Update: Explain Everything Collaborative Whiteboard bas recently been updated to support collaborating online through the use of a code. This means that students can now collaborate on projects outside of the classroom as they no longer need to be on the same wifi network to be part of a collaboration session. Great news!
Explain Everything needs no introduction. It is often voted as one of the top educational apps on the market and consistently features amongst the top paid-for apps in the Education chart on the App Store. When I visited Bett 2016 recently, I had a chat with the team at Explain Everything about a new app they’ve released, Collabortive Whiteboard: an entirely new product. Despite looking very similar in appearance, there are a number of extra features that come bundled which really take an app that already is fantastic, to a whole new level! Once I saw the new features first hand, I felt compelled to write a post about them.
Create. Collaborate. Share and Discover.
As the name explicitly suggests, this new app from Explain Everything allows users to work in collaboration with each other, as long as they’re on the same wireless network. It would be great if students could link devices through a code so they can continue working together, collaboratively, outside of the classroom: maybe an update for the future. Users can use all of the same, great features that the original Explain Everything app can do, including:
- Creating slides with an unlimited canvas which users can draw on, add shapes, text, images, video and audio.
- Objects like shapes, text, images and videos can be resized, rotated, copied or locked to a certain position on a slide.
- Create screencasts and animations by recording everything you do within the app.
The familiar user interface means anybody who has already used the original version of Explain Everything can pick up a device and start creating. The biggest difference with this new app is the way users can collaborate with each other on projects. A user can either host a collaborative session or join an existing session and work with others in real time. Image Credit: Explain Everything
As the host, you can choose to either enter view-only mode, which allows participants to view in real time, but not edit a project. Alternatively, you can enable editing for all participants involved. Whilst in this mode, participants can work on any part of a collaborative project. For example, a group of students could each be working on an individual slide within a project. In addition, since it updates in real time, users can navigate to other parts of the project and check in on how others are getting on. Finally, once a project is completed, participants can save the end product to their own devices, meaning they have something to take away from the session.
Image Credit: Explain Everything
The new Discover zone acts as a portal for sharing projects. You have the option either to publish a project you have created, or download a project created by another user. All projects that are downloaded are editable, allowing you to put your own spin on things. For example, a languages teacher might download an existing project because it features a topic area they are teaching. If the content contains audio in a certain language, they could remove this and add audio to suit the language they are teaching. As well as sharing projects publicaly, you can also share projects with certain users through the use of a short code.
Whilst the app itself is free to download, the new, premium features do come at a cost which is made through in-app purchase. The table below will help you decide which license is most appropriate for you and your school:
Image Credit: Explain Everything
For a single Premium Account, the cost is either $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Using current exchange rates, that’s around £3.50/month or £35/year.
For a single EDU Group Acccount (30 licences), the cost is either $7.99/month or $79.99/year. Using current exchange rates, that’s around £5.60/month or £56/year.
*Prices stated in either US Dollars or GB Pounds. Prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.
If Explain Everything is an app you already use, this new product is likely to grab your attention. The new features certainly simplify collaboration and allow teachers to facilitate it in their classroom with ease. The pricing is likely to be a major factor in the decision making for many: for an individual account, I feel the pricing is reasonable, however it is the group account (30 licenses) which offers tremendous savings and will certainly make this something to consider for whole classes. On that note, it’s worth mentioning that licenses can be assigned either to devices and/or users, making it attractive to schools which either have class sets of devices or run BYOD (bring your own device) schemes.
Finally, Explain Everything are offering a free 30-day trial of its premium features. Simply download the app and follow the steps to activate this, you don’t even have to enter any payment details!
Explain Everything Collaborative Whiteboard by Explain Everything sp. z o.o. is available for free on the App Store.