Explain Everything is an interactive screencasting whiteboard promoting creativity, idea-sharing, collaboration, and knowledge-building

App of the Week
Formats: App for iOS, Windows, Android and Chromebook devices

Website: explaineverything

What does it help with?

There is not enough time in a day for teachers to provide individual students with the personalized instruction, feedback, and guidance that research has suggested is needed for the most impactful learning and meaning-making.

Explain Everything helps teachers and students to understand one another better by letting them visualize, describe, capture, and share knowledge and thinking through a best-in-class design, collaboration, and sharing platform.

Through uses like whiteboarding and screencasting for instruction, feedback, animation, brainstorming, demonstrating understanding and many more, Explain Everything extends existing dialogues and fosters new communication opportunities among teachers and students, creating the time and space for deeper, richer, and more personal, and meaning-making with all ages and disciplines.

With a simple motto of ‘Create, Collaborate, Share and Discover’ Explain Everything saves time, creates time, and helps teachers and students to make the best use of time in support of knowledge-building and sharing.

What grade and age range?

Explain Everything is used widely across grade levels and disciplines. It has been used by 5 year-olds and 85 year-olds.

Is this core/supplemental/special needs/extracurricular/professional development or what?

Explain Everything has been used in almost every facet of school - from being a core instructional tool, a tool for creating supplemental and remedial content, a tool for students with special learning needs, a tool to support coaching instruction and other extracurricular programs, and to support professional development.

What subject, topic, what standards is it mapped to?

Explain Everything is a blank canvas and open-ended tool. Teachers are able to create and/or import content to the application related to any subject, topic, or standard.

What lesson time does it use?

Explain Everything has been used in a variety of ways within a lesson. Teachers use it for live direct instruction, creating asynchronous video content for instruction and feedback, and to design activity templates. Some teachers prepare materials in advance to use during a lesson while other prefer to start with a blank canvas in the moment. From a student perspective, Explain Everything has been used for quick captures of understanding, brainstorming and note-taking, and interactions with teacher-made templates and activities.

What is the pricing model?

Explain Everything is sold in a subscription model - monthly or annually. An regular Explain Everything Subscription costs $4.99 USD per month or $49.99 a year. It is heavily discounted for educational users and institutions (an almost 95% reduction). An EDU Group, sold at a minimum of 5 users costs $2.67 per user per year. An subscription provides access to the iOS, Chromebook, Windows, and Android versions of the application as well as upload and download access to Explain Everything Discover, a content community and portal.

Are there services around it?

Explain Everything is integrated with the previously mentioned Explain Everything Discover portal that provides users an additional destination to easily publish and share content. Users can get inspired by the ideas and creations of others, access templates, and download, edit, and remix projects from a global community.

What makes Explain Everything unique?

Explain Everything is a leading dynamic and easy-to-use interactive screencasting whiteboard that enables users to:

  •  design slides using an infinite canvas, a laser pointer,  shapes, text boxes, videos, images and audio files
  • record everything within the app (even a user while using the front-facing camera) to create high quality, creative and valuable content for others to learn from
  • Import many common file types (PDF, DOC, PPT, XLS, HTML, KEYNOTE, PAGES, JPG and more)
  • export projects to Explain Everything™ Discover, a content portal for sharing, publishing, and downloading editable project files
  • Compress projects to movies (MP4) in the cloud or locally on your device

An iPad version now features the Collaborative Whiteboard, which allows for real-time collaboration - users can work simultaneously on the same project from multiple devices.

A description of the characteristics--how is it designed for user interface, user experience? What instructional design principles are at work here?

Explain Everything follows user interface and experience design principles that align with other leading - and proven - open-ended application interfaces. Designing an experience that works for non-readers (early childhood) as well as beginning or reluctant users of certain technologies is not an easy thing, but a user base of over 3,000,000 people worldwide has confirmed that it is working.


Teacher reviews:

If you know me at all you know how I absolutely love Explain Everything. It redefines how we assess student understanding. It scaffolds public speaking and eases the anxiety of sharing to a group. And it lends so well to the digital arena, acting as an artifact of learning that can be shared to a genuine audience for years to come.

Trevor MacKenzie, Teacher of English and IT at Oak Bay High School in Victoria, BC, Canada


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.

James Gibbons, Teacher of Geography and Humanities at St. Joseph’s RC High School in Newport, United Kingdom


With Explain Everything, there is just so much stuff you can do with it- from not only drawing on it and have it broadcast live to the class on the projector, to annotating pics of fossil specimens, browsing websites (and annotating them too), pdfs of papers, taking live photos and videos (and more annotating, of course!).

Dr Gilbert Price, a vertebrate palaeoecologist at The University of Queensland, Australia

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