Assign, Collect and Review on the iPad – Showbie again….

I make no apologies for the second of my reflections about BETT being about my current favourite iPad workflow tool – Showbie. Demonstrating classroom workflows from assigning work to students, collecting the work and giving feedback in different ways formed the basis of the second workshop I led at BETT this year.

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We had two Apple TV’s set up, and Joe Moretti and Julian Coultas both kindly volunteered to take part as students so that workshop participants were able to see both sides of the Showbie workflow.

Showbie was updated in the middle of last week following iOS being updated to iOS 6.1. The latest version now allows the entire Showbie workflow to be completed through the iPad app. You can download the app here.

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During the workshop, I went through the process of creating a class which Joe and Julian then joined. I shared some resources in different ways from the camera roll and other apps like Dropbox. Julian and Joe then completed and submitted assignments to their Showbie folders, and I demonstrated how Showbie allows feedback in a variety of ways including voice notes. We closed the session by looking at how combined with pdf mark up apps such as our favourite at school, Notability, you can mark work in a fairly regular way using a stylus. This work can then be shared back to students through their Showbie assignment folder.

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It was a huge privilege to also get to meet Colin Bramm, the founder of Showbie,at BETT, and I felt no pressure at all when he asked to film the workshops (twice!).

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Colin and his team are very committed to making Showbie even better than it currently is, and I was impressed by their understanding of how technology needs to work with classroom workflows (he explained one morning how they make sure the upload/download process is as fast as it can possibly be – I have to admit I got a little lost). Colin explained though they understand in real classrooms download and upload of resources and assignments is likely to need to happen in the same few minutes of a lesson, and so make this as fast as possible by some clever server trickery.

As you might know, Showbie now offers free accounts for teachers with 200 free assignments which probably should be enough to cover the needs of most teachers, especially as assignments can be archived when students no longer need to access the assignment folder.

Colin also shared there are some exciting new developments to look forward to in the coming months – I for one cannot wait to hear about them and see teachers making the most of this great tool at school!

One final thing on Showbie – although officially it doesn’t support video, as we have found over the past couple of months at school you can embed video files into other documents such as keynote files or epub files, so all those videos created in Explain Everything can be embedded into a Book Creator project for example and then uploaded to Showbie. Voice notes even allow teachers to give feedback on the video!

This amazing app/service could be the thing that helps teachers using iPads in classrooms all over the world complete the missing pieces of the classroom workflow – if you haven’t already, sign up and give it a try!

www.showbie.com

3 comments on “Assign, Collect and Review on the iPad – Showbie again….

  1. Hi Steve, Glad you found me! I did discuss this scenario last week with a number of teachers, and I actually think Showbie would work well in a shared device scenario. Students could even upload work from one iPad and log into Showbie on another and carry on working on their file. The main challenge would be making sure that students log out at the end of a session, but more of a classroom management issue than a tech one. The next set of students would then log into their accounts, each student only having access to their classes etc as long as they remember to log in and out.
    I also know that Showbie are currently looking at closer integration with school MIS and VLE integration too, so this may also help to make this process easier.
    Potentially, work completed in other apps on the iPad would still be accessible (but this is always the case in shared device situations like I describe, but assignment folders would not be accessible. Managing iPads as shared devices needs to be carefully thought through, and also needs to be well planned, but we have over 100 iPads working very well as school owned sets, and yours sound to be working well too.

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