Explain Everything

Chapter License: CC-BY

Developer: Explain Everything
Price: Free to access; paid options available for individuals, teams, and educators
Summary: A collaborative whiteboard app designed for use both in-browser and on mobile devices


Explain Everything is an interactive, collaborative whiteboard app for iPad, Android, Chromebook, and web browsers (Explain Everything, 2020). The app is marketed as both a tool for business and education. As a work tool, Explain Everything’s interactive whiteboard can be used to create “dynamic remote meetings where team members can collaborate, incorporate live visuals in a conference call and take notes or doodle. As an educational tool, Explain Everything can serve as a platform for digital, interactive learning, by creating ‘collaborative learning experiences’ where students and teachers can share thoughts and ideas in real-time” (Explain Everything, 2020). The app’s ability to allow users to create presentations that incorporate narration, animations, dynamic visuals and notations, makes Explain Everything ideal for remote, real-time instruction, while simultaneously allowing students to collaborate independently.

Critique and Implications for Education


Explain Everything allows for a form of unprompted self-assessment, where, through the use of screen-casting, students can watch playback and listen to their creations, and then revise and refine their thinking naturally. The process allows for continual engagement and a means for instructors and students to actively see the process of learning in the form of seeing the development and revision of projects or the development of a student’s thought process by recording them working through a problem.

Instructors can encourage students to take ownership of their learning via interactive self-assessments and provide feedback through videos, annotations, and narrations. In addition, interactive projects and videos created by students can be used as learning artifacts. Formative assessment strategies can be executed by creating activity templates, easy-to-access projects, or invite students to a collaborative space so they can visually and audibly express their understanding (Explain Everything, 2020).

Learning strategies can be made visual through Explain Everything’s collaborative whiteboard where students can solve and present their thoughts visually. Students can also collaborate on a learning wall, which can show specific learning goals and milestones (Explain Everything, 2020).

Explain Everything has positive implications for educational administration as well. The combination of Learning Management System (LMS)-integration and the meeting features of Explain Everything can potentially provide new avenues for professional development. Educators and administrators could, for example, upload training activities or exercises that can be accessed, reviewed, and completed on the platform. The collaborative nature of the app allows for reflection not only in terms of the teaching context, but in terms of praxis. A caveat, however, would be that an institution, administration, or individual educator would have to have a clear idea of how the app would be implemented to ensure successful use and integration with more established practices.


A major challenge with the app would be its learning curve. This potentially could impact the motivation of instructors to use the app. If they find the app too challenging, then they may not want to invest time learning it or they may not learn it effectively and this could hinder its effectiveness as a tool. Administrators may have to invest in training and professional development if users are not motivated to self-learn. This potentially may incur more costs. It is not enough to mandate a given platform be used from above. People have to be incentivized to use it.

Access and Cost

A key point of accessibility for the Explain Everything app is that it offers online and offline functionality. Accessing Explain Everything offline simply requires the user to sign up and download Explain Everything for iOS, Android, or Chrome. Once downloaded and installed, users can use the application anywhere offline. One caveat is that offline mode has limited functionality and projects (e.g., accessing the cloud and collaborations require online connection). Desktop and laptop users need to access the web version of Explain Everything, which requires an internet connection. The Explain Everything EDU version doesn’t require an internet connection, but offline use means users will not have access to cloud storage. Students are not required to have accounts to collaborate (Explain Everything, 2020). An instructor with an account would serve as a host and, by granting permissions, students would be allowed to participate in a collaborative project anonymously (Explain Everything, 2020).

Explain Everything also offers multi-platform integration. Most notably, Explain Everything can be used in combination with Google Drive by exporting the project to Google Drive as a project and not a video (Explain Everything with Google Drive, 2020). Google Classroom integration is also possible with Explain Everything. A user can create an Explain Everything Project that can be added to a Google Classroom in the form of a video or web video link. Projects can also be kept in Explain Everything and shared in the form of a template (Explain Everything, 2020). A more comprehensive list of Explain Everything integration includes:

  • Cloud storage integration
  • Dropbox integration
  • Inserting projects into a Learning Management System (e.g., adding Explain Everything Projects and Videos to Moodle LMS)
  • Integration with LMS ([Canvas], Schoology)
  • Integration with Clever
  • Integration with Slack

Explain Everything has two distinct plans (“Individuals & Teams” and “Education”) both of which contain three pricing options. The pricing options for the “Individuals & Teams” plan are:

  • “Free” ($0)
  • “Individuals” with either a monthly option of $6.99 (USD) or yearly option of $69.99 (USD)
  • “Teams” with either a monthly option of $11.99 (USD) or yearly option of $95.99 (USD)

The pricing options for the “Education” plan are:

  • “Free” ($0) for teachers and students who want to get started
  • “Educators” with either a monthly option of $3.99 (USD) or yearly option of $24.99 (USD) for individual teachers and small groups
  • “Edu Group” with either a monthly option of $0.90 (USD) or yearly option of $9.99 (USD) for classes and schools

The “Free” option in the Education Plan allows up to three projects, and includes collaboration with voice chat and features such as web video link sharing.

The “Educators” plan offers unlimited projects, slides, recording, shared folders, 1 GB of cloud storage per user, user and license management, and shared folders.

The “Edu Group” plan offers advanced reporting, security, and permissions options, as well as pooled storage and access to premium support.

About the Author

Jason Lawrence



Explain Everything Team. (n.d.). Integrations and hardware. Explain Everything. https://explaineverything.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/sections/360002686773-integrations-and-hardware

Explain Everything Team. (n.d.). Use Explain Everything offline. Explain Everything. https://explaineverything.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360010165859-Use-Explain-Everything-offline

Explain Everything Team. (2019, August 8). Formative assessment. Explain Everything. https://explaineverything.com/formative-assessment

Explain Everything Team. (2019, December 23). Explain Everything in Google Classroom. Explain Everything. https://explaineverything.com/explain-everything-in-google-classroom/

Explain Everything Team. (2020, September 30). Pricing: Explain Everything pricing, plans, and FAQ. Explain Everything. https://explaineverything.com/pricing

McHugh, S. (2015, April 14). Explain Everything with Google Drive. Dover DLC: Tech Tips. https://sites.google.com/a/gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg/dover-primary-ict/resources/explaineverythingwithgoogledrive


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Explain Everything Copyright © by OER Lab at Ontario Tech University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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