If you are looking for an innovative way to create quality interactive learning materials in just a few clicks, this post is for you. Internationally acclaimed educator Rosa Liarte, Explain Everything expert Agnieszka Przeniosło-Monzo, and our head of training at Genially, Margarita Gonzalez del Hierro, have joined forces to show us how to best accomplish our mission and create professional- grade materials for our classroom. Are you ready?
What do we mean by interactive learning materials?
Let ‘s begin with a bit of context: Most teachers are used to creating their content for their classroom, but sometimes they feel like they could make things more fun, easier to understand, and in general, more memorable. That’s where interactivity comes in!
Interactivity allows our students to have an active role in the learning experience. They have the chance to explore the content and engage with it in an intuitive and immersive way. Just as you would do in real life.
As opposed to traditional teaching materials like powerpoint presentations or PDFs, where all information is flat and presented on the same canvas or page, interactivity allows us to share information in a short and concise way, using layers to add details, and distribute content in a friendly way. Interactivity allows us to connect ideas by linking several pages with just a couple of clicks, or create layers of information that students can explore and interact with. In addition to these layers, we can enrich our lessons with external content like videos from YouTube, audio, virtual itineraries, or photos, among many other things. We are creating an immersive and explorable environment.
Why use interactivity and interactive materials in the class?
We have interviewed Rosa Liarte to offer readers her experience using interactive materials. She teaches Geography and History in Malaga, Spain, and helps as technology coordinator at her school training other teachers.
What value do you find in interactive digital lessons? How do they help your daily routine as a teacher?
Rosa: The current situation requires tons of flexibility on the teacher‘s side. One day we are teaching at school, but the next one we may be called to teach 100% online. We need to be ready and offer the best possible experience to our students. Being able to create our own digital materials is like being one step ahead of the game. In my case, I also use the interactive materials that I create for my blog ‘Lecciones de historia’, where my students can access and have all their classroom lessons under one roof.
When did you first start creating learning lessons like the ones you create today?
Rosa: I came across Explain Everything around 2012, when I decided to start experimenting and recording my classes. That school year I was teaching 4 x 10th grade classes! Which means I was repeating the same thing over and over, four times every day. I was close to burnout and I decided to give videos a shot. I tried several applications that were popular back in the day, until one day, I stumbled upon Explain Everything. And it changed the way I teach forever! Explain Everything is essentially an interactive whiteboard, that allows me to create video-lessons and edit my videos within the application.
One of the best things about Explain Everything is that the product continues to improve. So many new features have been added since I started using the application 8 years ago! Some of my favorites include the collaborative options and being able to pull stock images from the app itself.
I decided to record my lessons and export the videos to my YouTube channel, leccionesdehistoria.com. It was scary at the beginning but I started to receive thank-you messages from all over the world that said my lessons were helpful.
Little by little, I ended up recording videos for all the content I teach. There are concepts I need to explain every year, like climographs. Videos allow my students to watch and review the content as many times as they need and I save lots of time. This allows me to follow a flipped classroom approach and work on projects and activities that really help my students and make a difference.
The perfect tandem comes with Genially, because we can create interactive content and activities that link to my Explain Everything videos. I can even embed those videos on my Genially creations. I can create interactive images loaded with information and videos in one place. This is what people normally call “Appsmashing”! Using and making the best of several applications and programs while using them together and obtaining a final product that you wouldn’t be able to create with only one of them.
We want to know more! What are some of the benefits of creating interactive learning materials? What are some improvements that you see in your students? Please, share!
Rosa: Genially and Explain Everything allows me to create interactive lessons and units that include images, text, videos, and students LOVE these types of lessons. They are fun, engaging, and students are totally immersed in the learning experience. They can also explore the content at their own pace, and review as many times as they need. During my video calls with students, I share my interactive lessons and go through them with students, and provide explanations, addressing any possible pain points.
Why use interactivity and interactive materials in the class?
Rosa: I believe that the main reason for using interactive materials is to increase students’ participation and attention. When students participate in an interactive activity, they not only listen or watch the material, but they interact with it and learn better. Many experts in the field of teaching note a significant increase in both the level of motivation and engagement in the classroom, as well as a great boost in creativity.
From the teacher’s point of view, interactive materials can easily be adjusted to the needs of students during the course of the class. For example, you can add answers to questions that students ask or extend explanations during the lesson.
Last but not least, in the current global situation, interactive materials are also a very good option during online classes because of how easily they allow us to present various types of materials to maintain more direct contact with students. Thanks to these kinds of materials, everyone can go at their own pace, see it again or expand on those topics that interest them especially.
Get to know Explain Everything + Genially.
Explain Everything is the most versatile digital whiteboard on the market. It’s used worldwide by millions of teachers, educators, tutors, kids, and students. Whether you need to create a presentation or explainer video, guide or task others, explain any topic, or design a project, this one’s for you. You can quickly share the results of your thinking with others or collaborate on a project with a group.
Genially is a content creation tool that teachers around the world use to create interactive presentations and learning resources. There are hundreds of templates available and educators are able to create stunning presentations, infographics, escape rooms, quizzes, interactive images, and more! No programming or design skills required.
Use Genially to create better presentations and learning materials for both, distance learning and the in-person class. Add layers of interactivity and animations to engage your students like never before. Genially also allows you to integrate other applications within your presentation: have your students watch a Youtube video, or visit Google Maps without leaving the slide. There’s also a collaborative mode that allows you to work as a team. Changes are saved automatically in real-time.
If you have older materials, you can still use Genially. Import your PowerPoints and make them interactive!
We hope you have enjoyed this post and webinar!
Need inspiration? Visit our inspiration section and see what others are creating.
Need help? Visit the Genially Academy and take courses for FREE. Learn how to use the tool while you sharpen your general design and teaching skills.