A Wonderful Example of Learning Enabled by Technology

A Wonderful Example of Learning Enabled by Technology

Explain Everything has been number one on my recommended list of apps for a long time. It could be because the app is intuitive, feature rich and loaded with import and export features. However, the reality is, it’s because Explain Everything is an enabler for both teachers and students. The curation of existing material and the recording of audio, video and ‘live’ annotations combine to produce a more dynamic outcome than was perhaps previously possible.

The example below has been kindly shared with the Educate1to1 team by Dr Annette Armitage, a music teacher at Sancton Wood school in Cambridge. The whole process was driven by the desired outcome for Dr Armitage’s students and was created on iPad. I would offer that a similar outcome, before tablet technology, would have been too overwhelming to contemplate as a learning resource. My thanks to Dr Armitage and I look forward to seeing how learning develops in her classroom.


Revision and Guidance in Music

Every year at Sancton Wood (www.sanctonwood.co.uk) we have what has become known as ‘Take a Leap’ day when staff are encouraged to move out of their comfort zones, take a few risks and try something different in the classroom. It raises the teaching stakes and for me this year it was the spur I needed to at last get my head around Explain Everything.

As a music teacher I’d been looking for a way of providing revision help for students which was more than checklists and model answers. When much of what you’re studying is first of all an aural experience, you really need some way of bringing that music to life as you get to grips with the key points. Explain Everything provided the answer – it allows checklists and keywords with a spoken commentary, plus the musical score (http://imslp.org/) and an audio clip of the same, all in one place.


Mozart, 40th Symphony 1st movement



Top tips:

DO make a Keynote first with the main points – you can then elaborate on these in your spoken commentary

DO make sure any other resources you want to import (in my case PDFs of music) are easily accessible in your cloud-based storageĀ or camera roll

DO make a duplicate of each Explain Everything slide when start recording your commentary or adding audio clips, just in case it all goes a bit wrong

DO mute the microphone if you are recording an audio clip to avoid outside interference

DO make the most of what you produce – mine are available on sanctonwoodcreative.wordpress.com


What you’ll end up with is essentially a potted revision lesson which your students can run, re-run, pause and back pedal as many times as they like.

I am really sold on Explain Everything as a learning tool and impressed with its versatility. The first one you try will always be the most time consuming, especially if you are trying to be multi-media from the word go. In actual fact I was so pleased with the outcome (eventually) I made another one the next day on a different piece of music (and it was much quicker!).


Miles Davis, All Blues



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