Saturday, April 27, 2013

Presentation and Movies for Education with POWTOON

I just came across Powtoon and I think it's really cool. I started by signing up for a free account and in 30min I came up with this 2.26min movie which I'll be sharing with the trainee teachers I have back at work. We've been talking about engagement in our sessions and so I thought creating a quick summary of the points discussed using this newly found tool was not only practical but a good opportunity to do it in a real way.


Now, I have just signed up for a year subscription because as an educator you also get a big discount. I'm going to be using Powtoon a lot as I believe in the benefits of a flipped classroom approach and have been supporting my trainees this way for over 2 years now. I particularly like Powtoon because although many could argue is just embellished PowerPoint, it isn't. It's definitely more catchy, but you can make it into a movie or a presentation and so one of the greatest benefits is that it can be used as short videos for content, to revise whatever you did in a session, to present new content so that in the classroom you focus on practiced - flipped classroom approach, etc. Why don't you try it your self and then leave a comment here? It'd be interesting to start a discussion about the Pros and Cons.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Explain Everything for iPad vs Snag it

It's been a few weeks since my last post on Audioboo and I have to say it's not been easy with a full time job, tutoring from home on 2 online courses and doing all the other bits and bobs I always get involved! It's all under control and it seems like I work and perform better when under pressure! 

Anyways, this blog entry is about Explain Everything, the Apple equivalent of Techsmith's Jing (Jing Pro has retired!) and the updated verion of Snagit . I recently inherited an iPad and so I decided to start using it as much as possible in as many ways as possible in equivalent manner to my desktop, tablet, notebook and laptop! Now, one of the aids I enjoy creating to support my teaching and my own learning too is screencasts. 

I started using Jing and immediately fell in love with it, but soon realised I needed another tool which would allow for more versatility and which offered more features. Jing Pro is great but has now retired and I still wanted more so I explored the free trial version of Snagit and we're now madly in love! :-) Also engineered by TechSmith and knowing the quality of Jing, I didn't hesitate one single minute before buying it. The more I use it and the more I like it to be honest. Now, going back to my inherited iPad (one! :-) I've started trying to find Apple equivalents to different software and so I found out from a colleague a couple of months ago that Explain Everything does pretty much the same. I've created a couple of screencasts for my students and and trainees and I think it's also a valid tool. I must confess that I'm still exploring it and that I think it's a little slower than Snagit, but that may definitely be because of my new 'old' iPad so I must be honest and give it the benefit of the doubt. In short, I still find Snagit a lot easier to use, but this may also be due to the fact that I've been using it longer. For the time being, I'll continue to use both and see if my opinions change somehow. I'll report back in a few weeks on my explorations!