How Classroom Workflow App Showbie Is Reimagining ParentTeacher Interviews
EDMONTON, AB (Marketwired December 17, 2015) Strengthening the communication between teachers and students has always been an integral part of creating successful education technology—but where do parents factor in?
In 1:1 classrooms, parent/teacher interviews have become more and more tech focused. As a result, teachers must often introduce and explain technology to parents before they can even begin discussing their child’s development.
While there are classroom apps like Remind that loop parents into their child’s classroom activity separately, classroom workflow systems like Google Classroom and iTunes U have yet to integrate a way for parents to easily track and follow student progress as they work, resulting in parents and teachers sometimes finding complicated workarounds to communicate progress.
To remedy this, classroom workflow app Showbie h as found a way to easily involve parents in their child’s in app classroom activity. By creating accounts specifically for parents to login and view their child’s progress, Showbie’s new parent access feature seamlessly allows parents to see what their children are learning, allowing them to view upcoming assignments, grades, and feedback by simply logging in.
We initially set out to increase transparency between teachers and students in 1:1 classrooms by providing technology that would streamline assignments and feedback. We’re thrilled to extend this mission to include parents of the more than 2 million classroom teachers and students who use Showbie today, explains Colin Bramm, Showbie’s Cofounder and CEO.
Though the idea of sharing an entire classroom with parents is intimidating for many teachers, Showbie’s parent access feature gives them control over what parents can and can’t see. Teachers also have the option of making only student portfolios viewable to parents, giving them more control over which assignments and grades parents have access to. Whatever way they choose to use parent access, the overarching goal is to alleviate the stress of teachers and parents by keeping everyone on the same page.
One of the hopes with features like parent access is to make stressful and surprising parent/teacher interviews a thing of the past.
Joanne Lau, a Grade 1 and 2 teacher at David Livingstone Elementary School in Vancouver, BC, explains the benefit of giving parents access to student work:
It’s a great way to communicate with parents and keep them up to date on where their children are at in terms of learning, and it eliminates surprises during report card time. Also, parents can see the instant notification, so they can work on things with their children instead of finding it out when it’s too late.
Among the desired results are ridding parents of ‘report card shock’ by mitigating surprises during parent/teacher conference time, and giving parents an inside look at classroom technology when they may have previously had no idea what or how their children were learning.
With apps like Showbie integrating parent access into their interface, teachers and parents can spend less time attempting to communicate and more time thinking about what’s really important: positive learning development for their students and children.
With 2 million users, Showbie is an Edmonton, Canada-based classroom workflow app that makes it easy for 1:1 classrooms to go paperless on mobile devices. Teachers can easily create classes and assignments, and students can complete assignments using a variety of compatible apps, or by using Showbie’s builtin annotation tools. Teachers can then review, provide feedback, grade and place work in portfolios by using features in the app. Showbie is backed by Point Nine Capital, Kymbask Investments Inc., Yaletown Venture Partners, Fresco Capital and Imagine K12.
Pricing and Availability
Showbie 2.4 with parents access is available exclusively in the a pp store. Teachers can give full parent access on a paid Showbie Pro plan, while Showbie Basic users can share portfolio items with parents for free. Previously, portfolio was a paid Pro feature, and it will now be basic and free for all Showbie users. Showbie Pro is available at $12 a month, and free for students. A schoolwide version is also available on S howbie’s plans page.
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