As I sifted through our whole iPad workflow, there was one itty little bitty thing missing...an interactive whiteboard! After we shopped around and tested the top reviewed apps, we settled on Explain Everything because of ease of use, Schoology integration, and bulk pricing. After 4 months, we don't have any major complaints.
EE allows us to take a whole bunch of existing materials we have in paper format and bring it into the app to push it up a few SAMR notches. We needed students to be able to interact with content in a visual, auditory, and explanatory way. We needed them to demo their learning through close reading, annotation, and math scribbles - all instructional practices we've been relying on since common core.
The added bonuses are the audio recording, especially for our ELs - it's really pushing their speaking and listening skills. It was one of those "oh...my iPad can do this??!" moments for our EL students - they couldn't quite believe they could hear their voice come back at them. Although there's a ton of apps they can practice reading fluency with, we like that the teacher can set up an EE template and have them practice right there - with a leveled text, picture, or video.
Although we love the Pages and Notes for quick scribbles, taking notes, and larger text formatting, EE adds some additional design tools that allow our students to create - and that's a big win for us. It hits the Innovative Design standard on the nose.
The options to use formulas and some simple functions is useful, although we wish it had a built-in graph background (we can add one....just take extra clicks). We've been using it often to write around math, a mysteriously missing feature with our online textbooks...
It's definitely an app that is quickly becoming one of our core apps along with the Apple apps. It has many functions and applications for every content area. There's a music teacher who's testing out using it to annotate sheet music this week! Sweet!
We're definitely still learning about all EE has to offer. We want to spend more time learning about creating screencast tutorials. But, a few times a week I hear, "just pop it over to Explain Everything" from teachers and students alike. Splendid investigations!
Did I miss anything? How are you using interactive whiteboard apps to help design happen?
Check it out: www.explaineverything.com
And the iOS ipad App
And their video tutorials are pretty sweet too!
This year the SDOL instructional coaches and I are working on defining professional learning that is beyond mere compliance. We're working on curating and crafting online professional learning (using Schoology as a platform) that provides our teachers with respect for their time as professionals, autonomy, voice, and choice. Before we get into the messy, creative work of designing personalized online professional learning, we need to stop and think hard about what we know about our learners. What are their strengths? What do they need? What will get them most engaged in the process of individual growth?
We started this process by pulling together our Top 10 Tech Tools to help us better understand ("assess") our learners. Although many of these tools aren't new to us, we wanted to take a moment to pull them together and start thinking about how we can both gather information about our learners and rediscover tools that can infuse our online professional learning courses with more interactivity. No more "read the article. answer the questions. discuss" professional learning. It's not good enough. We have great teachers who we expect to support great students; our staff deserves endless opportunities to create, investigate, share, collaborate, and feel inspired and respected as they work on their professional growth. So. If we really understand the learners we are working with we can plan professional learning that truly engages them in their own process of growth = we all learn. It's what we believe about students. It's why we leverage tech. It's why we craft learning environments that support ALL learners. If we expect teachers to customize learning for kids, why wouldn't we do the same for adults? Right? We've got to start with understanding. We need to get to know our learners.
Check out the secondary instructional coaches' Top 10 Tech Tools for Understanding Our Learners Google Slides! Share your own faves in the comments!
Thanks to Fritz, Destiny, Joel, Darina, Kelly, and Chris for their help!