Using Explain Everything

I’ll come right out and admit it, at first I wasn’t sure how useful Explain Everything was going to be, but everywhere I looked to find how IT could help teaching and learning, I kept finding recommendations to download the app. Now I’m a fan.

What for and Why?

Mostly for student use. Getting students to explain a concept by creating a short (insist on short) video, forces them to identify key ideas, voice the vocabulary and frame their explanation. I’m a Physics teacher. Students find the technical vocabulary unfamiliar and confusing. Using Explain Everything (EE) drives them to use the correct terms, and to explain what’s going on, rather than just grab an equation and see if they can get the right answer. Students of different ages and abilities have produced EE videos to describe experiments, including the analysis, and to explain concepts and processes. When I view the submissions I can identify misconceptions that I might have missed in a more formulaic student task.

What happens to the videos students make?

They hand them in electronically: to begin with we used Showbie, now we have a mechanism via the school VLE. I can assess and give feedback, using Showbie enables students to redraft and improve their work, which is a big plus. Also students have shown their videos to small groups, or when each student had a different topic, pairs have shared so that they made notes while watching a partner’s video, then swapped partners.

If you would like to see what’s possible, here’s a mash up of student videos to demonstrate the sort of things they can do.

Here is a link to a short ‘getting started with Explain Everything’ video that I made for colleagues. This one’s a bit clunky.


About lifelonglearner

Teacher in Southern England enthusiastic about exploring ways to learn and teach, and evangelistic about sharing them. Specialism is Physics, but that's just a useful starting point.
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