On October 29th, TELT organized a meeting for Explain Everything users, to share their experiences with the use of this application in education. Around 16 teachers participated; some of them were completely new on this tool, others were already somewhat familiar but interested to know more. The largest part, however, consisted of more experienced users.
Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard application that can be used to create pencasts and to present in and out of the classroom. It lets you animate, record, annotate, and present ideas, knowledge and understanding. Explain Everything is available for all the major operating systems. If you're interested to know more about using Explain Everything, visit the solution page and/or read the experience of Stephan van Gils (professor at UT).
Lessons we learned
The initial goal of this meeting was to get in touch with users and get some feedback from them. We also shared our own experiences so far and presented some possible solutions related to technical and educational issues. For example, different ways to store the instructional video was one of the topics that was discussed during this meeting.
We found out that teachers that came to this session are using Explain Everything for two different purposes:
- to create pencasts which students can use as self-study material
- as a collaborative tool inside and outside the classroom (giving students access to the canvas so they can explore and work together)
We also found that some of the users would like to take their pencast one step further and have more advanced editing options. For that, TELT can offer support (using external tools like Camtasia).
If you haven't noticed it already: we take your feedback seriously. Based on your suggestions, we've made a list of actions we want to accomplish in the (near) future:
- For new users, training sessions can and will be provided (individual or for small groups).
- We have already started with the development of a Canvas course as a place to share experiences, examples, and tips. Keep the discussion going, is the motto.
- We're going to explore more about using ExplainEverything as a collaborative tool (inside and outside the classroom). We will work on presenting this as a possible solution for learning and teaching.
For more advice on using Explain Everything as a screencast tool, or as an interactive whiteboard in the classroom, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The TELT Team can provide you with an activation code in order to use all features and (optionally) an iPad to try Explain Everything out for yourself.
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