Teacher Review for Explain Everything

This is a top 3 app for education!

Brad W.
Technology coordinator
Fort Couch Middle School
Pittsburgh, United States
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My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Small group
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It
We have used this app for three different purposes. First, we have used this as a means to create tutorials or video answer keys for student work. To accomplish this, teachers would email themselves the worksheet and then record themselves creating the answer key, which allows for them to explain answers beyond simply seeing what is correct or incorrect. Second, we have had teachers grade student papers using Explain Everything. For this, students would email their papers as PDFs to their teacher who would then record themselves grading the paper, which includes voice-authored feedback that is far superior in terms of clarity, detail, and overall impact than traditional grading. Upon completion of grading, teachers then email the papers back to their students, or return it to a Google Drive folder that is shared between teachers and students. A third use of this app that our district has used is to have students create tutorials on how to complete math problems. This approach puts the students in control of their learning and requires higher-order thinking and mental organization, because the videos that they produced were then organized to make a full answer key for the class. We attempted to use this app for other purposes like note-taking given that it is the only app that we know of that would allow for note-taking while watching a video, but the app was too glitchy for this, so we did not continue this practice. It is less user-friendly for note-taking than Notability, therefor students did not care for it for other types of note-taking as well.
My Take
From my perspective this is an app that can and should be applied to all subjects because utilizing student creation of videos is a great way to challenge students to move toward higher-order thinking, while being a great example of student-centered learning. For teachers, try this out for voice-authored feedback! It is far superior to traditional written feedback and while it may take more time in the beginning as you get used to the flow of organizing emails and sharing back with students, it will eventually become more efficient and will no longer take you any more time to grade than was previously spent grading. Overall, I am a strong supporter of this app and require it to be placed on all of the iPads that I am responsible for from Day 1 because the potential for this is much higher than may be visible on first sight.