Monday, October 24, 2011

My turtle book talk made with the Explain Everything app

Did you know there is a way to do a screen capture on your iPad? The Explain Everything app records what you do inside it such as drawing on an image, using a virtual laser pointer, and rotating/enlarging/shrinking an image as well as your narration. Here is an example:
Here is how I made the video:

1) The box turtle photo was on my desktop computer, so I emailed it to myself, saved the image to the iPad camera roll, and cropped it using the free Adobe Photoshop Express app.

2) I opened my picture book Tracks in the Sand in the iBooks app, and took a screenshot of the spread I wanted. You can take an iPad screenshot by briefly pressing the round Home button and the Lock button at the same time. The resulting image ends up on the Camera roll in the Photos app. I cropped it a little bit to get rid of the iPad info bar on top because it was unnecessary as well as confusing.

3) The third image is a jpeg of the iBooks cover of Tracks. It’s a reasonably big image so it won’t get blurry when it’s enlarged.

4) In the Explain Everything app, I imported the three images and arranged them in starting position: the box turtle was on top, the sea turtle was underneath, and the book cover was shrunk down in the lower right corner.

5) Making sure the laser pointer button was selected, I pressed Record. When I was finished with the box turtle photo, I deselected the laser pointer button, used a “pinch” to shrink the photo, then moved it to the lower left corner, revealing the sea turtle illustration.

6) After selecting the laser pointer again, I proceeded with the rest of the talk.

7) Exporting the movie to YouTube took about 30 minutes total because the file was first compressed then uploaded automatically.

I heard about the Explain Everything app (and other iPad screen capture options) on Langwitches Blog, which is dedicated to 21st century skills and technologies. The hardest thing about making this video (besides figuring out what to say and not flubbing it) was creating a quiet place to make the recording. The refrigerator was rumbling, the cat was meowing, the birds were chirping…I even had to chase away a pair of squirrels who were scolding the cat through the patio screen. And then there were the lawn mowers(!) The best place turned out to be in our closet where the clothing helped to muffle outside sounds.

I hope this info has been useful…have a productive week!

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