Explain Everything is a hugely popular app for both students and educators (1.5 million according to the app maker) that can be used as an extremely versatile interactive whiteboard. With easy to manipulate gestures and media integration, the app can be used to project information up in front of a class or to record material for students to watch at a later date. But that’s only the beginning!
Compatibility: iOS / Android / Windows
Access: No signup required
A Quick Look
1. A very smart board
One of the most popular uses for Explain Everything in the classroom is using it as a versatile and mobile interactive whiteboard. By projecting the app up in front of your class you can wander around the room as you talk through what is being shown on screen. With a much more adaptable set of features on the device than most whiteboards, you can quickly and easily display, manipulate and annotate all sorts of media. You can even hand the device to your students to take control and let them put their knowledge on show.
2. Record and flip
While there are many different ways to record and screencast your lessons and lectures, Explain Everything is a particularly good option that combines a number of different screen recording techniques. You can import slides from your own lesson resources, record your voice over the material and try using the laser pointer tool to point out items of interest as you discuss. Explain Everything also provides a number of different ways to export your flipped lessons depending on how you choose to deliver to your students.
3. Creating book trailers
This is a neat and fun idea from educators Katie Stover and Chase Young. Have your students use Explain Everything to create an enticing trailer for a particular book they have read. They can use photos from the book itself, their own drawings or any kind of media that will add to the overall effect. From there (if you have permission) students can upload to YouTube and share with their family and friends.
4. Documenting the thought process
Explaining how a certain answer was reached, how a certain opinion was formed or instructing through a process or experiment is a great way for students to learn and create. Try having your students use Explain Everything to explain their thought process using the record feature in the app. This will not only give them the experience of ‘teaching’ but will also allow you to assess their thinking and approach to certain problems.
5. Simple and fun animation
It’s not exactly what the app was created for, but the recording feature of Explain Everything means that it is very easy to manipulate objects on the screen and record that interaction for playback. For younger students this can be much simpler than using complicated animation software and can be a great activity for play or digital storytelling.
Links and Next Steps
- Explain Your Thinking With Math Stations and the Explain Everything App
- Using Explain Everything as a teaching tool – Video (2 min)
- Teacher J. Stewart describes her “Photo Safari” class lesson – Video (1.5 min)
- Using Screencasting Applications in the Classroom – Book trailer idea
- Explain Everything Tutorial for Digital Storytelling – Video (8 min)
- App Smashing with Explain Everything – Using in conjunction with iMovie
- Using the ‘Explain Everything’ App in the classroom – Video (2 min)
- Explain Everything Uses In the Classroom – Student created video (2 min)
Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, stevendepolo.