Explain Everything

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As I use my iPhone more and more, I find it more useful for learning and teaching. I continue to seek apps that I can integrate in my classroom or presentation. I stumbled up on one app, Explain Everything, that I am very eager to explore.

Explain Everything is “an interactive screencasting whiteboard” according to the developers.  It has a laser pointer to draw attention to a specific area on the screen. You can record everything that you do on a screen, with your voice, so show it again or share with anyone. The app integrates with major cloud service providers such as Google Drive and Dropbox, so it’s easier to access files (I love this integrated feature!).

Here is a video that explain the app’s features. Check it out!

Recommended PDF Reader

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There are occasions I want to share my PowerPoint (PPT) files. Sharing PPT through an online conference platform, however, is sometimes clumsy. For example, on Adobe Connect or WebEx, there seems to be some compatibility issues between PowerPoint 2007 and 2010/2013, particularly with animations within the slides. I don’t use animations, but I have heard that animations don’t play well over a conference platform. I also want to be able to share my slides, but not necessarily the notes I have for each slide. For those occasions, I convert the slides to PDF. This has two advantages:

  1. PDFs are more universally viewable, particularly within a browser. If the students use Google Chrome, this is a good choice as Chrome has a built-in PDF reader. I have students who use Office for Mac, who sometimes cannot view PowerPoint 2013 slides.
  2. PDFs don’t contain extra information such as notes.

So which PDF reader is a good complement to presenting? I recommend Foxit Reader. It is smaller in size and is less susceptible to security issues like Adobe’s Reader does. I like Foxit because it has one feature that I use all the time: Typewriter. It lets you “type in” the slide. So I can put some notes are text while I am lecturing. All you can do is just type in simple text, but it is much easier than doing so in PowerPoint. I recommend you learn about this feature.