Meeting Students Where They Are

The ability to learn on the go allows instructors the advantage to meet students where they are; whether that is in a classroom, in the car, at home sick or on vacation.

There are numerous tools that can be downloaded on a mobile device but the two that I have chosen to explore are ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard and WordPress.

ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard is a mobile application that allows students and instructors to share written work and check for understanding. This tool can be extremely helpful in teaching moments when the instructor is looking to give a short example or explanation of a problem and post it online for students to watch outside of class while they’re working on homework. One significant feature of this tool is that the instructor can create their own course and the application integrates with Google Classroom. The whiteboard can have photos uploaded from the device, the web, Dropbox or Google Drive allowing instructors to review a diagram of the human body and mark specific areas for the students to learn. The screen is recorded and a link can be shared with whoever needs the video. The videos are screen share and audio. This tool can be used for the Project GRAD Summer Institute students online who get stuck on a homework problem and need assistance. They are able to work out a math problem and send the link to a Project GRAD Mentor for help.

Of course with any tool there are always areas to improve on or features to pay attention to. ShowMe is only accessible on iOS platforms so this would not be a tool that all students would have access to. There is a cost associated with full features of the app, the main feature allowing an instructor to create a course and have multiple videos uploaded.

WordPress is a free and open source content management system that allows users to create content according to need. This can include a website for personal or business purposes, classroom portal for students to locate information or interact in a class blog. Website can be accessed openly or a be password protected. WordPress allows users to create visually appealing content with graphics without having to know how to use CSS or HTML codes. WordPress is accessible through a mobile device so instructors, students, business professionals are able to keep up with blog posts, page updates, photo galleries, and assignments through their phone. This week, I was able to start my post from my phone, it autosaved and I was able to complete the post at a later time.

Again, great things come with great costs and WordPress does have additional feature costs associated with it. For example, if someone wants to have their own domain, they can purchase the domain through WordPress for $14.99/year. There are free templates available to users but for more customization options, there is an additional cost. WordPress is available through the web and can be downloaded as a mobile app for Android and iOS.

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