Alright, so I’ll be doing a series of blogs about a few apps that I’m looking into, and the first one I’m playing around with is called ShowMe. Today’s blog is going to be simply about using this app to create a video lesson.

I really like the simplicity of this app as it is very user friendly. We’re currently giving it a go with a Health Science 20 project where groups of students are creating video lessons about cardiovascular diseases. The students have been able to pick it up and get right to work with very little instruction from me. This is what the create page looks like.

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Here I’ve labeled the tools so that you can see their functions.

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The add text feature lets you click anywhere on the screen where you can type in the text that you like and you have the feature of controlling the text colour and size.

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On these pages I’ve used a couple of features so that you can see how they can work together. When you add a picture you have the option of adding any picture you want from the internet, but you can also access the ipads camera and take a picture to use in your presentation. When you add a picture you have the option of controlling where the picture is located on the slide, how big it is, you can rotate it, and you also have the option of putting the picture in the background or foreground so that text can appear either behind it or in front of it. Without clicking on any tool, you can simply use your finger or a stylus to draw on the page and you can select the colour that you would like for your freestyle drawings.

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Now when you hit the record button you are able to record audio while you discuss your slides. While recording, you are free to tab between the various pages that you have set up prior to recording, but one tool remains at your disposal while you are recording which is the drawing feature. This is one of the best features of this app in my mind. While my students have been working on their projects, I have been emphasizing the value of diagramming while discussing their topics. It is very helpful to the learners when the presenters are able to draw and bring attention to specific items while presenting and I find that it also helps me assess understanding when the presenters have to both discuss what they know while also diagramming in real time. For a slide like the one where we trace the path of blood through the heart, this would be a good time to not draw the path in before the presentation and have it appear all at once, but have the audience follow along in real time.

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If you need to take a break from your creation, clicking the done button in the top left corner allows you to save as a draft at which point you are able to return at a later point to work on it. You are not able to save it as complete until you have started recording audio. I have created a ShowMe account and tried to see if drafts are saved to the account to be accessed on other ipads, but unfortunately until a presentation is actually completed and posted publicly (more on this in a later blog), you have to access the same device to continue working on it which may be a drawback in a school depending on your access to specific ipads.

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When you have completed it, you are done! But let’s say you mess up the audio or want to redo a specific part, what then? Fortunately, you are able to edit any portion of the presentation you like. Go to the main screen which shows your presentations and click on the toothed wheel (gear) in the top right corner of the presentation (the one that says Heart anatomy in this case). Once you click on that you are able to preview your presentation. Above your presentation you will notice a timeline of your audio which you can move to where you want to listen to any particular segment. Once you find a place that you would like to redo, click on the microphone icon beside the pause/play button and a countdown appears. Once the countdown reaches zero, you are live again and can re-record until you are satisfied at which point you hit stop and the new audio will have been recorded over that segment.

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If you are finished and satisfied, you can click on the share button in which case you can see that you can share your creations on facebook, twitter, or email!

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I hope that this tutorial has been easy to follow and you are beginning to see the power of the app. The next blog will be about looking into the catalogue of published presentations that ShowMe allows access to.

Live long and prosper

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