’ve been talking to teachers around the globe about how they use ShowMe in their class. What I’ve discovered is that there are so many awesome and effective ways to use ShowMe as a tool in education. Today I wanted to highlight the way Ryan Halverson, a middle school math and science teacher at Notre Dame Academy Elementary in Los Angeles, CA, is using ShowMe.

Ryan creates his ShowMe lessons normally in his prep time before class and the whole process takes him about 10 minutes, 15 minutes max. Then, he uploads his lesson to his ShowMe page for all of his classes to see. The goal is for students to have a reference when completing homework at home and to digest the concept at their own pace.

I think it is an excellent way for parents to stay up on what is being taught in class and provide support for their children too!

Follow these steps to use ShowMe the same way Ryan does. We’d love to know how it affects your students’ learning!

  1. Think about what your big idea is. What is the one thing you want your students to take away and remember when it is time to apply the lesson to work? As we learned from JR, the best ShowMes are short digestable nuggets of knowledge
  2. Mentally walk through how you would teach your concept. Jot down some notes on key items you want to mention to create a guide of what your lesson will look like
  3. Get started! Hit record and let the magic begin. We’ve found that successful ShowMes are created in one sitting without hitting the pause button. Teach exactly like you would with a whiteboard in your class!
  4. When you are done, tap stop then title and save your ShowMe. When thinking about a title, try something open that can be useful to the whole community, just like Ryan has done. If you are ready to upload right away, make sure you include a short description of your ShowMe and add tags to it can be easily searched by the ShowMe community. Browse our topics so you can get an idea of how to categorize it!
The added bonus of creating your ShowMes before each lesson? Extra practice to make sure you’re all set for the class period that is about to begin!
 

Building an ePortfolio: add a ShowMe to the mix!

I’ve spoken to many educators about how they might use ShowMe as a tool in their classroom and the idea of using them in ePortfolios and ePubs has come up many times. This is a fantastic use case and one that I hope to see more educators adopting. Portfolios on a whole provide an opportunity for reflection, to demonstrate progress, and to exhibit pride in ones work. Pride, I think, is the most important of the three to a student’s long term education. Pride builds confidence, it creates a hunger for learn more, and it encourages growth. It’s something that is missing from a lot of traditional educational opportunities and we need to inject it back.

That said, why do we need ePortfolios? Simple: the internet is forever, paper is not. An ePortfolio can follow a student from grade to grade, it’s not static like a stack of papers or a binder might be, and it can be easily searched with tags or good ol’ command + F. Best yet, it’s available to whoever you like, no matter their location in the world (everyone’s grandma is on the internet now, and she wants to send your work to her best friend). At the same time it will teach students to instill value in their work and direct their own course of study. As a result, they will also learn how to be better digital citizens and navigate media.
I’ve found a few places to host an ePortfolio like eduBlogs and foliospaces, as well as standard services like google sites and WordPress. I’ve yet to see a sleek timeless and simply designed example so if you know of any, I’d love to collect more resources. Also, if your students are including ShowMes on their ePortfolios, it would be great to see some examples!