Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Creating Books with Explain Everything by Connie Amon, Galileo Elementary School Librarian

Explain Everything is a versatile app that I use for multiple purposes. According to the iTunes store, it is “an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.” I agree!, even though I still have lots to learn.

My fourth grade students have been using Explain Everything to create “books” based on a picture book biography they have read. Using a storyboarding template, they plan their pages. After the storyboard has been reviewed by me, they create their pages in Explain Everything. After the pages have been created, the recording begins! Explain Everything allows students to explore drawing, writing, and recording with the iPad, as well as presenting a final product.

Some lessons we have learned, or maybe, rather, things I have yet to figure out:

  • A page will not export unless it has been “recorded”/audio has been added.
  • Audio is not easily erased, rather, you need to back up to zero and record again.
  • Don’t record until the page is EXACTLY the way you want it. If you move things around after the recording, the page reverts back to what it was during the recording.

Why create a “book” with a presentation app instead of a book app? The answer depends on the desired outcome. If the objective is that students create a “book”, with text, pictures, and audio (audio is the key here) that can be shared widely (sharing is also key), and you can continue to edit, then Explain Everything will allow for that. Explain Everything presentations can be exported to the camera roll, Dropbox or Evernote for easy viewing and sharing.

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