Our Experience at ISTE 2012

One year ago ShowMe was actually launched at ISTE. Needless to say the ShowMe team was excited to be in San Diego this past Sunday-Wednesday for ISTE 2012. This Conference, hosted by the International Society for Technology In Education (ISTE) is one of the largest Educational Technology events in the world each year. Thousands of people from many different countries gathered together to attend workshops, foster new relationships, and learn about new innovations regarding technology in education.

Things We Did:

On Monday and Tuesday ShowMe had an Ice Cream Truck outside of the convention center handing out free ice cream to all attendees.

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ShowMe team in front of the ice cream truck. Like our shirts?

Happy attendees enjoying ice cream and their new Boxwave styli

The best part of the conference was being able to meet and reconnect with so many awesome people and share ShowMe with them. Special thanks to Donorschoose.org and Boxwave for donating giftcards and styli for us to share with the ShowMe community!

It was really beneficial to have the opportunity to meet current users and hear their ideas and feedback firsthand.  We were finally able to meet ShowMe Ambassador and power user JR Ginex-Orinion*, a Chemistry teacher from Orange County, CA. We also met two educators from Chile,  @jessievaz12 and @titialvayay, who’ve used ShowMe in their classroom, and @kcakderw and Educational Technology enthusiast who created app4ed.com. These are just a few of the awesome conversations we had at ISTE, thanks to everyone who sat down to chat with us! We had a blast!

*JR wrote a great post-ISTE blog post filled with some really good advice if you are interested in attending the conference next year. Take a look here.

 

 

Using ShowMe to Develop Student Created Math Tutorials

This guest post is written by Kelly Wroblewski, a High School Math Teacher in Austin, TX. She and her coworker and fellow teacher William Kiker assigned a fantastic class project to their students, resulting an an entire website of support materials for their Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus classes. Check out the website here. 

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This past semester, William Kiker and I (Kelly Wroblewski) applied to be part of a pilot iPad program at our high school.  As members of a small project based  learning community within Austin High School in Austin, TX, we latched on to the ShowMe app pretty quickly.  Some of our students use the Khan Academy website as a resource to supplement in-class instruction, but some topics were either unavailable or were not tailored to our courses or textbooks.  Mr. Kiker and I determined we could use the ShowMe app to create videos similar to those found on the Khan Academy website, but specific to our courses at Austin High. Rather than having students hear their teachers yet again in video, we decided to design a project where the students create the instructional materials.  Since we were implementing this project towards the end of the school year, it provided the opportunity for students to review for the upcoming state exam or reflect upon a specific topic from the school year, depending on the needs for that course.

This project required that students create a short instructional video supplemented by a video guide document to lead the viewer through the content and a quiz to assess the viewer’s knowledge over the skills that were taught in the video.  The topics ranged widely from specific objectives from the state exam to specific Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus concepts.  Though the concepts were quite specific, it was interesting to observe the unique ways in which the students decided to present the topics in their videos.  Using ShowMe as a medium allowed for creativity and individuality while still guiding students to accomplish the overarching video creation task.  What we have compiled as a result of student submissions is our significantly more customized AHS Academy website where students can go for Austin High specific assistance with their math courses.

Overall, this project was a great learning experience for all involved, especially the teachers.  Mr. Kiker and I will be implementing version three of this project next school year in the hopes of expanding and improving upon the current content.  For more information on this topic, or to provide feedback regarding the website, please email me at kwroblew@austinisd.org or Mr. Kiker at william.kiker@austinisd.org.

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:

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  • 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 6/22/2012

Happy Weekend Everyone! We hope to see some of you at ISTE in San Diego from Sunday June 24th to Wednesday June 27th! Take a peek at our collection of ISTE Survival Guide ShowMes here. 

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AFT and Britain’s TES Connect Unveil ‘Share My Lesson,’Which Will Become Largest Online Site for U.S. Teacher Resources
This is a press release from the American Federation of Teachers. They, along with Britain’s TES Connect,  just released the website Share My Lesson which is now the largest online community for US teachers to share their lesson plans, resources and ideas. AFT president Randi Weingarten explained that this initiative aims to help teachers that often face barriers to receiving free shared resources from other teachers across the country. The website will allow teachers to upload resources as well as rate and review resources of others. An important additional feature will be the high supply of resources created to support Common Core Standards, which are being implemented in 46 states this Fall. Randi Weingarten believes this will become the “single most important tool the AFT has launched in over a generation.”

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7 Things Graduating Seniors Should Know About College
These tips are a compilation of excerpts from the book “The Secrets of College Success” by Lynn F Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman. They focus on the academic side of college, topics ranging from when to pick your major, to what to expect when writing a paper. Jacobs and Hyman make the great point that a college paper requires “analysis and research” at a much higher level than high school. (This was something that took me a few months to fully grasp in my freshman year!)

Before Standardized Tests, Teaching Children Not to Drown
Swim For Life is a project in New York City that was brought to life parks commissioner Adrian Benepe, who knew many drowning deaths each year could be prevented if everyone had access to swim lessons. Although weekend and summer courses are available in the city, Benepe felt it was important that swim lessons were provided to students during school hours. Over the past 18 months 14,385 second graders in New York City have participated in swim lessons during school hours at indoor pools across the city. The program has been a success, especially for those students that  started the program petrified of water. After ten weeks these students were able to confidently and happily swim.

Developing A Student iPad Leadership In Your School
Many kids have the ability to pick up an iPad and begin downloading apps and playing games within minutes. However key skills like troubleshooting issues, keeping safe online and learning effectively through technology may not come as naturally to students. It is our responsibility as educators to teach students proper digital citizenship. This article contains several awesome resources you can use to teach your students how to troubleshoot problems and use an iPad effectively and safely in school.

ShowMe of the Week: Find the Missing Angle

This ShowMe created by Harry Amos is awesome for several reasons.

1. He gives us a great overview of how to find the missing angle of a triangle!

2. He created some really nice looking images for the intro of his ShowMe using the Paper53 iPad app. (It’s a great app- I recommend it!)

3. He finishes the ShowMe video with a picture of Success Kid- can it get any better?

Be sure to check out his entire library of helpful math videos!

Friday Round Up 6/15/2012

RIP White MacBook: The Future of Apple Computers at School
This Monday Apple hosted its annual Developer Conference and presented all new updates to the Mac Line. The big news for schools was the unveiling of iOS 6 for the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch, available this fall. The update included “guided access” which allows teachers and parents to restrict students to viewing one app at a time or limit touch input. This is a great feature for schools with iPads, and the number of schools with iPads is growing rapidly. In the second quarter of 2012 iPads outnumbered sales of macs to schools by a ratio of 2:1. Even with the increasing popularity of iPads in schools, many still wonder why there is no replacement computer for the white macbook pro that was very popular in schools. The white macbook was sold for $999 had a large amount of memory and a CD drive, but they were taken off the market it 2011. The only computer in the same price range currently is the 11 inch Macbook Air which in addition to being two inches smaller, also does not have as much memory or a CD drive. Perhaps iPads are becoming the go-to computer for schools.

Can Free, High-Quality Education Get You A Job?

It is fantastic to see the increasing number of free, high quality, online college courses being offered by top name schools. It’s a huge step in the right direction when it comes to democratizing education and bringing it to people affordably at a large scale. But can these courses help you obtain a job? Mindshift recently asked company recruiters from tech start-ups, finance firms and banking companies if they would consider non-traditional candidates who received their education from these schools. At this point in time it seemed like all three fields were hesitant to accept a candidate that did not have a traditional college education. I would be interested to see if this changes in five years, after courses are more established and taught on a broader array of topics.

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Personalized Learning – Swedish Style
Outside of Stockholm lies one of Sweden’s top-performing schools – Kunskapsskolan Tyresö. This is one of a network of 33 Kunskapsskolan schools in Sweeden, all funded by a public voucher system with no tuition that accepts students on a first come first serve basis. Key tenets of the school culture include interdisciplinary work, collaboration between students, and technology. Every inch of space is used in the school and filled with tables, chairs, and gather places for students to collaborate. All students responsible for setting personal learning goals for themselves and create strategies to reach them. My favorite aspect of this school culture is the coaching sessions each student has once per week for 15 minutes with their teacher. This is a highly personalized and structured discussion where students share their weekly assignments, reiterate what they have learned, and share what their goals are at this point in time. There are certain issues with this program- for example the voucher system it uses is a very controversial topic in larger school programs like the one in US. But I thought this was a really interesting look at a different program that is seeing success.

College Attendance Costs up 15% Over Two Years, Report Finds
The US Department of Education recently released its listings of public and private universities tuition and fees. These listings show that the average cost of attendance at a university or college in the United States has increased over 15% in the past two years. These increases are partially due to the cuts in funding for many public schools across the country. In some states, public school tuition increases has increased over 40%. Over the past decade school tuition prices have increased by an average of 5.6% per year.

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