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iPads are becoming a common sight in the classroom, in the hands of both teachers and students, and the number of educational apps is growing everyday. Learn how to get the most from the iPad as a classroom teaching tool in this course with author and educator Aaron Quigley—and enhance student achievement, save time, and be more productive. Aaron shares his favorite apps for students of all levels, from categories like science, math, English, and others designed specifically to help teachers. Use this course to decide if these apps are right for you before you purchase them for the classroom.
If you are a teacher that uses the idea of the flipped classroom, or if you have a lot of visual learners in your classroom, I strongly recommend you check out the Explain Everything application. Explain Everything allows us to take media from our iPad and quickly create a presentation that allows us to draw on, add text, and even add graphics on top of videos, images, documents. Even PowerPoint and Keynote slides. Furthermore, we can also record that presentation and quickly upload it to the internet. One thing that's really nice about Explain Everything is you can start a presentation by quickly accessing a document from either your photo library, a movie from iTunes, anything inside of Dropbox or Everynote.
Even Google Drive, WebDAV and box, all integrated with Explain Everything. I've already created a simple presentation to allow us to dive into some of the features of Explain Everything. From the main screen, I'm going to go and click my presentation to start it. Let's go ahead and take a second to get familiar with the layout of Explain Everything. Now I can simply plug Explain Everything into my projector or even put this under a dock cam and basically use my iPad like a mobile SmartBoard. I can do basic things like select a pen, select a color, and just draw on my slide. At the very bottom left-hand corner, I can also see that there's four slides in this presentation.
So the same way I use Keynote or PowerPoint, I can also advance from slide to slide. And in addition to advancing from slide to slide, I can quickly add more slides and reorder slides. Slides are controlled by tapping on the Slide button at the very bottom. Here I can see the four slides in this presentation. Now slides are also driven by something called templates. The template's going to choose the background color, as well as the pen options you have for drawing on top of that background. If I click the Change Template button, I can see that there's four template options pre built in. White, black, green, and kind of a cream colored.
In addition to the background, I can see that there's three different colors that represent the pen colors, or graphic colors, I have available to me. If I simply select the black background, I can see that all four of my slides have now changed to have that black background added to them. Any images I had on top of the background obviously don't show the black through, but the rest of the slides show that black's coming through. I'm going to go and change that back to white. Sometimes you want just one slide to have a different background or a different theme. To do that, you find the slide and you basically, tap and hold.
All the slides now have options that appear. Here, I can delete a slide, I can reorder my slides, and if I want to change the theme for just one particular slide, I can tap the small blue button on the right-hand side that has the 4 colored squares in it. Here I'm going to go and select a Green background. Just slide number three has become the green background, the rest of the slides still have the white template to them. I'm going to go ahead and tap the Slide button at the very bottom to close out of that menu. On the left hand side I've already used the Pen button. Now most of the buttons on the left hand side, if you press and hold on them, there are options that popup.
Here with the pen I can have a blurred-edge pen or a sharp-edged pen and I can also choose the width of it. So for example, I come out to the thickest width pen, and I can go ahead and start writing. In addition to writing by hand, I also have the ability to select a text box. Now before I start typing text, it's important to select the appropriate color. because you cannot change the color of text once you've typed it out. I'm going to go ahead and choose this lighter yellow color. I'm going to tap on the screen, and you'll see that a text box appears. I'm going to go ahead and type, today we will study phenotypes, and then close my keyboard.
Now, with the text box selected, the blue button in the bottom right-hand corner will allow me to resize the text box. I could even drag it all the way out so that the text appears on a single line. If I put my finger in the middle of the text box I can then move it around on the page. I'll go and position at where I want it. I can also choose to change the orientation by using the boxes at the top, and when I think it's correct, I'll go ahead and hit the Green button to put it in position. Now currently the text box has its border turned on and seems to be a fairly plain font. I'm going to go ahead and select that text box by tapping it, and then I'm going to come over to the Text button and go and click and hold it down.
Here I have the ability to turn borders on and off, I can change the font and I can also change the font size. When I think everything's set correctly I'll go ahead and tap back out of it. And I can now see that the font has been changed, the font size has been changed and I can go and position that text box wherever I'd like. Directly above the Text button I have an Insert Graphic button. Here I can click and hold and select a variety of graphics. For example, I'm going to select the arrow. Tapping back on the main screen will close that button. And now I can simply tap and drag out an arrow, to whatever size that I'd like. In addition, I can put my finger in the middle of the arrow, and now I can move it around.
If at any time I'd like to delete something that I've drawn, I can simply click on the X button that's in the middle of the left-hand navigation. With the X button highlighted, I can simply tap up on an item. That item will start shaking, and I can hit the X button to delete it. In addition to items in text, I can also click on things that I've drawn by hand. The tools are to shake as an entire unit and I can choose to delete that. If I'd like to just erase part of something I've drawn, I can also go back and and tap the Pen button an you'll notice that the X is now an eraser. I can go back and select the eraser and if I hold down the eraser, I can see there's three different sizes to choose from.
I can select an eraser size tap the Eraser button again. And now I have the ability to erase things that I've drawn. Directly below the eraser I also have a laser pointer. This is a great thing to do if you're actually showing the video inside of Explain Everything. During the video you can take your laser pointer and identify or highlight what it is that you'd like to show. Once again if I hold down the laser pointer I have a variety of options that appear including an arrow. I'll tap to close the box and I can simply click and now I have an arrow that follows my cursor around as I'm trying to highlight various things inside of my presentation.
Now the laser pointer can be a little bit of a challenge to use because you will not see the laser pointer. It's going to be hidden beneath your finger. But when you're recording your presentation, the laser pointer appears. Or, if you're projecting your iPad screen to your board, you'll also see the laser pointer appear on the board. Below the laser pointer I have an Information button. With this selected, I can tap on the screen, and I have the ability to reorder anything that I've drawn. Here I can send things to the front or to the back, or I can move them around in various layers. I can also duplicate, copy, lock, or even set the background, so it doesn't move around, as I move through the presentation.
Below the Information button, there is an Undo button as well as the ability to zoom. Directly below the Zoom button is the ability to minimize all of the Explain Everything application bars. If I click this, you'll see that everything condenses down into a single semi-transparent bar on the left-hand side. This is great for presentations because it gives me access to the pen as well as the laser pointer, including the ability to move through my slides. But I don't have the navigation bars taking up more of the screen. Clicking the button again will take me back to the main screens. Here inside number one, I have a picture loaded. I can use basic touch gestures to move and manipulate this picture.
Such as, pinching to zoom out, or pushing my fingers apart to zoom in. In addition, with two fingers in the screen I can choose to rotate this graphic, and I can even choose to move this graphic around by touching and dragging. When I'm finished explaining a particular slide, to move to the next slide, I just hit the arrow next to the slide selector at the bottom left-hand corner. Here at slide number two, I have a picture of Mount Rainier, with the label of Tree Line. If I want to, I can go ahead and record a short video for my students. To record video, I'm going to hit the Record button at the bottom of the screen. Hello, students, here's a picture of Mount Rainier, showing you the tree line.
The tree line goes all the way around the mountain. And is caused because of lack of oxygen at that particular level. So if I want it this time I can go ahead and replay that. Hello students, here's a picture of Mount Rainier showing you the tree line. The tree line goes all the way. And if I'm happy with this video I've created, I can also choose the Export button in the bottom right-hand corner, the second one over from the left that looks like a film slide with a small play button, will allow me to export that video. In addition, even if I had made a video on the slide or I have played a video from the slide, I can simply click one of the navigational arrows on the left hand side, to go on to the next slide.
In addition to allowing educators to create short videos, as well as to have an interactive display during the presentation. I also like to use this application with my students. If I'm using a program like Reflector that allows me to be wireless and move around the classroom, yet still projecting my iPad. I can walk over to a student and hand them a maths problem. The student then during class time can go through and work on the maths problem on the iPad and what they're doing will real time show up on the board. This way their classmates can watch what they're doing and it becomes a student teaching moment. Also to make mistake, I've a system where classmates can respectfully help each other out.
This is a great way to give control of the class back to the students and allow them to teach themselves. At the end of the class if you've made a presentation or you've made a variety slides and you want to save them for your next class. You can simply come down to the folder icon in the bottom right-hand corner and you have the ability to explore the presentation or save the presentation. For this particular presentation, let's say that I just gone through last session and I did not want to save this, I could simply click the Home button, I could choose No, to save the presentation. And now I have my original presentation ready to go for my next class. I really hope you enjoy using Explain Everything in the classroom and that it can be a benefit to both you and your students.
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