Friday, February 3, 2012

iPads Allow Students to Tell Mr. Skeen to Pipe Down
About a week ago, Erin Ringrose, our 7th and 8th grade science teacher, asked me to take a look at the website As the website states,

"ShowMe is an open learning community where you can teach or learn anything. Watch great lessons for free, or create your own with the iPad app."

Erin asked her 7th grade students to use their iPads to create review lessons using the ShowMe app. What she got was students spread all over Armfield, trying to find a quiet place to record their lessons. I couldn't walk ten steps before I was shushed or given a stern look from a 7th grader for being too loud in the hallway because they were trying to explain photosynthesis or respiration for their ShowMe lessons.

Let me put that in perspective: in a middle school (remember ages 11-14...), the Director (theoretically I'm supposed to be in charge) was being told by students that he was being too loud in the hallway. 

If you remember back to your junior high days you'll realize that the relationship had been completely flipped on its head! At its root this lesson had engaged the students so deeply that they wouldn't stand for any distractions.  

The products were of high quality and the students had an audience for whom they were creating - both their own class and the online community of ShowMe. This is 21st Century teaching and learning enabled through the iPad. Most importantly, the technology was not the focus of the lesson, the content of how photosynthesis or respiration works was. The iPad made that learning more meaningful.

Check out one of the presentations:

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