Since I received my iPad I have trialled a number of what I call ‘creative apps’. These include ShowMe, Educreations and Explain Everything. I have spent a considerable amount of time on each app looking for every trick and secret to ensure that my pupils are using the best app for them (based on their ability and age). Last week I came to a conclusion, it was not easy as all the apps certainly have their strengths and weaknesses.
ShowMe has an easy interface, that students can navigate around with little teacher input. With easy access to a wide range of options to create/edit your slides. However, it’s one big weakness, the inability for you to add a new slide whilst recording. Although this wasn’t a problem when Tom F was working on his spellings, I believe that this limits it’s use.
A strength of the ShowMe app is the ease to which you can share the videos that you have created on a well designed website which is great in education due to the lack of clutter.
I am always torn between the ShowMe app and Educreations. In my first week trialling all these apps in school my students enjoyed using both of them (probably because it was something new). So which app is the best for my students? Although ShowMe has a number of strengths, I am going to recommend Educreations to all my readers.
From comparing the two apps the Educreations app is simple, which in my mind, makes it student friendly and allows them to learn the content rather than the how to. The big tick in the box for me is the ability to add new slides whilst recording your creation. Therefore the app is extremely flexible in its use, from student projects and simple handwriting practice to teachers creating online revision resources for their students.
My top app for teachers though is Explain Everything.
A number of reasons for this, but mainly due to the number of options for editing your slide makes it perfect for teachers to create and edit your video. However, these features may overwhelm students, especially younger/SEN secondary students.
I will still be trialling all these apps across the curriculum with my students, but I feel that for me the standout app for students is, and may always be Educreations. I would recommend that ALL teachers download Explain Everything to start evolving your classroom towards the Flipped Classroom approach, or just to make the content of your lessons available to students 24/7.
With young people rarely away from the Internet (mainly due to smartphones) educators will be naive to keep their content private and only in the school environment.