We're working on a postcard insert to give to audience members at an event next week. I put together a proof of concept of the general idea and handed it off to the team. Then, a more polished draft was created and shared in Jira. Then, I gave a little more feedback on it. We'll see where the final design lands.
Explain Everything now has a Slack Files integration. This makes it easy to pull together various attachments that might be a in channel or private message group on a shared canvas. This can be especially helpful when needing to explain a report or give feedback on a design or just see the bigger picture which is not always easy in a linear, vertical chat. Combine this with the Explain Everything Slack App and you can really extend your communication, productivity, and collaboration across distance and time.
Sometimes a document that is going to be used for an activity or a reflection can use additional guidance which is not easy to put in written words. And sometimes, those written words are hard to follow at least the first time that they are presented. To address this, you can easily create a short whiteboard video of you showing and telling about the document and share it with the intended audience before, during, or after the related session or instructional delivery.
The two Udemy courses I have created have both had the video content made with Explain Everything. The most recent one which launched today is a course built around ideas from Make Yourself Clear.
I have found a pretty good system for efficiently creating whiteboard videos. If this post gets any activity I'll add a bunch of visuals to the text descriptions.
We have learned a lot from private tutors around the world who are using Explain Everything in their work. Some are teachers who do tutoring after school as a side business. Others are those whose primary job is to serve as private tutor.
In many cases, the tutors are using a web-conference tool (e.g., Zoom, Google Meetings, Skype) to mediate voice and video and then are either doing a screen share to display their Explain Everything whiteboard or are utilizing a collaborative whiteboard session in parallel to the web-conference.
We use Zoom at Explain Everything when it is helpful for participants to both see and hear each other and use Explain Everything for whiteboarding. It’s quite similar to the experience that tutors working across distance are trying to create.
Here are some tips for using Explain Everything and Zoom together for effective remote tutoring.
Before the session
Create a calendar appointment and include two links in the meeting notes. 1) your Zoom meeting link and 2) your Explain Everything whiteboard link.
Either way, create a routine where two links are clicked when it is time for the session.
During the session
If both participants are on the whiteboard, then you don’t need to use Zoom’s screen share to see what each other are doing. It will just be visible on the whiteboard and Zoom will handle your voice and video chat. However, if you regularly record your Zoom sessions as part of the tutoring experience, it makes sense for you to share your screen so that the whiteboard activity is included in the Zoom meeting recording.
After the session
If you used Zoom to record your tutoring session, you’ll have access to the complete video file which you can always share with the participant.
However, it might be helpful to create a quick recap or summary - which you can do right in Explain Everything using the built-in recording feature. After recording, select ‘Create Web Video Link’ and then you can send your student the full meeting recording as well as your brief whiteboard recap.
I used this feature for the first time with purpose today and it was really helpful. I had a short audio recording on my desktop, I inserted it, and then dragged it to the timeline to have it be part of my recording.
One of my favorite parts of this new integration is being able to drag files from my computer (images and documents) right onto a collaborative whiteboard canvas initiated from Slack.
It is now possible to launch a collaborative whiteboard straight from Slack with Explain Everything's Slack App.
Steve Valentine shared some interesting excerpts from the work of James Carey (which he learned about via NYU's Jay Rosen). One of Steve's suggestions was to keep track, during the course of a day, of how different conversations and communications would fall under when looking at them through the lenses of Transmission and Ritual communication. Read Steve's post for more about those definitions. Here is a whiteboard template that can be used in conjunction with that exercise.
All of the doodle artwork in Make Yourself Clear was created with Explain Everything using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil (2nd Gen.). I had actually done one entire set of doodles, but seeing them in context with the book and in print made me realize that a thicker, heavier style would translate better and also be more discernible when smaller versions of the images might be used.
In order to have consistency, I started with a blank project and set up the pen and highlighter thicknesses and colors to the ones I wanted to use. I also had to think about framing the doodles and whitespace around them so that if it was a simple doodle - like a single object - it would not be much larger and thicker in comparison to doodle with multiple components.
In the screenshot above, you will notice the first iteration of one particular doodle (about communication channels) and the second iteration. I think both work well digitally, but the bottom one translates better to the size and medium of our book.