I’m trying out some means for flipping the classroom and just used Explain Everything on the iPad. The basic format is a board on which to write and a series of tools at left with some additional tools and status information at the bottom.

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Overall, Explain Everything did a nice job of combining the graphic and the aural. The interface itself is smooth and largely intuitive, though there were a few ambiguities I had to get used to: the insert object and insert new slide buttons were a bit confusing at first, especially with arrows on either side of the slide-number indicator at bottom that would suggest the addition of a new slide. Also, the buttons toggle on and off, such that you tap, say, the pen to turn it on and then tap it to turn it off; other programs use this active tap to display options (pen color, weight, etc.), which I would have preferred here. It is difficult to include media without interrupting the flow of the recording (and I simply forgot to hit pause) and playback defaults to playing a slide at a time, i.e. whatever work was done for one slide plays and then stops until the slide is manually advanced to the next and play has to be hit again. I suspect this is more for the teacher than the student so that the teacher can assess the work but it was slightly frustrating to have to do that for each slide.

So overall, Explain Everything is a good iPad option for flipping the classroom. My criticisms are largely minor and it produced a decent, if awkward and stilted, 4 minute video with little trouble. Here’s the video if you want to check it out (and keep in mind that the focus here is on the tool rather than the content; I didn’t script or plan much of the video and that shows in the final product).

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