Educreations- an Interactive whiteboard allows teachers to DIY video lessons on the iPad

This week, we are asked to provide an overview of a selected tool which has the potential for stimulating teachers’ creativity in a blended teaching context. In the previous eci833, I have learned how to use Powtoon, screencastify and tried to combine them with Microsoft OneNote to facilitate my teaching practice in an online environment. But today I decided to explore a brand new tool which integrates creation with sharing platform.

When it comes to screencasting tools, the vivid image popping up in my mind is the how teachers deliver their courses on Khan Academy, which has subverted traditional classrooms. There is no doubt to say that Khan Academy is increasingly popular with students and parents around the world. When looking at Khan’s teachers writing and drawing on the electronic whiteboard and impart knowledge to everyone, I guess many of teachers also have the impulse to record a video course by using electronic whiteboard on their iPad. Now, the impulse of the teachers is seen by the interactive whiteboard application — Educreations.

Educreations is an app for the Apple Store. Using this app, teachers can turn the iPad into a Khan teacher’s whiteboard (functionally similar to the blackboard of our traditional classroom), and write on the board while doing the course explanation. The process of the board-writing and the voice of the teacher’s explanation will be recorded in the video course by Educreations. Like the video course of Khan’s teacher, this app does not require the teacher to show his face in the video course. The entire screen of the video is a whiteboard.

For the teacher, the process of recording a video is very simple. In addition to a large whiteboard for the teacher’s board-writing, the application has a function bar at the top of the interface. At the far right end of the function bar is a red recording button. When clicking this button, the teacher can start to lecture with writing on the iPad screen. During the lecture, the teacher can write smoothly on the whiteboard. If the teacher feels that his or her words are not well-written, you can click the T button on the function bar, then click on any position on the whiteboard, the text box will appear in the position, and the virtual keyboard of the iPad will pop up. In addition, a button for image import is also available on the function bar. Teachers can import images from the local, Dropbox or other cloud storage, and Educreations allows the teacher to mark on imported images. In addition, the function bar provides a button to undo and clear the screen.

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After recording the video lesson, teachers can choose whether the video is visible only to the student or visible to everyone. If it is only visible to students, Educreations will send the course notification information to the student’s mailbox. Otherwise, the course will be shared with the Edcreations platform. Educreations’ platform organizes videos by subject category and also provides video search capabilities that make it easier for students to find videos in which they are interested. To sum up, Educreations offers a more focused and streamlined experience, it has a gorgeous and clean design which emphasizes drawing on the whiteboard and makes it feel easy to jump in and get going.

Educreations has enormous strength and advantages but it has some weaknesses too. Considering students who cannot afford an iPad, Educreations would be unavailable for equal access to education.

Education technology is a direct way to solve the uneven distribution of resources. For this reason, I tend to record my course by using screencastify on my surface book, trim the video in Camtasia, and finally post my video courses to online platforms, which target students could have free access to them, although this process will take a lot of time and money to create the contents and purchase the software.

Last but not least, there is an application in the App Store that is very similar to Educreations called ShowMe. ShowMe and Educreations are almost identical in function except for its slightly different interface design. In addition, unlike Educreations is exclusively used on IOS devices, ShowMe is compatible with either ios and android as well as chrome devices. Comparing the price of ios devices, android and chrome are more affordable for those students from economically-disadvantaged background.