Sunday, February 12, 2012

ShowMe: Giving Students the Power to Express Themselves

I was introduced to a wonderful iPad app through a program I am taking part in.  It is called ShowMe.  ShowMe like many other iPad apps has two interfaces, the iPad interface and the online account.  The two sides connect to allow the owner to publish their ShowMe's to the web and then embed them or tweet among other publicizing methods. 

So, what is ShowMe?  It is an interactive whiteboard and voice recorder all in one.  The app essentially allows you to "draw" on your iPad while simultaneously recording sound.  Once you are done, you can upload it to your free user account online where you can share your ShowMe with the world.  The implication for the classroom with this app are huge!  There are so many uses for ShowMe. 

Right now, the term formative assessment is a huge buzzword in the education world.  Teacher are wanting to monitor their students' learning to catch discrepancies earlier and provide better instruction.  ShowMe is an excellent method for allowing students to display their understanding of a concept.  I teach math and if I could get students to create ShowMe's everyday as notes that I could also review, I would do it in a heartbeat.  The connection between understanding a concept and being able to verbally communicate that understanding is huge. If a student can explain it, they know it.  ShowMe provides a great indicator for this. 

Another great way to use ShowMe is to allow students to be a part of the creative problem solving process by allowing them to come up with questions.  I recently started a project on fractions with my students that I hope to complete in the near future.  Students propose hypothetical pizza orders for a fictitious pizza company and have other students listen to the order and create the pizza (by drawing it for display).  You can check out my example ShowMe to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. The students have been fully engaged and I am amazed at how a variety of learning styles and levels have taken on this project and been successful. 

ShowMe is a free iPad app in the iTunes Store.  Check it out today.

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