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How to use Explain Everything to accelerate literacy

Rob Clarke

Rob is the co-founder and CEO of Learning Architects. He supports leaders and organisations to thrive in the future through coaching, development, technology and learning design. He is a Ministry of Education accredited PLD facilitator. He is also a Dad and volunteers as Special Officer - Education for the United Nations Association of NZ.

For more information please visit: or get in touch via +64 21 590 572

GEG Spotlight

I had the pleasure of helping out with the latest Google Educator Group hangout on air spotlight last week and I must say, it was inspirational stuff! Michelle George and Karen Belt from Pt England School and the Manaiakalani Trust showed us how to use to use Explain Everything to accelerate literacy learning for Year 1 students in a 1:1 environment using iPads. Some of the take home ideas for me included:

  • Focus on one app which is open-ended – this is sometimes referred to as an app with a hole (ie. it has many, many potential uses). The tool of choice for them is Explain Everything which is a superb app.
  • Use the app for a variety of purposes – because it is so open-ended in how it can be used, it can be utilised across the curriculum, thus deepening the childrens’ skills/understandings of the tools. The examples shared were primarily maths and literacy.
  • Using tools such as an iPad which is mirrored via an Apple TV is a powerful modelling setup – feedback, sharing and celebration is maximised. Children correct each other’s learning and help each other – think of the key competencies being strengthened here!
  • Teachers who are open to being patient, flexible and reflective and aim for depth over breath ultimately get both – the results shared show that the approach works.

Well done and thank you Michelle and Karen, I was inspired and think you have such a brilliant example of so many great aspects of modern pedagogy – integrating receptive and expressive language, strengthening key competencies, teachers being learners alongside kids to name a few.

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