An app to consider: ShowMe

I’m currently in the process of considering apps that meet Bloom’s Taxonomy or various State and National Standards.  The entire project is based off of the work by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano at the Langwitches Blog.  Ms. Rosenthal Tolisano recently categorized a number of apps in terms of Bloom’s (revised) Taxonomy.  I’ve been checking out her recommended apps, and then considering what apps I would use in a music education focused app chart.

Although Ms. Rosenthal Talisano ultimately recommended the purchase of a paid app, Explain Everything, one of her earlier reviews was on a free app entitled ShowMe.

The app acts as a white board, and records both audio and everything written on the iPad while recording.  It can import a picture from the Camera Roll, and then you can annotate over the picture.  The only negative is that you can only export the finished movie to ShowMe’s servers, and not to your own Camera Roll.  This is the main reason why Ms. Rosenthal Tolisano suggests the purchase of Explain Everything.

However, if your school budget is tight, and you would like students to demonstrate higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy in written musical work, consider this app.  For example, in harmonic analysis, have students create a visual recording of their analysis of a piece of music (take a screen shot of a score and use that as the visual behind the annotation).  Or have students demonstrate phrasing, form, or other key elements of music in their own video.

I consider it an incredibly powerful way to have students demonstrate their knowledge rather than just write in on a paper…and it would be highly instructional to have a teacher–or peers–watch another student’s work and be able to see where errors occurred.  This is a whole new level of peer editing.

Granted, there are issues in not being able to send video from device to device without using ShowMe’s servers…but for the price, creative solutions could be found (trade iPads?)

I’ve wished that Keynote for the iPad would allow annotation and recording…and apparently Explain Everything adds some of that functionality.  Nonetheless, here is another free resource worth trying–and putting to use in music education where no one probably ever imagined it could be used.



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