Friday, January 4, 2013

My App Class with Explain Everything

One of my goals for the year is to help teachers use the tools they have in the classroom effectively with students. As we transition to the Common Core State Standards it is critical we find meaningful ways for students to demonstrate understanding and share their thinking about specific concepts.  I designed a workshop for teachers focused on using the presentation app, Explain Everything, as a tool for students to demonstrate deep understanding of concepts. This easy to use tool lets you create dynamic presentations on any topic using a variety of media including images, video and audio.  

VIew the flyer:  iPad App Workshop - Presenting Ideas with Explain Everything

Prior to the workshop, participants were asked to complete a survey.  I used the information from the survey to tailor the workshop.  As you can see from some of the survey data below, teachers have iPads but need time to learn and collaborate with others about how to effectively use the iPad in class.  This can be especially challenging in a one iPad classroom like many of our teachers have.  

Based on the survey data, I knew I needed to provide examples of how students could create using the app and then allow plenty of time for teachers to use the app and create their own presentations.  In the workshop we discussed how to use this app in the classroom and then created our own projects titled, "A Tour of My Classroom".  Teachers came with images of their classroom already on the iPad and used them to create a virtual tour that could be shown to students and parents.  

In the presentations teachers were asked to include the following elements:

  1. 5 slides with images (minimum)
  2. annotation
  3. cropping
  4. drawing
  5. object movement
  6. audio

There are many other elements available, but I wanted to keep it fairly simple so they could finish the presentation during the workshop.  At the end of the workshop teachers took turns sharing their presentations via Apple TV with the rest of the group.  Not everyone finished and I am thinking of extending the length of the workshop when I offer it again in the future.  I would also like to have time to show teachers how to upload presentations to teacher YouTube channels.

Here is a screenshot of one of the presentations created by a charter school teacher during the workshop.

My App Class with Explain Everything
Learning to use motion and audio in the Explain Everything App

I would love to hear from others who have used this app in class or who have offered workshops for teachers using this app.  If you have comments or suggestions please share!

Resources:  I used the tutorials and videos below to help teachers get started using the Explain Everything App and see some examples of the app being used by students at a variety of grade levels.  

Introduction to Explain Everything App 

    Explain Everything as a presentation tool - by Paul Hamilton

    Kindergarten Animal Reports with Explain Everything - by Mrs. Parnell's class

    Punnett Squares with Explain Everything

Primary school Student uses Explain Everything App to 
take you on a journey of the solar system

Backstage Explain Everything iPad App