We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. -Billy Graham
Sorry, but I just can’t get enough of Showbie. It is our new app used school-wide for creating digital portfolios. I recently wrote about Showbie and our using it to create digital portfolios. Since then, I have discovered some other pretty awesome features.
First, let me say, we are not completely paperless. We have, however, significantly reduced our paper usage and Showbie has facilitated that. In kindergarten, there is still the need for paper/pencil skills. School-wide, we saved over $21,000 in paper usage, copies, ink, and toner last year. Showbie has several features that are helpful. Here is a screen shot showing some features:
I have blurred out my students’ last names, but my class list is to the left. The small paper icon to the right of each name shows which students have submitted an assignment. You can also add student pictures beside their names if you want. The shared folder allows me to upload resources, videos, voice instructions, PDF files, and ePubs to be used in that particular assignment. Once the resources are loaded in the shared folder, it is available to all students. It is in the shared folder that I added an ABC book that I created in Book Creator. My students just went into the shared folder, downloaded the book in their iBooks and all students have the book on their bookshelf.
The area to the right has a drop-down box with choices for adding files. The camera option allows photographs or videos. You can upload images from the photo library as well. Using the Capture PDF option, you can scan in a document. If you have a PDF file in your photo library, you can upload this also. In addition, you can add text notes to student work or voice notes. These are all of the teacher options. Students have the same options in their drop-down menu for putting work in the assignment folder.
Last week, I uploaded a PDF of primary lined paper for my students to demonstrate writing their numbers to 20. They opened the assignment in Showbie and then used Good Notes (a PDF annotator) to write their numbers. I was able to quickly email their parents this assignment. Later in the week, I used the camera option to video tape students counting to 20. This was a quick assessment that was also emailed to parents.
The best part is that Showbie is so easy to use. At this early point in the school year, my kindergarten students already know how to open the app and upload work on their own. Parents also enjoy feeling like they are a part of the classroom through the email feature.
One last way we are using Showbie is to share student work with our principal. Each grade level decided on student assignments for each nine weeks that would be used to demonstrate growth and demonstrate CCSS. My principal created a class for each grade level in Showbie. These student provisos are uploaded for him to monitor. We send a high, medium, and low work sample each nine weeks. This allows him to check in on student work on a regular basis. It also encourages meaningful use of the iPad in the learning environment.
We are very excited about the incorporation of this robust program into our classrooms. There is a free version of Showbie if you would like to check it out. We liked it so much we purchased the school license.
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!