Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated October 2016

ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard

Potential for powerful learning; other apps do it better

Common Sense Says:
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Grades
7-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Great potential as both a learning and teaching tool.

Cons: Simplified interface is almost too simple, with fewer choices than other apps; some privacy and safety concerns.

Bottom Line: Great app for digital creation where both teachers and students can teach and learn from shared digital whiteboards.

ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard is free, but teachers can pay $5.99 for a premium subscription, which makes it easier to share presentations with closed groups (classes). Students who don't have email access can still watch ShowMes through a teacher's account. ShowMes can also be viewed via the app or the developer's website, as well as through Edmodo or Evernote.

As you're planning and assigning, keep in mind the versatility of this app. The potential exists for homework and flipped-class applications. Alternately, students who want to learn the process for solving a math problem can write it out and then play it back to see where they're getting off track. Do you know parents who want to brush up on a topic before giving homework help? Suggest a brief ShowMe for review. The app itself is pretty simple; be creative as you integrate it into your lessons for maximum impact. Because of privacy and safety concerns for younger users, this app is best suited to high school students. 

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ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard allows teachers and students (of any age, even under 13) to create and record audiovisual presentations called "ShowMes" that can be shared publicly (by default) or privately (with a premium account). Teachers and students can use text, images, live drawings, and audio voice-over recordings to create their ShowMe presentations.

You can also view other people's ShowMes to see one-of-a-kind tutorials and presentations on a variety of subjects, running the gamut from math to social studies, finances to art, and beyond. Within the app, there's a heavy focus on sharing within the public, online community, but individual presentations can be kept private or shared within a class. ShowMes are categorized by subject area (algebra, chemistry, geometry, English, history, art, and more), and there are plenty of non-academic topics as well.

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ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard is an easy and effective tool for step-by-step audiovisual presenting and sharing. Teachers are using this app with some amazing results, and students can too, although privacy and safety are concerns for younger users. The visual/auditory combination of a ShowMe is engaging to watch as well as create. As students create, they can learn to best organize information to help their audience understand and stay engaged. They're also developing good presentation skills in a collaborative, supportive community. On the learning side of things, students can watch and repeat a ShowMe presentation as many times as they want or need.

With the playback option, students can self-assess their work and make adjustments before sharing or presenting. Students can not only learn and reinforce subject matter skills, but they'll potentially develop higher-level thinking skills as they teach others. Downsides include an interface that's so simple, it's almost limiting, users can't create more than one page for a lesson, and by-default public sharing of creations with private creations requiring premium access.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Students will be engaged by creating ShowMes and watching others' presentation. There's no time limit to the ShowMes, but the site recommends keeping them on the short side to keep engagement high.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

There's learning baked into the process of planning and creating a presentation. Through collaborative sharing, ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard users support each other's learning.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

There's a good FAQ section, and, at registration, users receive an email with extra support. However, the app doesn't give users data; feedback is only as helpful as a user's network. Privacy and safety issues may limit accessibility.


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member