Secondary LDD using Explain Everything, PowToon and Moodle

Today we found an opportunity to work with the iPads with the English department but in the role of support teacher. Over the next week I will be working with one or two English teachers to trial using the iPads with smaller groups of students in class. Some students in Year 8 are studying Media and will annotate a film poster on the iPad using Explain Everything and make a short video which they will then share with others by switching the iPads. I will be working with a group of four students; two who are G&T and two are LDD. They will then become the experts in using Explain Everything and will then be able to go, the following lesson, to four different tables and lead a similar activity with others. Hopefully we will be able to start using the iPads not always as whole class but in small groups when the learning objective lends itself to an app and this can be a useful way to use the LDD teacher in class. I’m going to be training the LDD team on the apps we found out about in the Apple training next week.

HT from the LDD team also discovered PowToon


Its a great free resource which allows you to make simple and quick videos. It can be used on the PC or on the iPads.

The Learning Hub

In our department, TK, HT and I have been developing a resource called ‘The Learning Hub’ which is available to all students and staff to access. It launched last week and has already had almost 100 participants, with several giving us feedback via a questionnaire on how to improve it. Our aim was to be able to support students in how they learn without the stigma of being ‘LDD’. We also have been able to include G&T resources and extension activities. It’s so far showing itself to be a good way for our department to communicate widely with the student body. Below is an advert made by HT to advertise the Learning Hub using Powtoon. It will be hopefully shared during homerooms via the student bulletin, and also appears at the top of the Moodle page.

If anyone has any useful resources to share on the page, please let me know and also feel free to leave your feedback on the feedback questionnaire or use it during your class as a support tool!



  1. I used the iPads in SC’s English class on Thursday with five students to annotate a film poster in Explain Everything explaining the media codes in the poster. The students engaged well and I was surprised by the high quality of their commentary when being asked to record their voice. I had a mixed ability group- some LDD and some G&T students and they all did really well and were able to support each other in manipulating the app. I liked that they were able to share their work easily with others by just passing over the iPad and then were able to give each other feedback and ideas on how to improve. For example, one student realised, having seen another students; that he needed to make his arrows move more to engage the audience.

    These students have been told that they will be the ‘student teacher’ leading the rest of the class to do the same today. Five groups with each student being a leader in the activity.

    The following lesson, I used the iPads with my Y7 English class who are constructing stories on Heroes and Villains. We started with Students generated a name and superpower and then had a few minutes to walk around the classroom sharing their name and powers with each other. This was very successful. I liked how the iPads were flexible and easy to carry around the room in a way that they couldn’t if they had laptops.

    We then went on to use which I had practiced on my laptop. Unfortunately, the website wouldn’t work on the iPad and I learnt this would be better on a laptop or desktop computer. This may be something I let them do for part of the library lesson when we have access to the computers.

    We then went on to use Explain Everything. Students chose a picture of their favourite superhero and annotated it by what they knew, details of superpowers etc. This was really successful and students really engaged in what they were doing and were then able to present their videos to others. Some students couldn’t hear their own videos even though the volume was up- so I need to learn how to problem solve that. Another issue that arose is that the privacy setting for some of the iPads wouldn’t allow access to photos in Explain Everything, but it was easy to change this in Settings/Privacy.

    What I have learnt from this experience is that as always, have a back-up plan ready in case something doesn’t work as you expect. iPads don’t always have to be used by a whole class. It was actually really effective differentiation to work with a small group. This could be rotational across time. When it was all working, students were extremely engaged and on task.

  2. Just did the follow up lesson to the Year 8’s who I taught to be student teachers. They were leaders of five groups and did everything- from explaining the task to showing them how and problem solving. It was excellent and ran without a hitch!

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