Explania’s home page is uncluttered and well-organized.
Most of the topics are academic in nature, though one channel has been created by well-known companies, and includes tutorials and animated explanations about using its products. For example, Adobe’s channel provides instructional support to its customers in the form of tutorials and animated explanations.
Topics are organized into “Channels”.
However, despite the site’s relatively small selection of topics, some teachers may find that its more sophisticated level of content can meet their instructional needs better than material from K-12 sites.
The Ecology Channel
Teachers will find content primarily focused on ecology and health, making the site a good resource for science teachers. Current animations in the Ecology Channel include “What is a tsunami?” and “The Water Cycle Explained.”
The Ecology Channel offers several learning opportunities.
Most of the tutorials are brief, averaging between thirty seconds and five minutes, though a few run as long as ten minutes. An animation on the carbon cycle runs for less than a minute, but provides a thorough overview of the concept.
Clear images and bright colors contribute enliven presentations.
The Health Channel
The Health Channel is well-developed, with three pages of animated tutorials.
The Health Channel addresses numerous topics.
A wide range of topics are addressed, from hepatitis to schizophrenia to ADHD. In addition, some general wellness tutorials are included, sharing information on avoiding repetitive strain injury and relieving back and neck pain while working. Again, most of the topics will be more relevant to students in high school. One exception is the site’s interactive heart infographic, which may be useful to elementary and middle school health and science teachers.
An interesting interactive heart diagram.
The Money Channel
Teachers whose curriculum includes learning about money, current events, and the world of work will also find great ideas for enlivening their lessons with Explainia’s content. Though small in number, The Money Channel’s tutorials can be useful to teachers of economics.
The Money Channel focuses mainly on economics.
An eleven-minute animation explains the details of the global financial crisis; a shorter presentation addresses the often-confusing concept of inflation.
An eleven-minute presentation explains the credit crisis.
The Opinions and Trends Channel
The Opinions and Trends Channel contains a motley collection of animations that don’t really fit into any of the other channels, such as “What is Belgium?” and “The Animated Guide to Polish Success.”
Opinions and Trends features quirky ideas.
However, there are some academically relevant tutorials on current hot topics, including “How to Develop a Sustainable Food System” and “How to Save Our Oceans.”
A snippet from “How to Save Our Oceans.”
In addition to its usefulness for teachers, students can also incorporate animations into their own multi-media presentations. The animations and tutorials can be embedded in other websites, allowing both teachers and students to create presentations with material from multiple sources.
Only a small percentage of teachers will find academically relevant materials on Explainia. However, the quality of the presentations is strong. Most of the tutorials can be supplemented with additional information, making them easy to adapt to a lesson or unit. For those teachers, Explainina has good potential as a place where teachers can track down content that is unique and highly specialized.
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