Mobile Monday: Explain Everything for creating “flipped” video explanations for your students

20 May

Info: Explain Everything for the iPad.

Cost: 2.99$

Quick overview: Explain Everything is a an iPad app that enables you to EASILY create short video explanations on your iPad in just a matter of minutes. Your voice is recorded with the iPad’s built-in microphone while you write on the screen with a stylus. It’s a great tool for teachers looking to “flip” elements of their classroom!

Wait.. doesn’t this suggestion sound a little familiar? In May 2012, I posted a blog article article about Explain Everything. Since then, there’s been a lot of changes to the program (the app has been updated to version 2) and it has been improved dramatically. As so, I’ve created a new video tutorial to explain how the new app works.

What has been done with Explain Everything since I last posted an article? I’ve done a lot of workshops with Explain Everything since last May. It’s currently my ABSOLUTE favorite way to create short “screen recording” video capsules for the classroom. If you’re sitting on the fence about getting your own iPad to use at school, this app is a great excuse to go buy one!

How can Explain Everything be used in the classroom? Math teachers could use a stylus to write out a math problem and explain step-by-step how to solve it. Language teachers can create small capsules to help students with pronunciation or commons grammar concepts. Biology or science teachers can import an image or video (anatomy, cell structure) and use the app to highlight or move different parts of the image while narrating. Students can be provided with these videos capsules during class to help them better understand a tricky concept. Once they’re done watching the video, you can sit down with them if they need any additional help.

Where do I put the videos? Video capsules can be exported to YouTube, Dropbox, Evernote, or left on the iPad’s Camera Roll. If the videos are placed up on YouTube, students can bring them up by scanning a QR code or typing in the YouTube address manually. If you’re curious about making your own QR codes (which is surprisingly easy to do) please watch this video here.

Benefits and limitations: While I’ve covered other iPad apps that allow you to create a screen recording, you’re forced to do the entire lesson in one take. The great thing about Explain Everything is that it allows you record ONE slide at a time. This means if you cough or make a mistake, you’ll only have to re-record the slide you were working on and not the entire presentation! The iPad microphone is also extremely sensitive so it will pick up sounds of your clothes shuffling or other sounds around the room. Be sure to record in a very quiet environment.