10 ways to use Explain Everything in the Languages classroom

jpeg-image-dbc4671fd4a5-1Last week @joedale and experimented with the podcasting app Anchor.  Our slow chat was called Explaining Explain Everything.  You can listen to the chat here please feel free to join Anchor and join in with the chat – the more the merrier!

This blog post is designed to accompany the chat.

  1. Mirror your iPad to the main board in the room and use it just like an interactive whiteboard. At the end of the lesson, save the slides and share them with your students so that they can review the work they did in class at home.
  2. Create a screencast.  Hit the big record button on Explain Everything and record a screencast for your students. By tapping the record button Explain Everything records every pen stroke/keystroke that you make as well as your voice.  Screencasts are a great way to provide grammar notes and resources for your students, they are also a brilliant when using the flipped classroom model
  3. Get students to show what they know.  Consumption is all well and good but in my view it is when creating that students have the most learning gains. Students can use Explain Everything to create their own screen casts showing what they have learnt in a lesson or series of lessons.  It’s a great way for a teacher to understand any student misconceptions.
  4. Animate.  Animation is relatively easy in Explain Everything; record your screen whilst dragging hand drawn images onto the slide and adding speech.  When drawing in Explain Everything be sure to tap the finger image at the top of the tool bar after you have drawn each image or all the pictures ‘stick’ together. If students keep forgetting to do this (and mine do) they could draw in Paper 53 app and then export to camera roll with the background off and then import into Explain Everything.  It sounds more complicated than it actually is, believe me!
  5. Annotate and explain. Annotating and explaining is simple in Explain Everything. Imagine that your students have not done their homework very well, simply take a photo of a piece of work and import it into Explain Everything.  You can now annotate this work using the pen, highlighting and pointer tools.  You could do this activity on the main screen in your classroom with your class present or record your thoughts and annotations and share them with your students via your school VLE, Google Classroom or similar.
  6. Students can complete a similar activity by talking through their thinking on a piece of work or an exam question.  They can explain how they tackled a homework or an exam paper and they share their video with you. It’s a great way to get inside a student’s head and discover their thought process.
  7. Explain Everything has an infinite canvas which is great for creating more complex animations but in doing so giving the students more scope to talk in the target language. My students used it to talk about their home and surrounding area.  They began by describing their bedroom and then zooming out to describe their home and finally zooming out yet further to describe their village or town. I wrote about this here
  8. I have already mentioned annotating in Explain Everything but did you know that you can import a webpage into Explain Everything? It will scroll just as a webpage should but you can annotate, highlight and make voice notes too. I use this facility when asking students to explain how they tackled exam questions.
  9. It’s easy to draw in Explain Everything  so why not try some  sketchnoting with you class you could even get them to record themselves explaining their sketchnote in the target language.  My classes and I have used sketchnoting very successfully when introducing new vocabulary and also for explaining grammar points
  10. Similar to above why not get students to label a photo in the target language again they could record themselves using the vocabulary on the photo in phrases or short paragraphs.
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