Explain Everything

I’m wondering, has anyone tried using Explain Everything to create instructional videos? At a glance it looks pretty good. I’m thinking to give it a spin.

It looks like you can export presentations you create directly to YouTube, which is critical.

Thanks for sharing Mike!
I always enjoy learning about new tools.

I spent about 15 minutes playing with it and here are my initial thoughts:
It seems like an interesting tool and has lots of capabilities.
I think the real benefit might be if you had a touch screen and stylus.
Would definitely want to hear more about your experience.

The biggest flags for me are:

  • Accessibility (The native player isn’t accessible, so I would not recommend for live presentations. but you could make it so if you export to youtube and then caption the video. - WCAG 2.0 and Section 508)
  • Zooming / Gimmicky. I think their is a risk with tools like this (AKA Prezi) That people get crazy with all the options and effects. (Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should).
  • Improvement over other tools This is where I get most “curmudgeonly” - If I can’t see how it has a tangible improvement (efficiency, improved learning outcomes) over the current tools I have spent years using and learning (video editing, slide presentations, etc . . .) I have a tough time wanting to invest the time to learn a new interface or way of doing something.
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I have not used Explain Everything for long instructional videos. However I used it all the time when I taught math and loved it. It’s a great app.

The ability to take pictures/videos of student work and then reorganize and project to the entire class helped make coherent examples of learning.

Thanks Matt and Scott!

I’m mainly interested in using it as a quick tool to make instructional screen capture videos, something akin to Khan Academy in simplicity, so yeah, if it takes me a long time to figure out or the workflow is slow, I’ll likely go in a different direction.

I’d like to be able to:

  • Hand draw on the screen (via a stylus/write pad)
  • Add and manipulate images on the screen (via mouse control)
  • Type on the screen (via keyboard)

That’s about it really. I don’t want bells and whistles, just something clean that looks sharp and has a super fast set up and workflow. I’d like to launch, pull in a few image assets, shoot the video, and send to YouTube.

Screencast-o-matic or Capto can handle the screencapture/video part so it’s possible that all I’d need is a simple whiteboard type of thing. I’ve just used Illustrator up to now, but I feel like there should be something easier and slightly better.

Just to follow up on my own questions, it looks like Khan uses a super low-tech solution: just a free paint program call SmoothDraw.

So maybe my use of Illustrator for the Mac isn’t far away from a best solution, except that a painting program like Photoshop, or Krita (freeware), might work better. SmoothDraw doesn’t have a Mac version.