In January I decided to take Jane Hart’s Ten Tools Challenge, committing myself to learning one new tool per month in 2013, by building/using/creating with it. I’m already a bit behind, but gamely marching on – here is my Tool #1 – Explain Everything.
Explain Everything is an iPad app ($2.99 on iTunes) that can be used to create visual explanations. You can draw, white-board style, or import images, PDFs or movies to be annotated. The application records on-screen drawing, object movement, and your own voice providing explanations as you work. Educators could use this to create lecture-ettes and students could use it for projects. You can import PDFs, jpgs, PowerPoint or Keynote files. Once you create your project, you can handily export it from your iPad to YouTube, Drop Box, Evernote or email it. Staying true to the spirit of the Ten Tools Challenge, I used the tool to learn how to use it and created the following little story about my Monk’s Bench:
So, thoughts about this tool. It’s very easy to use – I figured it out by trial and error in about 15 minutes. If you want a more structured learning experience there are manuals on their site and even an iTunes U course. I like the easy importing and exporting features. The drawing palette is a bit limited, but there’s enough there to give you the basics. One thing I noticed, if your project consists of multiple static images – proceeding from one to the next – there is a hiccup in the load (at least there was for me) that you have to take account of in your recording. In other words, pause in your explanation while the project is loading from one image to the next.
This ‘Challenge’ is a great way to formalize what I need to do anyway – get inside these new tools so that I can fully understand their capabilities.