Getting to grips with Show Me – an Interactive Whiteboard App

Last year I spent time exploring the Whiteboard App Ask3, which I really liked. I was disappointed when I heard that TechSmith were closing this app down to concentrate on their other WB app ScreenChomp (but it was a good reminder that most educational apps are at the mercy of the markets) & it has left me looking for a new WB app for my low level ESOL class.

I played a little with Educreations, but found that the sign in process too cumbersome & the fact that you needed to sign in before you reviewed the video was also laborious. So now I am exploring ShowMe.

What do I want from a WB app?

1.It has to be easy for students to use. They need to recognise the graphics- for record, erase, next page.

2. You must be able to pause the video and re-start it.

3. To be able to add & edit images, eg crop, change size, rotate.

4. Sharing the video is really important. I don’t want something that just lives on the iPad that it was created on. But the students need to be aware that what they are creating may be shared and to have the option to keep this private. My group are a very low level ESOL group and I’ve yet to have a lesson on Internet security or introduce the language of public and private so until I do that I need their videos to be private. If the students were able to see each other’s creations on their own devices this would be an added bonus.

5. The sign-in/log-in must be simple.

Here’s a short diary of me exploring this app:

9.40

I have just been distracted a little by the Show Me website. On the website there is a corporate video where they tell you this app will revolutionise how we teach. I get the basic premise of the WB apps so this wasn’t too useful for me. What would be useful right now would be some reviews comparing the different apps available (and some time to read and digest them!) I then got distracted by the videos that have been made and shared and started to look at the English-writing category wondering if there may be something suitable to share with my teacher ed classes as assignment deadlines are looming.

9.50

I’ve had to stop myself and come back to looking at something I can use in my class - I am more interested in the WhiteBoard apps because they are something the students can create and provide some controlled speaking practice. I’m less interested in myself making videos as a means of sharing information with my classes, which many of the videos here seem to be about.

I already have an account, and since I now sign into all educational apps using the KCTeachedEd Google account I didn’t have any problem remembering the password. Making a draft video was fairly easy. I inserted a photo from the internet (an image search is a great feature of this app) and recorded a short 5 secs. I wanted to review this and when I clicked the ‘save showme’ icon I had the option to save a draft or a complete version. Having a draft version is a great function, but this could certainly be improved if you could go back to review the recording before continuing.To view the Show Me I had to click ‘complete’ and then I had the option to play it, save it or delete it (but not edit it)

10.05

I’ve now made a 3 min Show Me. I’ve found images of different houses, inserted these very easily and recorded my voice and written onto the WB. I’ve made 5 different pages. I want to use this in class today as a model for the students. We are doing a lesson on house vocabulary. I will ask them to look at images on Google and show their classmates what houses look like in their own countries. They will then make a Show Me in groups to provide more speaking practice.

10.10

Now I’ve reviewed my Show Me I have the choice to click ‘save’ or ‘delete’. Clicking save asks you to name the Show Me and choose a category. My students shouldn’t have any problem naming their Show Mes as we have done a lot of work recently about file names, but they will probably need support in choosing a category. There is the option to choose multiple categories, but you only have to choose one – which is good. I then have to sign into Show Me on the iPad. This is something I need to think about for the students. Do I sign them in with my account details, or do I ask them to create their own accounts??

10.25

Here’s an issue with many educational technologies. Firstly I need to get to have an overview of the technology and how it can be used in my classes. Often, if something looks ‘too techy’ & I think I have a lot to learn before I can use it then I can be put off from exploring it further. But if I can see potential in the classroom I am more likely to commit time to learn about it and try it out. The thing I like about these WhiteBoard apps is that I can see how they can be used in class & they give the students an opportunity to create something. At first glance they seem very easy to use – you open them up, there is a WB with drawing tools and a record button and off you go. The tech for me comes with the how and where to save them, and how easy this is for the students. And of course the task – the task has to be do-able and meaningful and add some value to the learning.

I needed to sign into Show Me on the PC, go into settings to find the ‘student’ tab. From here I have created three student accounts. I tried to think of a user name and password that will be easy for the students to remember and spell. I think what is left now is to take this into class and give it a go.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply


− five = 3