Thursday, February 20, 2014

Show Me: A Great App for Flipping the Classroom

Flipped learning has become a hot item, but it can be much more than just an opportunity for students to learn the information from a video in the comfort of their home and doing the heavy work at school. Yes, it is powerful because it allows the teacher to work with small groups of students. It can also be used to flip lessons during class time. A teacher could create a video for the students to view during class while working with small groups. Ever feel like it would be nice to be able to clone yourself so that you could be more effective as a teacher? Show Me for iPad essentially lets you do just that.

There are many apps that perform the exact same task, and may even provide a better user experience than Show Me. However, I'm focusing on Show Me for the sake of my teachers as they are in need of providing an e-learning experience for students that may not have internet at home. What separates Show Me from the others is the ability to download your own videos instead of stream it on the company's server.

I broke down the process into three parts. I will first discuss the account creation process. Then discuss how to make a video. Lastly, I will show how to access and download the video from the Show Me website.

First thing you'll need to do is create your account. Once you download the app, you can create your account through it. You'll also be able to use that account information to access their actual website. When you create an account, your videos will be stored on their website so that you can always come back to them for download. In the future, I will be creating a video to discuss the advantages of creating student accounts so that you can differentiate instruction more effectively. Groups can be created directly on the site so that when you create a video, the it will go straight to their iPads. For now, here is how you make an account:

Next video will focus on how to create a video. Before you start making your own screen-casts, you'll want to take any pictures of documents or items you want to include. Show Me does not include a feature that allows you to take a picture within the app; only accesses your camera roll. I also recommend that you limit the length of your videos from anywhere between 5-10 minutes. If you go much further than that, you'll start to lose the students. You'll be surprised how much information you can cover in that period of time without the interruptions that occur during a typical lecture. 

The last video is on how to download your videos. However, this part is not necessary unless your students do not have internet access and they need to be able to have the video saved directly on their device. For making videos at school, the teacher can send the link to the video and the students can stream it from the website. Please keep in mind that the process for downloading the video takes awhile after the it is made. There is some converting and processing that has to take place for a few hours. I would recommend creating the video, wait at least two hours, and then download it. Once you download it, I would also suggest that you change the name of the file by right-clicking on it. I didn't exactly cover that part in this video. Lastly, you can then email it. If you use an "Learning Management System" (like Edmodo), you can upload it there.