Explain Everything

What is Explain Everything

Explain Everything is a presentation creation app for iOS (for iPad and iPhone) that allows the annotation, animation, and narration of presentations on a digital and interactive whiteboard. Documents, pictures, and videos can be inserted onto the whiteboard space then on-screen drawing, annotation, and object movement can be recorded while audio may also be captured.

What is the purpose of Explain Everything?

This tool can be used for dynamic lessons, activities, assessments, and tutorials through exported videos. There are many instructional video styles that are beneficial to students. Step-by-step demonstrations of example problems, explanations of concepts, and unit overviews are just a few types of videos that could be beneficial. Keep in mind, the best instructional videos are purposeful and planned. They should only be a few minutes long and correspond to material that students might need to revisit multiple times.

How to use Explain Everything

For an initial orientation on how to use Explain Everything, we recommend reviewing the help documentation provided by the developer (the manual and video tutorials) that assist with getting started. When it comes to how you might use Explain Everything for teaching, there are a variety of instructional video styles that can be particularly helpful: explanations of concepts, unit or assignment overviews, example problems, mathematical or chemical equations.

Tool Evaluation

Evaluated: August 2017

Functionality overall rating: 2 starsFunctionality

Rating Rationale
Scale rating: 3 stars


Explain Everything creations can be exported and shared with any number of viewers

Ease of use rating: 3 stars

Ease of Use

Explain Everything has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and personalize

Tech Support/ Help Availability rating: 2 stars

Tech Support/Help Availability

Technical support and help documentation is available in the form of web pages or videos

Hypermediality rating: 3 stars


Explain Everything allows users to communicate through different channels (audio, visual, textual) and allows for non-sequential, flexible/adaptive engagement with material

Accessibility overall rating: 2 starsAccessibility

Rating Rationale
AODA Friendly rating: 2 stars

AODA Friendly

Explain Everything has some limited capacity to be fully accessible for users or for materials to be made AODA-friendly. Instructors are encouraged to add closed captions post-production and/or provide a script in accessible format (i.e. readable PDF)

Assistive Technology rating: 3 stars

User-focused participation

Explain Everything is designed to address the needs of diverse users, their various literacies, and capabilities, thereby widening opportunities for participation in learning

Required Equipment rating: 2 stars

Required Equipment

Proper use of Explain Everything requires a touchscreen (i.e. a smartphone or tablet)

Technical overall rating: 1 starsTechnical

Rating Rationale
Integration/Embedding Within OWL rating: 1 star

Integration/Embedding Within OWL

Explain Everything itself cannot be integrated/embedded in OWL. However, exported projects (i.e. created MP4, MOV, PDF, PNG files) can be uploaded to OWL (i.e. student could watch instructor-created Explain Everything video)

Operating Systems rating: 2 stars

Operating Systems

Explain Everything is designed specifically for touchscreens. It is available for iOS (iPhone and iPad), Android, Chrome OS, and Windows tablets

Web Browser rating: N/A

Web Browser

Explain Everything does not make use of web browsers.

Additional Technical Requirements rating: 2 stars

Additional Technical Requirements

Explain Everything requires downloadable software

Mobile Design overall rating: 2 starMobile Design

Rating Rationale
Mobile Operating Systems rating: 2 stars

Mobile Operating Systems

Explain Everything has limited functionality in that it is restricted to touchscreens.

Mobile Functionality rating: 3 stars

Mobile Functionality

The Explain Everything app was specifically designed for use on a mobile, touchscreen device and demonstrates a high degree of functionality. Users may prefer larger touchscreens (i.e. tablets) over smaller ones (i.e. phones) for ideal functionality.

Offline Access rating: 2 star

Offline Access

Explain Everything can be used offline but content may be affected

Usage and account set up overall rating: 1 starsUsage and Account Set Up

Rating Rationale
Sign Up/Sign In rating: 3 stars

Sign Up/Sign In

Use of Explain Everything does not require the creation of an external account or additional login; no personal user information is collected and shared

Cost of Use rating: 1 star

Cost of Use

Use of Explain Everything requires a fee, membership, or subscription. See Pricing

Archiving Saving and Exporting Data rating: 3 stars

Archiving, Saving, and Exporting Data

Users can archive, save, or import and export content or activity data in a variety of formats

Data Privacy and Ownership rating: 3 stars

Data Privacy and Ownership

Users maintain ownership and copyright of their intellectual property/data; the user can keep data private and decide if/how data is to be shared.

Social Presence overall rating: 3 starsSocial Presence

Rating Rationale
Collaboration rating: N/A


As a video creation tool, Explain Everything does not support communication, interactivity, and transfer of meaning between users. For a version of Explain Everything that is collaborative, consider the Explain Everything Collaborative Whiteboard for iOS.

User Accountability rating: N/A

User Accountability

As a video creation tool, user accountability is not a related concern.

Diffusion rating: 3 stars


For viewing videos created by Explain Everything, students do not need to be familiar with the tool itself. If students were to make use of the tool themselves (i.e. for student generated video), it is likely that familiarity with the tool is mixed, and that some students would lack basic technical competence with its functions

Instructor Presence overall rating: 3 starsInstructor Presence

Rating Rationale
Facilitation rating: 3 stars


Explain Everything has easy-to-use features that would significantly improve an instructor’s ability to be present with students via active management, monitoring, and engagement

Customization rating: 3 stars


Explain Everything is adaptable to its environment: easily customized to suit the classroom context and targeted learning outcomes

Learning Analytics rating: N/A

Learning Analytics

As a video creation tool, Explain Everything itself does not allow for collection of analytics

Cognitive Presence overall rating: 2 starsCognitive Presence

Rating Rationale
Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s) rating: 3 stars

Enhancement of Cognitive Task(s)

Given the creative format allowed by Explain Everything, videos can be used to explain concepts, particularly highly visual or explanatory concepts, the tool has the potential to enhance engagement in targeted cognitive task(s) that were once overly complex or inconceivable through other means

Higher Order Thinking rating: 2 stars

Higher Order Thinking

Given the creative format allowed by Explain Everything, videos may engage students in higher order thinking skills (given significant consideration to design, facilitation, and direction from instructor)

Feedback on Learning rating: 2 stars

Feedback on Learning

Explain Everything could be used to record video that provides feedback to students, however, opportunities for this form of feedback might only be applicable to specific contexts.

View the rubric for an explanation of this evaluation
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Related Information

Additional Resources