#flippedfail = opportunity!

Fail. Maybe not an “epic fail,” but still a fail.

F – First

A – Attempt

I – In

L – Learning

You’ve probably heard this acronym before, but it particularly came to mind when I had some tech issues this week, and needed to find an alternative way to create two flipped lessons without my usual means. (I.E.: I have created many flipped lessons before, but my usual pathway was blocked.)downloadExplain Everything for iPhone

For the first flipped lesson, I installed the “Explain Everything” app on my phone. I imported slides from my iPhone email, then imported them into the app. I was able to voice record just perfectly, feeling like my phone had magically become a microphone to complete my projects.

With naivety, I gleefully rendered the video. I uploaded the project as an “unlisted education” video to my YouTube channel. I then provided the link to my students, to enjoy the dulcet toned of my voice… until I checked the finished product.

The video was clearly made on a phone. It was a landscape-shaped image of my slides, smushed into a portrait orientation.  I could hear the wind coming out of my sails.

For now, the video is usable. But I will need to make some major adjustments if I am going to use Explain Everything on my phone to create another flipped lesson.

iMovie for iPadimovie__2013_

For the second video, I switched things up. I used the iMovie app on my iPad. It took some more trial-and-error, but I can see myself using iMovie more in future projects.

The one thing to remember if using iMovie to convert your presentations into a flipped lesson is to consider how long each slide plays and whether animating each picture or slide will interfere with the information on your slides. In other words, not having images “slide” while you talk should be a strong consideration.

There are many features I’m discovering the more I use this app, and I’m excited to become well-versed at all its capabilities.

Mistakes are Opportunities

One of my undergraduate dance professors would regularly remind us to “always look at mistakes as opportunities for growth.” I have always kept this in my mind as imperfections and surprises come my way in life.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to find new and wonderful ways to make my instruction strong and engaging for my students!



Happy Digital Learning Day (Yesterday) and Pi Day (Today)!

I really wanted to get to my computer to post something in honor of “Digital Learning Day yesterday, but was deep in the throngs of removing a splinter from a five year-old’s foot while the almost-two year old was trying out all the flavors of toothpaste in the bathroom. Ah, the life of a single mom! Sometimes I am waiting for the hidden camera crew to pop out and thank me for all the great comedic material I supply them with on a daily basis.

What Time is It?

So, it is 4:36a.m. as I sit down to write this, and prepare my thoughts for a Saturday conference I will be presenting at today. It is the “T4 Think Tank: Teachers and Technology” at Elmwood Franklin School in Buffalo, New York. I’m really excited, as this is my first official presentation of PBS Learning Media in my year-long role with them as a 2014-2015 Digital Innovator. Wish me luck!

Explain Everything

But for the remainder of this post, I think I would like to focus on an app I really like for creating flipped lessons: Explain Everything. I recently presented this app in two instructional sessions to my colleagues at school, during a professional development day on March 6th.

Favorite App: Explain EverythingEE

Why: I can take existing PowerPoint presentations and convert them into flipped lessons, or create new presentations/videos.

How: Pull them into the app, and use the record button to add audio to the slides.

Features I Like: Easy to learn, user friendly, once you create a login – an actual human being emails you and offers their contact info in case you need them (isn’t that amazing?)

Why this is great: good for kids who need to hear material more than once, great for students to review, great for students who have been absent so they do not miss material, for visual learners – you can have the text with the audio to add more dimensions of multiple intelligences. You can upload the videos right to YouTube, save them to the Camera Roll on your Apple device, or mail them as files.

How I’ve used it: Back to school night video to introduce myself and my classes, opening faculty meeting (we have a hearing impaired teacher who thanked me because he usually doesn’t know what the audio is that accompanies the video – since I captioned the audio), etc.

In general, I’ve used Explain Everything to easily and quickly create flipped lessons. I’ve created PowerPoint presentations, then pulled them into EE, and recorded over the slides. After, I render the video to an unlisted YouTube link to post on my Learning Management System (Schoology) for easy student access. This prevents me from loading up other places or sending large video files – just sending a quick link is easy and the kids are already so familiar with YouTube.

More specifically, what I like about Explain Everything is that they have great customer service. When I was preparing to present to my faculty, I reached out to them. (I’m a big fan of just taking a chance and reaching out to see if you can connect.) Within hours, a real human from Morris Cooke (their parent company) replied with several links I could use or pass along to fellow teachers. How much did I appreciate that?!

Some other ideas that I shared with my peers included creating fresh videos/lessons right in the app, using EE for other presentational tools:explain everything kkenny

  • I made our opening faculty meeting video with EE – https://youtu.be/hdxas8m9-xY I got great feedback from parents who couldn’t make it who felt I gave them a better sense of who I am and what my role is as their daughter’s teacher. I think for incoming freshmen – this was particularly helpful.
  • a flipped Back to School Night video for parents who could not attend – https://youtu.be/KyjvAPWXLvk

There are so many things you can do with EE. Pictures, video, text, importing documents, annotation, white boarding/screencasting (I haven’t screencasted yet in a real-time white boarding, but I’m itching to do it), etc.

Here are some great links I found for Explain Everything:explain_everything_blog

Once again, thanks for taking the time to read and explore this blog. I hope you will subscribe, and reach out to me with any comments, questions, concerns, etc!

Take care, and Happy Pi Day!