Rewind: Capture lessons on your iPad and flip your classroom

To start 2013, I thought I’d replay the five most popular blog posts from the 8 Blog and update them (if necessary).  Originally shared on September 12, 2011, this post is #3 on the 8 Blog’s all time most viewed list.   Since this was written over a year ago, a few new options and features have emerged.

I’ve been playing around a lot with my iPad lately and exploring different ways that I can incorporate the device into my teaching. I teach instructional technology to preservice teachers and utilize screencasting with my students. I typically use Jing and Screenflow on my laptop and was hoping to find a similar app for the iPad to demonstrate app usage to my students. While there is no easy screencasting solution for the iPad at this time, I found three great apps that would be excellent tools for capturing lessons. Consider using the apps to record a lecture and having your students watch the lecture BEFORE class. You can then use class time in other ways. Maybe the students could discuss the material in small groups or debate different concepts addressed in the lesson. This process is called “flipping the classroom” and is gaining some popularity with educators. In a flipped classroom, students attend to record lectures on their own (and at their own pace) and come to class to collaborate with their classmates and socially construct meaning of the content. “Flipping the classroom” changes the role of the instructor from someone who delivers of information to someone who facilitates learning. To get started, consider using one of these apps.

Screen Chomp:
In its easy-to-use interface, Screen Chomp offers a white erase board and several markers. Users can import photos from the Camera Roll but cannot pull in Powerpoint or Keynote slides. Though it is limited in its functionality, it would be great tool to create a lesson that walks through a math problem or for annotating some diagram. Screen Chomp is free on the App Store and it would be ideal for younger children who want to record a story or for anyone to create and capture short lessons. My only criticism is how Screen Chomp shares its captured lessons online. Users can only share their Screen Chomps at or through a Facebook account. To see how Screen Chomp works, check out the following tutorial:

Show Me:
Like Screen Chomp, Show Me is free and easy to use. It offers a simple white erase board with several markers. Unlike Screen Chomp, however, Show Me offers even less sharing options online. Once you’ve captured a lesson, your only option is saving it to the Show Me Community which houses all of the lesson captures created with Show Me. That being said, the site allows you to embed the screen captures from to other locations online.

Explain Everything:
Explain Everything is a full-function lesson capture application that is honestly much more robust than its $2.99 price would suggest. Besides having a white erase board, Explain Everything offers text, shapes, and easy integration with DropBox and Evernote. You can pull in Keynote and Powerpoint slides and record yourself walking through a presentation. Explain Everything even offers several saving and sharing solutions (YouTube, for instance). Once you’ve captured a lesson, you can even save the lesson to your Camera Roll and edit it with iMovie. To get started, check out this Explain Everything tutorial:

Besides these apps, a few other lesson capture apps have entered the market since this post was originally shared in September 2011. 


Educreations  has emerged as a powerful option to recording on your iPad.  The app itself is free and allows users to pull images from the Camera Roll, the Internet or from a Dropbox account.  The finished version gets saved to the video site which provides sharing options to regulate who can view specific lessons on the site.   To see how easy it is to use Educreations, check out the following tutorial:


Doceri is a free iPad app that allows you to save your recordings directly to YouTube, Facebook or send via email.  One nice option is that it lets you save directly to the Camera Roll, which means that your recording can be edited in an app like iMovie if you want to add a little more polish to your finished product.  Doceri also offers an interactive whiteboard option that allows users to control their desktop via their iPad.  While the iPad app is free, the desktop application costs $30 which may be a little cost prohibitive to some educators.

Doodlecast Pro:

At $3.99, Doodlecast Pro is a little more expensive than the other lesson capture apps in this post.  Built by the folks who developed the popular Doodlecast for Kids, Doodlecast Pro sells itself as the app that lets you “own your work.”  Unlike some of the other apps that force you to use their proprietary streaming sites, Doodlecast Pro puts all of the power in your hands.  The app saves in standard formats that make it easy to share and import into a variety of editing and presentation tools.  While the initial cost might scare some folks away, the ability to control and utilize the recordings is a real plus.


3 thoughts on “Rewind: Capture lessons on your iPad and flip your classroom

  1. Pingback: Flipping for Flipping |

  2. Pingback: Screencapture your iPad with Reflector |

  3. Pingback: Record multimedia lessons with TouchCast |

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