210-710-2434
210-710-2434
18 Oct 2013
Comments: 0

iVocabulary: The Power of an Idea Shared

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Truly, I do not spend my day drinking iced lattes and googling myself… Today, one of Instructional Partners emailed me about some of the vocabulary resources I had shared utilizing iPads. Rather than log in to my Thinglink on iVocabulary, I googled “iVocabulary” and found….Melanie Burford’s Thinglink on iVocabulary. I am humbled and blessed by her kind words and flattery (as seen in image above).

“This idea came from one of my Technology Specialist IDOLS, Lisa Johnson, from Eanes ISD in Austin.” – Melanie Burford

While both of our Thinglinks are game boards and offer apps for iVocabulary on Listly’s (mine is the Scrabble board above and hers the game board below), I truly love what happens to an idea shared.


I really feel like Melanie polished the iVocabulary idea and added elements to hers that met the needs of her learners:

  • First, hers is a game board so learners will follow the resources in a sequential progression
  • Second, she created her own Listly’s and narrowed down the app choices that were originally presented
  • Third, she added Padlet at the first turn so learners could collaboratively brainstorm their integration ideas and have them archived for later reference
  • Fourth, she added a more formal exit ticket in the form of a Google Form for learners to share a more specific integration idea
Melanie Burford's Google Form
Melanie Burford’s Google Form

One of my favorite examples was a Frayer model found on the web and completed in Explain Everything and a charming Videolicious of a student explaining the meaning of “frantically” and using it in context. Though the “Dont’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” ala Puppet Pals is a close third.

And truly… back to my not so subtle discussion about sharing online… I think  Melanie sums it up:

“I need to thank Lisa Johnson from Eanes ISD for many of the ideas in this presentation. I’m so glad she shares and publishes her work online for all to see.” – Melanie Burford

Right back atcha Melanie – thank you for sharing your recipes – I am sure they will inspire others to concoct their own.

iVocabulary image
iVocabulary image 

Melanie cited my work in her own presentation. Many times I choose a Creative Commons license for my work. If you plan on publishing online, consider using this resource. My advice would be to choose to allow modification of your work (as long as others share alike) but to restrict commercial use of your work (so others can not profit from work you freely distribute online). If you base your creations on someone else’s, another way to provide credit to the original is to include a Source work URL:

Creative Commons

Check out the rest of Melanie’s app-tastic Thinglinks HERE.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

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29 Aug 2011
Comments: 2

Everything Explained: Devour Deluxe Screencasting

In the techchef4u kitchen, ingredients and tools tend to be free… but I am making an exception…

Explain Everything: Screencasting App

I am typically quite skeptical when I come across paid apps that do the same thing as free ones. That being said… I have been looking for an advanced screencasting app for some time and was quite elated with the features, design, and potential Explain Everything promised. While I am still partial to Screenchomp (as it is free, simple to use, and offers the ability to download an mp4 video file without having to upload it to Youtube), it only offers simple color annotation with no shapes or arrows and will not allow you to annotate over documents, presentations, or multiple images. While this is perfect for elementary and Khan-esque videos, secondary students, teachers, and the tech world need the advanced functionality that Explain Everything offers.

In corresponding with the Explain Everything app developer, I discovered the reason I truly love this app. As you will see it is easy to use with profound functionality, but the real “you had me at slide to unlock” moment was the innate educational value and potential the app possessed. With this said, I wasn’t at all surprised that a Director of Educational Technology was behind such a polished gem.

So without further ado… let’s delve into the features of Explain Everything:

Explain Everything features:

Explain Everything: Screencasting App
  1. Multiple ways to access your documents: Begin with a blank project or import from photos (similar to Screenchomp) as well as import from Evernote and Dropbox. While there are a few files that were not compatible for import, I did like the fact that you could import a group of photos rather than one at a time.
  2. Slide Sorter: If you have imported multiple pages/images, you have the option to change the order of the slides (or images) and delete them (much like in PPT). Users also have the option to add a blank side in the beginning, middle, or end of a presentation.
  3. Annotation: You can write/highlight and add shapes, lines, arrows, and text. Within each of the annotation drop-downs, you have options to change color, size, transparency, font size, fill color, etc… (Note: the drop-down menu features accessed during your recording do not appear in the final recording).
  4. Insert images: You can insert and edit images (crop and rotate) from Dropbox, Evernote, Camera, or Photo Roll. (Note: The process of importing and editing the image will not appear in the video – recording automatically pauses during this process.)
  5. Layers: You can layer images as well as resize them on the canvas. (This is a slick feature!)
  6. Undo: You have the option to undo/remove a whole object rather than have to erase it in sections (Note: this is selected in the “preferences”: drawings become objects.)
  7. Save: You can save within the app.
  8. Export Images: Images can be exported to the photo roll, emailed, or saved to Dropbox or Evernote.
  9. Export Video: Videos can be saved to the photo roll, emailed, uploaded to youtube, or saved to Dropbox or Evernote. Projects can be emailed or saved to Dropbox or Evernote (they appear to save as an xpl file).
  10. Help menu: Though the app is extremely user-friendly and straight-forward, they do offer a wonderful help section with screenshots and further directions if needed. (If that wasn’t enough, they offer a video and print guide on their site.)

Problem-Solving Explained: While I created the first video to highlight all of the features available in the Explain Everything app, I wanted to model how the Explain Everything app could be used as a vehicle for instruction and learning in the video above. I had previously created this story problem with Prezi to model how the tool could be used as a problem-solving piece in mathematics. In hindsight, I truly believe Explain Everything is a far more useful tool for this purpose as teachers can create instructional videos and students can compose a rich problem-solving process in mere minutes.

  1. Students could create their own story problems with Doodle Buddy (free), Comic Touch Lite (free), or Cartoon Studio Free images saved to the photo roll. (Consider using 123 Charts (free) to produce more advanced data for word problems and critical-thinking projects.)
  2. Teachers could also create images in a Web 2.0 tool and save to Dropbox.

The idea of narrating, presenting, critical-thinking, problem-solving, story-telling, analyzing text, and creating screencasts/tutorials can be adjusted and modified in any content area or grade level to meet the diverse needs of teachers and students making the Explain Everything app a staple in any school setting. (Visit Explain Everything’s site to see the showcase of user examples and submit your own.)

Note: Stay tuned for an update in the next few weeks. I have been informed features to be released are:

  • *PPT, PPTX, and Keynote files now auto-separate into slides (like multi-page PDFS)
  • *Added a new Draw Tool pen tip option (a “hard” tip in addition to the default “soft” tip)
  • *Option to export the MP4 file without the audio track
  • *Option to save a copy of the movie to your iPad photo roll when you do an export to YouTube

While the app doesn’t currently allow for the ability to import and annotate over a video due to current iPad processing and memory specifications, the developer suggested using Explain Everything products in conjunction with the iMovie app, so you could get very creative and make a production using video clips, Explain Everything exports, and iTunes music.

FREEBIES and GOODIES OH MY!

TechChef4u now offers a Doc Locker full of freebies and goodies that can be used in the classroom. Lots of resources and templates can be found in the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker. Just sign up using the form below and you will receive an email shortly with a secret link to the site and password to nab your freebies.

Receive Access to the Creatively Productive Digital Downloads Doc Locker

* indicates required