Keep Explaining!

This session is Greg (@gregkuloweic) not necessarily going over what the technical aspects of Explain Everything (@explainevrythng) but its going to more about how to use it to enhance your learning. Reshan Richards (@reshanrichards), creator of the app, is in the audience. Last night at dinner, he told Greg that he is going to try and break the app. So this should be a great session as Greg says “Geeking out in Explain Everything.” Greg’s session materials can be found here

Greg’s first challenge for the audience is to takes notes from this session in Explain Everything. He pulls up an example from Doug’s session yesterday on MineCraft. Benefits of note taking is that its offline and saved locally but once you are done, you can export in so many different ways then sync with Google Drive. Visual notetaking is powerful way of gathering complex topics. You don’t even need to hit record but its also a powerful review tool as a student can narrate over their notes at a later date to delve in deeper to understanding the concepts reviewed in class.

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An example of Gregs notes recorded in Explain Everything from Doug’s talk yesterday about how the brain is a muscle.

Greg’s next challenge is to create a visual graphic or poster. Once they get it to the camera roll then they can start AppSmashing and using it somewhere else. Greg also builds some of his presentation in Explain Everything as you can make slides in the app then export. Greg built his AppSmashing presentation yesterday with Explain Everything. 

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Image Credit: Greg Kuloweic

Explaining a workflow or a complex process is much easier with Explain Everything. Infinite zooming is a powerful tool for delving into topics. Once you zoom out so much that you can’t take it anymore, you can just create a new slide. You can even make visuals and turn them into LMS is another great tip for efficiently managing workflow in the classroom.

Greg then has participants email their images right now to him.

While we wait for participants to do this Greg explains how he collaborates with his EdTechTeacher colleagues using Google Presentations by exporting his Explain Everything slides as PDFs then Imports them into his Google drive. While you do lose the animations, you can add them back later because once all the changes are made, he then pulls the presentation back into Explain Everything. A great way he can get his students to take in his information is by sending this out to his students and then they can mark up on top of the notes. They can even record those notes so he can play back a complex topic that is hard to capture on the fly but listening to it back later synthesizes the information.

Brainstorming and Mindmapping can also be done using Explain Everything because of the infinite zoom. Greg mindmapped his AppSmash presnetation yesterday. When he is thinking about writing and article or blog post he uses Explain Everything. He puts the main concept in the middle them zooms out and puts the next concept. He can even throw in images that are inspiration that he can use in the article later. Greg goes on to demonstrate in 30 seconds how it can work by constantly drawing and infinite zoom feature. This can even be turned into a Presentation similar to Prezi by recording it. Greg’s process is he then sends his Mindmap to Evernote via the Camera Roll to write out write below it. Pages and Noteability also work for this purpose.

Greg then checks in with the crowd in a great activity taken from another EdTechTeacher instructor, Shawn McCusker, called “Fist or Five.” You put up a fist for “I want to leave, this is terrible” and a five for “I get it, I am following” then 1-4 fingers for anything inbetween. He gets mostly fives.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 10.00.24 AMFor the next challenge, he is going to demonstrate video feedback. he has the participants create a new Google Doc and share it with him via Google Drive. He has them add a writing prompt “What makes Explain Everything Awesome?” This is a great way to give feedback on a paper. He pulls down the Google Doc as a PDF, opens in Explain Everything then records his voice over drawing on the paper, and sends it back as an .xpl file and the students can get their feedback!

Greg is next moving onto to video. First he goes over, Stick Figure Video. He drops faces of historical figures into ExplainEverything as static images and draws on some stick bodies then he duplicates that slide many times. Then he draws on arms and records his voices on each slide to show a conversation between these historical figures.

Green Screen Studio is another great idea that Greg covers. Use a green square DoInk is a great app that can be smashed with ExplainEverything to layer video.

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Compressing and exporting does take time so if you are using it just make sure you are aware of the time it takes.

Pop up Videos is that last concept Greg covers using Popcorn Maker and Video Labs is another idea for science lab reports using ExplainEverything.

I have now survived Live Blogging both of Greg’s sessions this conference. He is a fast talker with big ideas. I did find this one much easier to follow in words than AppSmashing, which is such a great concept but its hard to explain in words. You have to really see it and more importantly do it to really understand all that is possible. Another major theme I have gotten from listening to Greg and other speakers is how we just need to use the apps to Unleash Creativity! We will never know what to create unless we just try all different possibilities.

Share your notes!

Did you take on Greg’s challenge to take notes for this session in Explain Everything? Share them with the world by posting them with #ettipad !