In our school we’ve been pre-recording lessons for our remote learners using Explain Everything.

Explain Everything imports information in a number of different formats including both Keynote and PowerPoint presentations. This means I can use my existing resources such as my Powerpoint presentations, then I simply annotate them to create videos for my students to learn from home.

Using Explain Everything is easy; it’s a really user-friendly program. I import a slide from a recent lesson; in this video, it’s from a lesson on relative atomic mass. Using Explain Everything’s pen, I can model how to do the calculation. And I can talk over that just as I would while modelling in the classroom. There are plenty of other writing functions too, such as a highlighter and typing – important when your handwriting is as bad as mine.

It is really easy to export from Explain Everything to apps such as Showbie and Google Classroom. Explain Everything is a great way of sharing videos too.

Learning new content

I asked my year 12 students what approach they preferred for learning new content. While this is only a small data set, the result was a preference for pre-recorded lessons over live lessons.

There are a few reasons for this.

Firstly, less time is wasted; students aren’t waiting around for everyone to join, as inevitably happens with Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Secondly, students can progress at their own speed. They can pause and rewatch difficult concepts. While you could record live lessons and give students access so they can watch again later, this would obviously be more time consuming for them.

That said, there is definitely a place for live lessons. For example, workshop type lessons give students the opportunity to ask questions as they arise, and they give you the chance to deal with misconceptions earlier.

With my pastoral hat on, I also feel that in live lessons students benefit from face-to-face contact with their friends and with staff.

However when it comes to introducing new content to my remote learners, I have found the pre-recorded lesson to be the best solution in my context.