For many projects and assignments, I have often used the iPad app Explain Everything for Year 1 and 2 students to share their thinking. I have used Explain Everything for students to explain the features of 3D shapes and how they have worked out particular maths strategies. Thinglink has been used for students to review books they like or to make a quick comment about an image. After students make these projects, we share their work on the interactive whiteboard. It’s a real thrill for students to see their work displayed for the whole class to see.
Pros of Explain Everything:
- Pictures, photos, text, symbols (arrows, etc) and videos can be inserted.
- Students can draw pictures using the tools.
- Students can record their voice.
- The final Explain Everything project can be copied to the photo roll of the iPad, and then played on an ordinary computer.
Cons of Explain Everything:
- It is not that intuitive and not simple to use (for year 1 and 2 students at least). Students need to be explicitly taught what each symbol (i.e. the + one for new slide) means, how to insert a picture or take a picture and so on. Inserting arrows and different coloured text needs some playing around with.
- I am still not sure how students do this, but sometimes when students draw a picture and then record their voice explaining the image, the picture somehow disappears until the very end of the video.
I recently discovered a great app called Thinglink. This is also an app where students can share their thinking.
Pros of Thinglink:
- Pictures, photos, text and videos can be inserted.
- Students can make a video.
- The final Thinglink can be embedded into a blog.
- It is intuitive and very easy to students to learn how to use.
Cons of Thinglink:
- The final Thinglink cannot be saved onto the camera roll.
- Students can’t draw pictures.
- Internet connection is required for work to be displayed.
Overall, I feel that if I want students to make a book response or project that doesn’t require it to be saved onto the camera roll, Thinglink will be my preference.
How do you feel about using Explain Everything and Thinglink? Which one do you prefer students to use and why?