February 22, 2012

Show Me

As the technology integration teacher for Seymour Public Schools in Seymour, CT, I get to spend a lot of time exploring new tools which make teaching and learning more engaging and ultimately more successful for students.  Earlier this year, I discovered one of these tools called Show Me, which is an online learning community for students of all ages.  My initial thought was that it was just another Khan Academy.  The difference, I quickly discovered, was that on Show Me you can also create your own lessons...not just watch.  This makes Show Me a very powerful educational tool.

As a student looking to learn about a particular topic you can search Show Me by topic and subject.  As a teacher, you can create your own videos or assign one from the community for students to view.  If you would rather share your knowledge with your class (or the world) a la Khan Academy, you will need to download the free iOS app.  Currently there is not an app available for Android device but Show Me has plans to develop one in the future.  Once you have created something on Show Me you can share it with the world or keep it personal.  Sharing is made easy with one click posting to Facebook and Twitter as well as through the use of the embed code for websites.

Moving foward, Show Me seems to be in the initial stages of building a database of SAT preparation videos.  This would be a tremendous resource for high school students and also can be used as an exemplar for how to create an effective tutorial on Show Me.  On the website there is also a link to their blog called the Show Me Voice which has some great information for teachers looking to integrate Show Me into their classroom.  I found a “How To” section and some featured videos from the public community to be very useful.
Using Show Me, teachers and students have the ability to both teach and learn from the community of videos.  Used as a student directed activity, Show Me empowers students to think about a topic and how it should be presented.  As educators, we know that the highest level of understanding is achieved when a student knows the material well enough to teach it.  Show me give students that opportunity through the use of technology.  Below is an example of a simple lesson on the parts of the tuba created by a Seymour High School student in @Brandt Schneider’s class:

Now What?
If you have some iPads in your classroom it’s time to get recording!  Use Show Me to assess your students rather than using a paper and pencil.  Creating an account on Show Me is free and will have you up and running in seconds.  A tip for beginners is to use a stylus with the iPad to have more control over your drawing.  Also, In order to create more advanced videos you can pause your recording and then clear the canvas which will simulate a multi-page file.  Have fun!

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