Common Sense Review
Updated December 2014


Build slick, engaging whiteboard animations with Web-based tool
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Common Sense Rating 4
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • With Explee, users can choose from thousands of pictures as they create whiteboard animations.
  • Add music to set the mood: selections are joyful, dreamy, wild, and everything in between.
  • The simple storyboard interface lets users lay out their videos section by section.
  • Users can preview their video as they create.
Easy-to-use timeline helps users create professional-looking videos.
Text-to-speech component sounds robotic; more collaboration options would be useful.
Bottom Line
A stellar -- if somewhat pricey -- creation tool for the classroom.
Stephanie Trautman
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 5

Students will enjoy creation tools on Explee and can use their own photos and music. Images and music provided on the site are of high quality, and the easy-to-use storyboard offers in-depth editing tools for refining a presentation.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Students take an active role in creating presentations that display their meaning-making in personalized ways. Creation of videos allows students to creatively select images, music, and text to fit the message of their presentation.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

While creating video presentations, there is a interactive tutorial and a how-to page for go-to reference. Users can save their project along the way and view their progress. A nice addition to Explee would be closed captioning for videos.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers will enjoy using Explee to spice up their lessons, including visual presentations to boost students' interest. Teachers will love assigning this presentation tool to their students so that students can be creative in expressing their knowledge and understanding of an idea. Students are creative and active in making videos, and the creative challenges in designing a video will help with their meaning-making. Have kids make a commercial for an upcoming lab in a science class, or illustrate the steps of a math problem. Encourage kids in history classes to create videos that illustrate a key event, or have literature classes create trailers for a film adaptation of a work you're reading in class. Teachers can use Explee to create engaging pre-class videos to introduce new concepts or offer a catchy way to view text-heavy content.

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What's It Like?

Explee is a Web-based digital creation app that lets users create dynamic "whiteboard animation" presentations. Explee has three main areas for editing: the scene (layout board), a media board (which includes hundreds of pictures, music, and text options), and a timeline (like a storyboard for your video creation). Users can upload their own images or use the ones already provided and drop them into the scene in any order. As for audio options, users can upload their own music and generate audio through a text-to-speech feature. Audio can then be dragged and dropped to the timeline. There's also a preview button so that creators can see what their finished product will look like.

The app's main page describes most of its applications for business users; drilling down further reveals options for teachers and students. A free account lets users create videos up to one minute long that are publicly stored on the Explee site. Premium plans for schools cost more and have more features: Videos can be up to 10 minutes long, and users can download their videos, export to YouTube, use privacy controls, and access Brainspace -- Explee's teacher dashboard for storing and customizing students' videos.

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Is It Good For Learning?

In-app features are easy to use and allow for boundless creative expression. Explee's visual style is exceptional: Its videos are slick, and the built-in images, icons, and audio are extremely cool. Watch the developer's intro video on the website: It's geared more to business users than to schools, but kids and teachers alike may love using a tool that creates videos that look like polished, sophisticated commercials. The Brainscape feature is also strong: It's a flexible, clear dashboard for teachers to manage and view their students' work. Kids will love using Explee; it's an engaging way to help learners think creatively about the lessons they're exploring in the classroom, whether they're engaged in their own meaning-making through producing videos, or viewing their classmates' work. Teachers can also create videos, making once-boring lessons or presentations more catchy, appealing, and detailed.

While the creation tools are flexible and attractive, some teachers might balk at the high cost of entry. Indeed, teachers can't systematically access or monitor their students' work without a premium account. However, if it's in your budget, this is a great tool for creating flexible, beautiful whiteboard animations.

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