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Monday, July 3, 2017

Go Paperless in the Classroom with Showbie!

Paper? Who needs paper in the 21st century classroom? There are a multitude of apps out there that help teachers avoid the dreaded line at the copy machine. After all, with an app like Showbie, you'd be hard pressed to try and use paper in the classroom. Showbie is essentially a learning management system where you can deliver material to students, keep track of their work, and track their progress in the class. One thing that sets Showbie apart from other LMS's is that it's very easy to use. Explore Showbie with a few clicks and you'll find you're already a pro at using it.
Showbie is a snap for students to sign up. Students simply navigate to the Showbie site (or open the app on their iOS device) and sign up with their Google account or they can create a unique username and password.

On the surface, without the paid "pro" features, Showbie is a great way to distribute and receive student assignments. What make's Showbie so easy to incorporate in your classroom is that it works with a multitude of apps and devices. You can easily have your students show you how they solve a math equation using Explain Everything, they can mark-up a document in Skitch, or write an essay in Apple's Pages. All are easily shareable to Showbie. Showbie can be accessed using everything from an iOS device like an iPhone or iPad using the Showbie app, a Chromebook, or a plain ol' Windows machine.
Showbie has a "shared folder" component where the teacher can simply deposit an assignment so students can have access to it. The assignment can either be marked "view only" or the teacher can give each student access to mark on their own copy using Showbie's text tools.
Once it deposited in the shared folder, each student has their own individual copy. With the text tool, students can mark on the provided worksheet. Students can even record a voice note and include it with their assignment. This is a great way to ask students to practice a new language or explain their thought process.
It's easy to stay on top of class work with Showbie. Click on the assignment and you get a list of your students. You can instantly tell who has turned in the assignment or even who has asked a question about the assignment.
One of the great things about Showbie it the "assignment lock' feature (pro feature). Set a due date, activate "assignment lock" and no longer will students have access to the assignment. No longer does the teacher have to wonder if a student has turned in the assignment after the due date.
Showbie allows the teacher to create student groups (pro feature). Create groups to work on a project together. Class discussions are also an important part of Showbie. They allow you and your students to have a discussion in and outside the classroom.
Showbie makes it easy to grade student work as well (pro feature). While viewing a student assignment, you can add a grade as a number or letter grade. You can also add a comment if you wish. Keep all of your students work together in one place with student portfolios.
Even without the paid pro features, Showbie is still a great alternative to other LMS's. A teacher would owe it to themselves to give it a try.

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