Explain Everything

Categories: Mobile Screencasting/ Interactive whiteboard
Availability: iOS, Android, Browser (beta)
Uses: Engagement, Retention, Collaboration, Reflection

What is it?
Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard that enables screencasting and is most useful using the mobile app.

The app allows you to draw onto a blank screen or onto existing content using your touchscreen and insert images and other files to the content. You can also record your movements on the screen so that when played back, students can see the process you took to create the visualisation. Ideally suited to tutorials, it is also a powerful tool for students.

The app is now called Explain Everything Collaborate and it provides opportunities to collaborate easily with others or simply share your whiteboard with others to view. Another update with Explain Everything is in the pricing. While this app used to cost c. 2.50 it is now about €25-€50 per year (depending on offer) or €5 per month.

How can I use it?
At its most basic, Explain Everything is a tool for quickly creating tutorials or explainer presentations. You can use the whiteboard as if it is a new slide in a presentation and you can add more whiteboards to complete your presentation. You can also add images and other files to the presentation and annotate these or draw on blank slides, depending on your needs.

You can also ask students to create their own Explain Everything presentation, asking them to explain a concept or a process using the whiteboard. Students could be given a topic or problem and asked to explain or solve this, narrating while using the whiteboard.

In addition the whiteboard can be shared with others for real-time collaboration to spark discussion or to brainstorm in group projects.

To get started with a free 30 day trial:

  • Go to https://explaineverything.com/ and click Getting Started
  • Add a username, your email address and a password and click Create Account
  • Download the app (available in the menu at the bottom of the screen or through the Google Play, App Store,  Google Chrome store or Microsoft Store
  • Click the + button to create a new project
  • Use the toolbar on the left of the screen to select the tool that you want or click + in the toolbar to add a resource to your whiteboard.
  • Click the record button at the bottom of the screen to start recording your actions on the whiteboard. You can also click the microphone to begin narrating.

Why should I use it?
Explain Everything is a neat application for quickly creating explainers of concepts or topics. These can be used in class or made available to students outside of the classroom as a revision resource or to foster understanding. It is also a useful tool to provide explanations of assignment briefs. For instance, you could upload the brief and provide additional guidance by narrating while you walk through the brief, highlighting any key points that you think your students might find ambiguous.

It is also extremely useful for creating tutorials or quick lesson introductions that can be provided to the students before class using a flipped classroom approach. This allows the students to get an overview of a topic before class and critically reflect on it so that they can engage in deeper learning during class time.

Finally, from a teacher perspective, it is a very useful tool for providing feedback on student submissions. You can add the student submission to a new slide and narrate while highlighting areas in their submission and share this with the student afterwards to give them the opportunity for a clearer understanding of their grade.

For students, Explain Everything is great for group projects, allowing students to brainstorm and work collaboratively in real time. This brainstorming activity is not limited to group work of course and the app offers opportunities for students to brainstorm on their own individual projects and share this with you to show progression. They can also use it to demonstrate their thinking when solving complex problems or to critically reflect on material that was shared by their lecturer.

In addition, students can use it for digital note taking, if they are provided with the class slides beforehand they can upload them to a whiteboard and annotate them during class helping to facilitate learning and allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the topic.

Top Tip
While Explain Everything is available through the browser it is only in Beta and it is most useful through the mobile application. Make use of the 30 day free trial with this app to see if it’s something that you would find useful.

Where can I find it?
Unless otherwise stated, all reviews and recommendations are solely those of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organisation, including Cork Institute of Technology. The Department is not responsible for any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content viewed or accessed through the tools and products reviewed.