Mange Classroom Workflow with Showbie

Are you looking for an easy and efficient way to manage the workflow in your 1:1 iPad classroom?

Showbie is an iPad app that offers a solution to help teachers distribute, collect and evaluate digital assignments created on an iPad. Showbie is simple and efficient right out of the box. 

Teachers can get started with Showbie by creating a free account to try the app. The free account allows for a limited, but substantial number of assignments before requiring an upgrade to the paid version. This should provide teachers with more than enough opportunity to thoroughly evaluate the effectiveness of the app within the classroom. Within the teacher account, teachers can create individual classes. Students join a class with a code, avoiding the need for an email addresses. Within each class, teachers create assignments with due dates and distribute them through a shared folder.

Assignments can be created and distribute through the shared folder using a variety of supported file types, making this a flexible tool that appeals to a variety of teaching styles and needs. Once assignments are turned in,teachers can provide students with individual feedback through voice or text notes. Assignments turned in via Showbie are stored in the cloud, which allows students and teachers to free up valuable storage space on their own devices. 

    A Wide Variety of Supported Productivity Apps

    Showbie supports integration with many apps so it is designed to grow with teachers and students as they expand their toolkit of creativity and productivity resources. Currently there are 48 supported apps, but the list is likely to expand through feedback and requests from teachers in the Showbie community. The folks at Showbie have created quick video tutorials to help teachers and students learn to turn in assignments created with the supported tools. View the current list of apps that work with Showbie on the Showbie website.


    The Instagrok iPad App is Here

    instaGrok has just released a free iPad app. The app combines the functionality of the web based version with interactivity to support learning on the touch screen. 

    instaGrok is an intelligent visual search engine and interactive learning tool that collects content and displays it in the form of a cloud of related words. The tool is very appealing because it offers a variety of multimedia features to meet the unique learning needs of students. 

    Students use the the visual mode to collect content, then they use the integrated journal to sort through collected content and take notes. Click on the push pin to add content to the journal then add original thoughts and ideas as notes. The journal can be emailed or printed for convenience.

    instaGrok Integration with EasyBib 

    The last time I shared instaGrok through this blog I included a wish list. On that wish list was a suggestion to integrate the tool with EasyBib. I am very excited to announce that the teams have worked together to build information literacy and digital citizenship into the instaGrok interactive learning process.
    • instaGrok collects sources pinned to the concept map.
    • The web based version exports sources with one click and imports them to EasyBib for creating citations. 
    • The iPad App launches a screen requiring students to evaluate the credibility of the source.

    Final Thoughts

    Students with 1:1 iPads will most likely find this app extremely useful as they dig deeper into content through research and improve their ability to express learning through writing. 

    Download the instaGrok app from the iTunes Store.

    2 Games for Learning: Alge-Bingo and Remembus

    I’d like to introduce the readers of the blog to 4TheKingdomApps, a father and son team who have developed a couple of apps for learning. Kevin Scritchfield is a veteran high school math teacher and his son Tad is a high school student. They have each created a game style app to help students improve memory and practice skills.


    Alge-Bingo, created by Kevin Scritchfield, won the 2012 National STEM Challenge in the High School Educator Division. Named appropriately, it is a game that helps students master algebra while playing Bingo. The game grows with students as they make progress, offering them more challenges and requiring them to develop mental math skills that are faster and more automatic.

    Users have the ability to self-select their entry level and also the difficulty of the bingo game itself, making this game fun, flexible and leveled. The game can be addictive as students gain confidence and build skills. Students who are trying to improve their skills should try this game.

    Watch this video created by Kevin to learn more about Alge-Bingo.



    Remembus is an app created by Tad Scritchfield, a high school student. This app combines a Concentration memory game with a rebus puzzle. Here is how Remembus works.

    Players select can one of four subject areas to reveal a Concentration type game board. Players begin by selecting a number on the game board which reveals a question or an answer. Players must remember where the questions and answers are located on the board while testing their knowledge of the content to find a match. Once a match is found, the cards disappear to reveal part of a rebus puzzle. When all of the matches are found, players are rewarded and challenged to solve the rebus puzzle.

    Try These Apps for Yourself

    Both of these apps are available for $.99 in the iTunes store. Click on the ad in the sidebar of this blog to jump directly to the iTunes preview of each of these apps. Follow @Remembus and @kscritch to keep up with more from this father and son team, 4TheKingdomApps.

    Digital Differentiation – QR Codes on the iPad

    Managing a classrooms full of students with 1:1 iPads presents the challenge of getting them on the same page, literally. Trying to manage differentiated groups requires a good tool for organizing resources. QR codes are one quick and easy solution.

     Use a QR scanner on your iPad to quickly jump to any website

    Here is an example I created with informational text at three different reading levels. To use this with students, simply project the graphic to a screen, point a QR scanner app at the appropriately colored QR code, and watch the device jump right to the designated page.

    Just think about how many ways you could use this in a 1:1 iPad classroom.

    QR Code created with

    SAMR – Teaching Above the Line

    Image created by
    the amazing Janet Barnstable

    For as long as I can remember I have been an advocate for helping teachers understand the stages of technology integration in order to effectively use tech as a tool for learning.

    I’ve adopted a few different tech integration models over the years, discussed the ideas with administrators for use as a starting point for tech integration, and kept the ideas front of mind as I invent and discover new ways for using technology as a tool for learning.  

    Discussing the stages of tech integration has led to some thought-provoking and inspiring conversations, but the ideas have not gained a lot of momentum in my face-to-face teaching environment until now. As many districts jump on board with iPad implementation, Apple’s use of the SAMR model as a framework for tech integration presents a consistent, clear and powerful message that is spreading! 

    In my teaching this summer I see the need to create examples to demonstrate how to design learning experiences that are at the redefinition stage. Teachers need to see examples to understand what to strive for as they progress through the stages. There needs to be something concrete to discuss as we walk lessons up the line.

    So, since I have been playing around with the Wagon Wheel activity, I thought I would mention that this is an example of redefinition.


    Take a sneak peek here or click the link to contribute to this work in progress and watch it grow!

    View on Padlet

    Mastery Connect – An Essential Tool for the CCSS

    Without a doubt, the most useful reference tool I use when planning CCSS aligned technology powered learning experiences is Common Core, by Mastery Connect.

    I have the widget installed on my websites and wikis. I have the app on my iPad and iPhone. I use MasteryConnect when designing learning experiences to provide me with quick and easy access to snippets of the information I need. With that information at hand, I can fine-tune the learning experiences I design to target skills necessary for success in school and beyond, as identified by the CCSS.

    If you haven’t tried CommonCore, you should. Get the Common Core Standards App in the iTunes store or visit to learn more and get the widget.

    Pixntell – Create Narrated Photo Slideshows in a Snap

    Pixntell is free app that allows users to quickly create and share a narrated slideshow of pictures. Just add photos, record narration and share newly created videos via DropBox, FaceBook, YouTube or email. You can even apply special effects to photos if desired. The app couldn’t be simpler to use!

    Common Core App

    Uses in the classroom

    The Common Core is filled with writing, speaking and listening standards that can be incorporated into learning experiences through the use of this simple tool in the classroom, especially if a script writing element is included. Here are a few ideas to get started:

    • Students can take snapshots of work samples and write a script to demonstrate learning, then narrate and share the final project for use as an authentic assessment tool. 
    • Students can capture photos of everyday classroom learning activities and write a script to record reflections about the experience.
    • Teachers can use the tool to front-load the learning by creating a photo slideshow for viewing as homework prior to class, to provide a starting point for classroom instruction.

    Get Pixntell from the iTunes Store

    ThingLink Mobile App – Capture and Share Teachable Moments

    Now you can create and share multimedia rich interactive images on the go with the free ThingLink Mobile App for iPad and iPhone.  Just take a photo, tag the image with video or text, and instantly share it through email, Twitter or FaceBook. The new ThingLink App provides mobile users with the ability to quickly embed video and text into any photo for a quick snippet of life as it is happening.

    Twitter – Powerful Bursts of Information

    Twitter is a resource I often tap into. I am not a Twitter expert, nor do I utilize Twitter to it’s greatest potential, but it is certainly one of my go to tools when I’m looking to share and learn from the ideas of others. 

    Many people don’t understand how Twitter can work efficiently. Many people don’t think they have time for Twitter.  Perhaps they don’t. We all have different learning styles and preferred methods of information gathering. We must all choose the tools that work for us and Twitter is in my toolkit because it works well for me as an efficient and effective tool for collaboration!

    Twitter has allowed me to connect with many amazing, talented and connected #EdTech stakeholders across the planet. Twitter is efficient. Words are well chosen, the language is constantly reinvented, and of course links to resources are the treasures.

    I recently had a quick Twitter conversation with Naomi Harm, a talented innovative educator and EdTech consultant from Minnesota.  Naomi and I have never met face to face, but we are certainly connected. We learn from each other, we share each other’s resources and ideas, and we collaborate quickly and efficiently. I’ve known Naomi to be an iPad expert for many years and since I have just jumped in to the iPad journey in my school, I grabbed the opportunity to ask Naomi for her for guidance. 

    Here is our 15 minutes conversation, filled with treasures. Ah, yes…the things I can do with this information! Thanks Naomi. Keep on Tweeting!

    Hello Naomi. Can you share your best iPad advice in 140 char or less? iPads are coming my way and I value your expertise.
    Hi dear friend! Utilize the iPads as collaborative literacy tools & creative stations 4 students need to be co-creators/publishers
    iPad literacy tools to empower student learning and creative/critical thinking/publishing: Book Creator, Skitch, Write About This
    iPad literacy tools 2 empower student learning and creative/critical thinking/publishing: Primary Writer, Max Journal, Group Maker
    Tap into the app repository of Appitic iPad Lessons for brillant ideas. Take care!
    Thx for advice Perhaps a mantra: iPad literacy tools 2 empower student learning creativity and critical thinking. Amazing resources!