The app most recommended to us by teachers, Showbie is something of a staple among e7 schools. Here’s why it’s so well-loved…
Assessment has a profound influence on the motivation and self-esteem of students, whether it comes from the teacher or in peer reviews, so it’s probably no surprise that the app we’ve seen picked up by the most schools is brilliant for assessment.
Showbie (Showbie Inc., free) is an app that lets you share resources and give instant text and audio feedback to pupils – and we’ve heard it can shave at least five hours off the time you spend marking every week, so download the app, kick back with a cuppa and take a look at our team’s review…
What is Showbie?
An app that allows you to create virtual classrooms, then upload resources to them and assign tasks to students. You can use it as a replacement for handouts in a usual classroom setting (“Open our Showbie room, take the quiz there and then post your result”), and it’s a great way for students to submit homework or projects and get instant feedback. You can annotate the files they submit, or record a ‘voice note’ giving them more detailed verbal feedback.
The big benefits…
It’s ace for assessment. Showbie provides a really quick and easy way to provide pupil assessment and feedback on any piece of work. A paperclip icon next to an assignment means they’ve submitted a document – you just need to tap their name to see it and leave feedback. Because all the evidence is saved in one place, it’s easy to track pupils’ work.
It’s a good ice-breaker. A lot of the functions, like uploading files and annotating images, are things you’ll have tackled before on other devices and in other programmes, so Showbie’s a great starter app for anyone who’s nervous about moving to iPad.
It’s secure, but simple. Each teacher will have a name and password which they can use to log in and set up their classrooms. Each classroom has a classroom code that you’ll need to share with students – they use this to get access to classrooms rather than a password, so there’s no chance of them forgetting passwords or locking themselves out.
It’s multi-modal. You can give instant feedback in a variety of formats, either to the group or on pupils’ individual pieces of work (in which case only they can see it). In the Pro version, you can even leave different comments for small groups of students.
It’s also available online, so you or the pupils can access all the resources in Showbie at home, too.
It plays well with other apps. You can add photos, files, audio clips, links, videos and content from practically any app – you can even switch between Showbie and other apps without losing your place in Showbie – meaning you’ll be able to use existing content in Showbie-led lessons, rather than creating everything from scratch.
It lets you save resources for later. You can use the Assignment Lock feature to hide an assignment from students while you design it, then Archive Assignment to hide it once everyone’s completed it. Just de-archive the assignment to bring it back online and access all those resources again.
…and a note on the Pro Edition
While we’ve seen plenty of people get along fine with the free version of Showbie, the £7.99 Pro Edition does give you access to some very helpful extra features, including Assignment Lock, basic image editing tools, a range of different pens and colours for marking up work, and the ability to turn on and off different layers of annotations, so you can see how work on a project has progressed, or who in a group contributed which notes.
To find out more about Showbie and other assessment apps for iPad, keep checking back in for our education app of week articles or get in touch with the education team at learning@Jigsaw24.com or on 03332 409 217. Or to get in touch with us about our exclusive e7 scheme for schools, fill in the form below.