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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Explain Everything - iPad app for flipped teaching

I have posted previously about some free iPad apps that can be used for flipped teaching.  I recently broke down and paid the $2.99 to buy Explain Everything.  I was told it is the ultimate app for video tutorials, supplying all the things that those free ones were lacking.

From what I've seen so far, that's been mostly accurate.  I really like the laser pointer feature and the entire app is intuitive and easy to use.  I am glad I purchased it and I'm sure I will use it more than I do the free ones as I get more comfortable working around the couple quirks.

Here are the pros and cons I see at this point:

Pros:

  • Presentations can be shown live or narrated then exported as a video to the Camera Roll (or to other usual locations).
  • Laser Pointer allows for pointing out areas of the screen during recording or presenting.
  • Web browsers can display online content.  (I didn't use this much yet, but it looks like a great feature if it works even with complex websites.)
  • Can import pictures or even entire presentations (PowerPoint is an option) from Dropbox or Evernote.  (I haven't experimented with importing from Evernote and see my note below about Dropbox.)

Cons:

  • It's not free.
  • I can't get it to import anything from Dropbox!  It might be me, but so far I can't even get one picture to import correctly.
  • When re-sizing objects it is too easy to rotate them at the same time.  It would be good to have a snap feature at every 90 degrees for objects.  I simply gave up trying to straighten a couple rectangular images perfectly .
  • Like all the free apps I mentioned previously, there's still no way (that I can see) to undo or edit part of the audio recording.  Since you can export to the Camera Roll, though, it's easy enough to edit the mistakes out in iMovie or another editor.  That's what I did in the sample below.
  • Note on 9/4/12:  Noooo!  It did the same thing I ran into with other slide creation apps.  Today I put together four slides for a presentation.  Before I had a chance to record I had to do something else, but I left Explain Everything open.  When I came back to the iPad and turned it on I tried to edit it and the app shut down immediately.  I lost all my work.  Educreations used to do this to me and I made a note about it in that review.  It could be attributed to any number of factors beyond the app itself, but I wanted to pass it along.

Here's my first attempt at a video tutorial using the app. It explains how to use the Say Anything flipchart in the classroom. For purposes of this overview of Explain Everything, you'll see all the important features of this app in the first two or three slides.


3 comments:

  1. Hi Mike
    In EE we have addressed (or are currently addressing) 4 of your 5 bullet points in the "cons" section.

    *We fixed a variety of DropBox integration errors in the last few months.
    *Now if you double tap an image it will snap to the closet 90 degree rotation when it is reasonably close
    *We are working on a a scrubber timeline (currently in beta testing)
    *EE handles app switching better, but its still a good idea to save your work before going to another app because your iPad might have problems managing memory (not the app)

    Thanks for the feedback and the post!
    Reshan
    Co-creator of Explain Everything

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    1. I have just bitten the bullet and tried EE as well. I can't get the document to stay in the app! I exported the movie and my document I uploaded to annotate on screen is gone, although my voice is there, along with all my annotations! Any ideas? Ive tried locking the document, doing it as a photo from the camera roll and I'm almost over it. I did 7 slides and the document appears in the slide counter on every slide, but doesn't appear in the exported movie, and went I went back in to every slide the document kept disappearing from every slide. I can't find any info to fix it, so thought you might have some ideas. Thanks.

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  2. Wow, that's a new one to me. I haven't had that happen. I also did some searching and I couldn't find any sign that others have had it, at least nothing in the latest versions. I don't know if Reshan is following this, but maybe he can shed some light on it.

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