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Trying out tools – ScreenChomp, Explain Everything , & ShowMe

May 5, 2012

My 7th graders have been willing participants in the adventure of learning what Ipad tools work (and don’t work so well) as I begin to integrate the use of the teacher Ipad into classroom instruction. This week involved experimentation with ScreenChomp, ExplainEverything and ShowMe to make live recordings of class lessons broadcast through the AppleTV hook up and then posted to edmodo for students to review.

One class worked with ScreenChomp as we classified Biotic and Abiotic features in the school Ecology Center. It’s a free app which is great. Background photos can be added and can be written on. The record feature records not only what is written in real time, but also any sounds. One limitation is that there is only one slide. However, you can clear the entire slide and keep building the lesson.  The students liked the fact that it counted down (3-2-1) until recording started. Another limitation is that your recording gets saved to the ScreenChomp interface. As long as users are provided with the link they can access the recording that was made.

Bottom line: I see myself using this as an interactive whiteboard that I take a screenshot of to share with students on edmodo, not as a lesson recording option. That’s what we began to do in the screenshot here which was taken later in the week as we explored food webs.


Another class worked with Explain Everything. This $2.99 app is worth the purchase price. We also worked with biotic and abiotic features of the school Ecology Center. This time I imported pictures prior to class for students to classify as biotic or abiotic (Note: If you save the file before you move pictures, the ability to move pictures is lost.) Although multiple slides are an option, we recorded the lesson on one slide. The great option with this is that in addition to saving it to the camera roll on the Ipad, it can be uploaded to YouTube yet protected as private so only when I share the link with my students are they able to access it, keeping lessons that involve student names protected from cyberspace as a whole. 

Bottom Line: I look forward to learning more about the features of this app and further incorporating it into lessons.

Our last Ipad app exploration of the week involved ShowMe. It’s free and has an associated website to share your resources or view others. I captured an example of a food chain a student had drawn then as a class we labeled and discussed the components of the chain. By creating a user account, the lessons are able to be uploaded to the ShowMe site. I set the video as private and then shared the link on edmodo with students in the class. This allows them to access the content for review or if the missed class, access the discussion that went with the lesson.  Like Screenchomp, this allows only one slide. I feel like it has more versatility than Screenchomp, plus I like the ability to keep the link private and not in a shared cloud.  A minor disadvantage is that it picks up background noise students are making and if a student is far from the Ipad when they share their answer, it is hard to hear the response. As the teacher carrying the Ipad, I on the other hand sound like I am shouting in the video. 

Bottom Line: This is another app that I will explore in more detail as I continue to incorporate the Ipad into class.


I am fortunate to have one small 7th grade class that makes it easy to explore features of apps and are willing participants in using it for instruction. Now, if I could just get them to stop singing their answers.


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