Flipping your Classroom with the Dynamic Duo: Showbie & ShowMe

Take a moment and think back to when you were in school. Picture your teacher standing at the front of the room teaching you a concept up on the board. You’re following along, maybe taking a note or two, and then your mind starts to drift. You start thinking about the soccer game you had the night before, or something that a friend said. You zone back in and realize that you’ve missed a chunk of the lesson.

 

ShowMe of the Week: Understanding the Positive and the Negative Space

Different words can be defined in various ways depending on people’s mentality and approaches. For example the word positive is always associated with good and beneficial approaches of an event or an object, while the word negative has the opposite definition.
In a ShowMe video called “Positive and Negative Space” Nikkie Milner explains the idea of positive and negative space in arts. In arts the positive space is the actual object itself, while the negative space is the background of an object. One should have the ability to distinguish the main focus of an object and its outer space. This technique will make the process of distinguishing the positive and the negative spaces of any object much easier. It gives an opportunity to have a wide range of mind and to be more creative in the entertaining world of art!

 


 

Announcing ShowMe 3.0!

We are so excited to announce the release of the newest version of ShowMe! In this version it becomes easier than ever before to follow new people, discover great content, and watch ShowMes easily.

Big Changes:

  • The Look: Unlike older versions, We now have 3 columns at the top of the page. Activity, Explore and My ShowMes.
  • Create an Account: When you create a new account we now ask that you follow at least one topic. New users automatically follow a few of our favorite users so you can see awesome content in your activity feed from day one.
  • Facebook Integration: You can now add ShowMe to your Facebook timeline! Let your friends know when you create a new ShowMe or like a lesson.
  • Easier to upload and add topics: It is now easier than ever to share your ShowMes publicly and include topics!
The Look:

There are now three different sections in ShowMe. Activity, Explore and My ShowMes. You can always create a ShowMe by selecting the button in the top right corner of the app. You can edit your profile or log out of your account by selecting your name in the top left corner of the app.

Activity: The activity page lists the most recent activity taken by the people you follow on ShowMe. You’ll know if someone you follow creates a new ShowMe or likes another user’s lesson.

Explore: This is where Search is permanently located. You can also peruse Featured ShowMes and Featured Users, chosen for their exceptional content, by our staff. Or you can click on a topic image to browse what that topic has to offer.

My ShowMes: This page is where all of your ShowMes (on iPad and uploaded to web) are located. On the top of the page you can edit your profile description. Above your ShowMes you will several options. You can view ShowMes on your iPad, on the web and manage them by uploading or sharing with others. You can see the people you follow, the topics you follow and ShowMe’s you’ve liked in the past.

Create an Account:
Now when creating an account you are asked to follow a few topics. With this information we compile a list of stand-out users that create awesome content for you to follow! You can also create an account using information from facebook or twitter.

Optional Facebook Integration:
Now you can automatically share ShowMes you’ve recently watched or created on your Facebook timeline. The first time you login it will ask you if you’d like to integrate. If you are interested in integrating later, simply login to your account on the website (not the app), hover over you name and select “settings”. There you will see the option to activate ShowMe integration on your timeline!

Easier to Upload ShowMes and Add Topics:
We’ve made it easier to add topics with topic buttons listed for some more popular topic choices. After you create a ShowMe you are automatically sent to upload, making the process more streamlined. To share a ShowMe to twitter or facebook simply click the their corresponding gray icon. To upload the ShowMe privately, simply click the small lock on the left side of the box.

After you update the app, let us know how you like it by sharing ideas, feedback, or questions!

 

Friday Round Up 6/8/2012

7 Habits of Highly Effective Tech-leading Principals
THE Journal recently surveyed school principals across the country, asking them what attributes a principal should demonstrate when striving to effectively lead technology implementation in their schools. They compiled the seven most frequently mentioned attributes along with comments from three effective technology leaders that successfully implemented technology in their schools. This list includes some stand out ideas and discusses the value of creating an atmosphere that inspires innovation, the importance of fostering collaboration in your school, and being open to new ideas.
Way Beyond Bake Sales: The $1 Million PTA
In recent years the PTA at several public schools in more affluent areas of New York city have have raised close to one million dollars per school year for their school. Parents spend this money on technology in the classroom, resource teachers, healthy lunch options for students, and most importantly programs in the arts and after school activities that have been hit especially hard by budget cuts in recent years. Over the past five years New York City has cut school budgets by an average of 13.7% While it is astounding how much money some PTA’s were able to raise, the main takeaway I have from this article is how many schools that aren’t able to receive this type of funding. This means these schools continue to be understaffed, fall behind technologically, and can’t always provide activities and healthy lunches for their students. In a public school system, why should it be up to parents to provide quality learning conditions for students?

‘Why’ Questions Play Big Role in Early Learning
In the new book Trusting What You’re Told, Harvard Education professor Paul L. Harris questions the longstanding idea that children should be self learners. He focuses on the importance of toddlers asking “why” questions at a young age, and how children are not only asking questions for attention, they are actually attempting to grasp a clear picture in their mind about issues they do not understand. Harris also studies the impact of a mother’s education has on the inquisitiveness of a her child, and why children trust their parents.

Is Education a Girl Thing?
In this opt-ed article several questions are addressed. How does gender impact the profession of teaching? In an industry with a higher percentage of women than men, why is it that men make up the majority of policy and produce most of the media surrounding education? How would things change if more women were in control of education policy, philosophy and practice?

 

ShowMe of the Week: Greenhouse Effect

Thanks to Sharon Churchwell for this fantastic ShowMe! It provides a comprehensive overview of how we get carbon dioxide and methane gas into our atmosphere and how they help warm our planet. This also explains (as the title claims) the greenhouse effect and the concept of global warming!

 

My humble experience

I still remember my first lesson introducing ShowMe to my students. I had concerns; would students be able to connect to the website and watch the videos, would they like the videos, would they enjoy working on the subject via their laptops, etc. I was really excited;  this was my first time that I integrated this much of technology in my math lessons. Apart from the interactive whiteboard and the projector, which I displayed students’ progress, I had my Mac and my IPad to prepare not only worksheets, quizzes, etc, but videos! Also, I would not teach the whole time in my lessons anymore. Rather, I would have mini teaching sessions of 10-15 minutes for introduction and/or recalling purposes only, and then walk around students to check their progress and answer their questions; that was my dream.

laptops on, heads down, my students are working on the subject

If dreams match 100% with reality, we would not call them dreams. Generally speaking, what I planned just worked, I should admit. Students visited my website on their Macs, clicked on the links and watched the videos, and after understanding the subject, solved the questions / problems in the videos, and then showed their answers to me, and I marked them after checking. But there were about twenty of them, each calling me to ask a particular question about the subject, or to say that they did not understand the video, or they even could not connect the Internet, or they had no pencil / notebook, etc. Moreover, when I was answering questions or doing a mini teaching session to a student or a group of students, -not all but some- others tend to connect to Facebook or YouTube, or to play games. In the beginning, there was chaos.

Abdulla Mohamed is working hard

Gradually, everything started settling up. Each of us figured out what was going on, and adjusted ourselves to the ‘new order’. My dream almost came true; students were watching the videos, solving the questions and showed me the results, and I marked them. I was wandering around helping the students understand the subject better. And guess what; almost all of them were doing the classwork! They liked the videos such that they all learned the phrase I used at the end of my videos; solve and ShowMe!

There should be something wrong in that. No offence, ShowMe Crew, but my videos can not be that “magical”. And this time, my nightmare came true; the results of the first campus wide quiz were horrible, comparing to the classwork marks. For example, a student of mine, who failed in Term 1, completed about 80% of his classwork (wow!), yet his CWQ mark was 4 out of 20! And I had several more examples like that! About one fourth of my students showed no significant difference after I introduced ShowMe.

I started to observe what they were doing, and found out their strategy. Some of the students pretended to watch the video, until the sharp students show their answers. Then they copied those students’ work and came to me to get their marks.

How could I miss this? Probably because of my optimistic character; I believed they all would like the videos and study more than ever!!  Anyway, I should have planned an assessment system ASAP. After searching for several online quiz maker websites, I decided that I would go with the traditional paper-pencil method, because (a) those websites were lacking mathematical symbols to type, and they tend to support multiple-choice questions, rather than essay types, and (b) there was no exact way to know if a student answered an online quiz on his own. So, I added a 10-minute quiz session at the end of each period and stopped marking their classwork. I write questions for each video -generally 1 question/video- and ask the students to answer questions referring to the video/s they worked on. Then I mark the quizzes ASAP and record the progress in my table. Ones who answered correct can go on with the next videos. Ones who answered wrong work on additional materials; I give them extra worksheets. Then they try to answer a similar question referring to the same video. This is how they earn their marks.

I thought ‘the new order’ would encourage them, but it did not. What happened is, my classwork marks and my quiz results now match!

I have some success stories, though. I have some students who increased their marks significantly. One of them has never been able to get a two-digit mark out of 100 before, but he improved his marks gradually and the recent mark he has got is 90%. He is in top three of the class now. My successful students also increased their marks; because they like to work on the subject on their own, in silence. One of them, really smart but a problem child, is no more a problem to me. He turns on his music after watching the video, and then starts solving the questions.

I believe I made a good start, yet I have issues to solve. Next year, my school will move to a new campus, where teachers are said to have their own rooms. And another rumor is, students -and hopefully, teachers- will be given IPads instead of hard-copy books. I think I will be able to solve most of my issues and find new opportunities to improve what I do with ShowMe. On the other hand, I don’t want to re-discover America; so if you have similar experience or information, please share with me; charb74 (at) gmail (dot) c o m.

 

How-To: Download, Delete or Edit your uploaded ShowMes.

Would you like to download your ShowMe into an .mp4 file to watch offline or burn to a CD? Or maybe you accidentally uploaded a ShowMe and you would like to edit the title or delete it all together. It is very easy to do these things on the website! Here’s how:

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1. Login to your account on ShowMe.com. (Currently you can’t do this on the app.)
2. After logging in you will see your name in the top right corner of the screen. Hover your cursor over your name and then click “Edit ShowMes”
3. From here you will have the option to download, edit, or delete your ShowMe!