Have you tried Showbie yet? If you have iPads in the classroom, and you’re struggling with how to have students submit assignments, you need to take a look at it. This free service lets students submit assignments to the teacher, who can then grade them and return them to the student all on the iPad. Here’s how.
Start by downloading the free Showbie app, and create a teacher account. Next, add a class, and take note of the class code. Teachers can create as many classes as they need. Tell students what your individual class code is so that when they sign up, they can join your class and be able to submit assignments to you. (Note: no email addresses are required for students to sign up and use the Showbie service).
Once everybody is signed up, the teacher adds an assignment to the shared folder in their chosen class. This automatically populates it in the student’s account. The assignment can be a text note, an image, a recorded voice message, a 1 minute video, or something that you have created in another app and sent to Showbie via the “Open in another app” function. Need to show a longer video? Host it on YouTube (or add it to Dropbox) and paste the link to the video in the text box for students. Some have even added the video to a Keynote file (100 MB max size) and uploaded that.
Students submit their assignments by logging in to the Showbie app and selecting the class, and then the assignment they were sent by their teacher. They can turn it in via a text note, image, recorded voice message, a 1 minute video or again something that they created in another app.
When the teacher next logs in, they will see how many assignments have been turned in for each class and they can choose which ones to grade. Their comments can be left in one of the multimedia elements discussed above, or by opening the file into another app like a PDF annotator and then sending it back to Showbie.
Currently, there are three levels of Showbie accounts, all of which are free. But, be aware that the standard teacher account will limit you to 100 assignments. If you need more than that, and you surely will over time, you should encourage your school to sign up for a school or district account which has unlimited assignments.
Premium features are on the way, and will be an additional cost, but Showbie has said that everything that is currently free will remain free, and that these paid extras will be something over and above what they already offer. It might not be the perfect solution for all scenarios, but for most of the time it will work just fine.
Do you use Showbie? If so, and you have any experiences to share (good or bad) feel free to share them in the comments below.