Visualising Thinking with ShowMe!

One of the most powerful tools for helping students demonstrate their understanding in Economics is a new app called ShowMe! available on the iPad. ShowMe is a simple tool, which allows students to annotate what looks like an electronic whiteboard, whilst also recording their voice. The interactive whiteboard concept is really neat and intuitive for all students.

Recently I worked with Gary Smith and his Economics class at UWCSEA in Singapore using ShowMe! as a revision tool. We asked students to explain one of several ideas that they have covered in class. Each of the questions were very abstract and covered the concepts of revenue and costs for firms. The students were encouraged to visualise the concept and tell a story of an example. (click below to see example)

As you can see from the student example above, the tool really allows the teacher to see the student’s thinking and metacognition as they explain a concept. In a 35 min class, each student produced an explanation and the teacher could later look at the list of presentations linked from a Google Doc. Students could also peer review and look at each others work. Previously the teacher would attempt to conference with each student during the class to see how they understood a concept.

ShowMe is a great example of how you can see the levels of student conceptual understanding very quickly and at the same time students are learning in a powerful way when they are forced to teach and verbalise a concept to others. It is also one of the nicest tools I have seen that shifts students away from the text-rich tasks and encourages creativity.

How it Works?

  1. Download the ShowMe App from the Apple iTunes store here.
  2. Open the App and click on the Red Recording button to begin.
  3. Click on the colours to draw and try talk at the same time. You can press the record button to pause and gather your thoughts.
  4. Click on the picture icon, to add an image from the camera roll or the internet. This could be a picture of a very complex graph from the textbook, which you wish to explain and annotate.
  5. When you have finessed press done.
  6. Click on the bottom arrow to share your ShowMe.
  7. You need to register an account for ShowMe then you are able to send a link to your ShowMe to an email address.
  8. We  have copied these links in several classes and then placed them in a Google Doc so other students can view and comment.
  9. Saved ShowMe presentations can be private or public.
  10. For a variety of other tutorial see the ShowMe Blog

The ShowMe! website contains groups of ShowMe presentations sorted by subject. The Economics examples available here are are a good beginning, but encourage your students to add there work here.

For a nice explanation of using this technique in Mathematics, have a read of these excellent blog post by a fellow Apple Distinguished Educator, Jennie Magiera – Show Me More Maths Metacognition

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