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Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated September 2014

Teach

Slick, complex screencasting tool with cool creation, privacy features

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Creativity

Subjects
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
6-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (0)
Not yet reviewed

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5 images

Pros: Users who explore the intro lesson and play with the features will be rewarded with impressive results.

Cons: Some features for sharing and recording are available only with the paid version, and some users might find the interface too complex.

Bottom Line: This is an excellent screencasting tool for teachers who need a secure online space for sharing videos.

Use Knowmia Teach as a go-to tool for flipping the classroom, sharing videos with students online via the Knowmia website. Also, have kids create their own videos to explain multi-step tasks like math problems, for example, or to describe the procedure for a science lab. Kids can then share their original videos with their classmates via the developer's website.

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Editor's Note: Knowmia has closed and is no longer available.

Knowmia Teach is a tool for capturing teacher- or student-created videos on an iPad. Users can create slides that include images, diagrams, or text and then record themselves as they speak, draw, use a pointer, and otherwise walk viewers through their slides. Resulting videos (which can be up to 15 minutes long) are then stored on the developer’s website. Videos can be viewed only by other registered users of Knowmia.com, and users can control who can view their videos with strict privacy-control tools. 

Knowmia Teach PRO costs $29.99, although it’s often on sale for $14.99. Premium features in the PRO version include options for recording while the presenter views a website (like a video, for example, in which the presenter gives a tour of a website and its contents), and for uploading videos to the device’s camera roll or YouTube.

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Knowmia Teach has some small touches that make it terrific. If you misspeak on one slide, for example, you need only rerecord that step rather than redo the entire recording. The introductory lesson includes pro tips for screencasting -- for example, encouraging teachers to orient the iPad with the camera away from their dominant hand. This might not become your go-to screencasting tool, but some time with Teach could make you a better screencaster overall. 

It's telling that the Introductory Lesson has 33 slides. Knowmia has a lot of features, from recording your own image on-screen to staging images to use on the slides while recording. This is an app that takes some time to master, and fans of simpler, more intuitive screencasting tools might balk at the busy-ness of the interface or the cost of the PRO version. Sharing features could also be divisive. Although you can import from cloud-based services, the free version of the app only lets users export to the login-required Knowmia website. For some users, that layer of security might be attractive. This could be a great choice for teachers who need a site to host their course materials, and who are specifically interested in creating content that's not publicly searchable or accessible. 

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The no-nonsense interface is best explored by reading the directions, which might be less than engaging for some users.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

With lots of built-in ways to present, sort, and share info, this is a useful tool for both teachers and students.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Built-in tips give helpful advice for using the app in particular, and for screencasting in general. 


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member