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Website Review: Knowmia

Posted by on June 13, 2014

update–This site has been retired

Knowmia offered me a free coupon code for Knowmia Pro. I didn’t know much about this app though the buzz had me curious. I spent two minutes looking at the website to see if I was interested. A couple of features made me decide to give it a try:

  • video recording on IPads
  • a knowledge base of teacher videos
  • ability to annotate a website

In fact, I have lamented on several occasions that I couldn’t share a how-to on an IPad app because my recorder/editor didn’t work on IPads. This appeared to be a solution.

The download was quick, set up easy. I was clicking away on the program within minutes. A few details I liked as I reviewed the program:

  • included tools include all the standard ones I’d look for–drawing, typing, shapes
  • I can bring up a website within the Knowmia window and include it in the deck for the video presentation
  • I can create assignments with the Knowmia Assignment Wizard. Teachers design assignments that students complete after watching a video. This sounds ideal for a flipped classroom.
  • Knowmia’s automatic scoring function works for multiple choice questions and numeric questions.
  • I can create mini courses where I link several lessons together for easier access, coordination, viewing.
  • I can access over 30,000 video lessons from teachers on a wide variety of topics.
  • Following Scratch’s example of encouraging students to remix the work of other students to create their own unique video (Khan Academy does this too), Knowmia enables teachers to use lessons by other teachers, from YouTube, or anywhere they find lessons, personalize them for their classroom, and then republish
  • finished projects can be published to Knowmia, exported, saved to the camera roll, uploaded to YouTube (some with Pro only, which is a fee-based option)

To start me off, Knowmia provided an intro slideshow which covered all the tools, menus, options that I’d likely be interested in when creating a video. As I watched, I tried them out. The Knowmia canvas is well designed and similar enough to other writing programs that I found it easy to understand. The only term I wasn’t familiar with was ‘Props’ (lower right below).


From top left and counter clockwise above:

  • Left sidebar has the deck of slides created for the current Knowmia project
  • Face recording can be turned on or off to see the creator’s face on the screen with the project
  • Recording can be turned on or off to record to a slide, i.e., a how-to example
  • Lots of tools–all the standard ones, plus access to the internet, where I could annotate a website
  • Props (unique to each project) are added to use in the movie

So I set out to create a lesson

  • I quickly realized I couldn’t bring up an IPad app on Knowmia. That was disappointing, but not a show-stopper.
  • I could bring up a website, which was perfect for showing students how to use an online tool or websites in general. It was fully functional within the Knowmia window and all annotating tools were  available–typing, shapes, props, more.
  • I tried a variety of approaches to projects and had the most success creating a ‘white board’ lesson. While in this feature, I could record as I was working so students get an oral and visual of what I was doing (as you’ll see in my sample below).
  • I liked that it enabled the face camera so students could see me within the whiteboard when I chose. I watched a few sample Knowmia lessons online using that feature and liked it.
  • I like that it will load pdfs, a page at a time to separate slides. That makes it easy to share a lesson plan already created or a booklet being used in class and annotate during teaching, then save and share on a blog, wiki, or other digital portfolio.
  • Videos can be saved to the IPad camera roll, uploaded to Knowmia’s video gallery, embedded in a blog or wiki, or shared via the link. Pro users can also publish direct to YouTube.

Here’s my video of my first attempt, completed in about 15 minutes.

Why is this not more impressive? Knowmia is a powerful tool with a lot that can be done once you know where to find the tools and how to use them. I’d love to hear from more experienced users about your use of Knowmia.

Educational uses

Create whiteboard how-to lessons, take notes in class, share an infographic and annotate as you discuss it, display the class lesson plan and add notes. Older students can use this as a multimedia way to share knowledge on a curriculum topic in place of traditional book reports, posters, or essays.

Knowmia provides a video library of 30,000 lessons planned by thousands of teachers. These can be incorporated into a teacher’s plans or used as stand-alone lessons. This is particularly helpful for a flipped classroom approach. Use Knowmia to create the homework video which can include annotated images, to do list, and even the videos students will watch to prepare for class the next day.

Knowmia has a free and paid version which works well in school environs.

Knowmia is a great website and iPad app for creating, sharing, and viewing video lessons. Created by the founder of the Flip Video line of recording products, these folks have a good idea what teachers need to make their teaching more efficient and effective. Overall, Knowmia provides teachers with a robust tool for creating and sharing lessons in a differentiated way.

Want to know more about Knowmia? check iPadApps4School, TechChrunch, SchoolTube, or iPadogogy (this last one has an excellent video overview of the multiple Knowmia).

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of dozens of technology training books that integrate technology into education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, a tech ed columnist for, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out next summer.

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