Explain Everything iPad App: How Great You Are!

Standing in the hallway, looking down the passageway at the doors that open into small cells, you will be forgiven if you think you’ve found yourself in a penitentiary. But no, you would be wrong, because these are rooms of joy. They are used by our music department. Students have private lessons and practice their music here. I escaped to one of these rooms yesterday with one of our World Language teachers in order to avoid the hustle and bustle of the office and the ringing of telephones. Our mission was to use the iPad app Explain Everything to record a movie tutorial for a Chinese class.

It had been a particularly draining day with back-to-back appointments and the sort of activity which is normal during the first couple of weeks when school reopens for the year. It was pleasant to find myself quietly listening to the melodic Chinese voice sitting beside me on the piano bench recording a movie for her students. Halfway through our recording session a student slipped into the room across the hall and shortly we were treated to the sound of a tuba seeming to come from a distant shore. Soon my colleague seemed to be following the rhythm of the tuba as she continued forward in her quest. Suddenly she turned toward me with great joy on her face and said, “How great you are.” I replied, “you know that sounds like a song to me.” She smiled and burst forth in a full-blown “How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art!” ending in an explosion of laughter.

This was a clear example of transference that was working to my advantage. That nifty iPad app Explain Everything is so easy to use. Starting with a blank project:

  • select the pen icon
  • choose a color and thickness
  • hit the record button and start talking while you write
  • pause the tape while you select a new slide and repeat the procedure.

When you finish your masterpiece it’s easy to export it to Dropbox. Our movie was a mite long at 15 minutes. We had it up on the student SharePoint portal in no time at all. We have big plans going forward to make shorter and more compressed movies and we expect each one will be a little better than the last.

Here is a shout out to Explain Everything: how great you are!

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