Recently I have been exploring an iPad called VideoScribe (see also the desktop version which I haven’t tried yet here: http://www.sparkol.com/home.php) to see if it could bring anything to the table for flipped class or revision purposes that Explain Everything couldn’t. I created a revision video for my Year 11 group using the app which I uploaded to YouTube.
I am going to take you through my work flow and at the end discuss whether or not I like VideoScribe better than Explain Everything.
VideoScribe uses Scalable Vector Graphics (.svg) files and overlays a hand to show the image being drawn. It comes with a number of images but aside from arrows and the like, few of them would be useful to educators. You can also add normal image files but it takes away from the charm. I used iDraw to make my images.
My .svg files made in iDraw.
I then exported these as .svg files to my Dropbox.
Easy export to Dropbox. .svg files seem quite small so don’t take up too much space.
As VideoScribe also links to Dropbox I could then easily import the files into the application. It is a shame (or maybe I haven’t figured it out yet) that you can’t export straight from iDraw into VideoScribe.
Connecting VideoScribe to Dropbox. Annoyingly this has to be done every time you want to use an image.
The list of .svg files in my Dropbox account is shown as a rather clumsy list.
Once you insert your file you can resize it, change its orientation and adjust the length of time it takes to draw the element. You can also order the element in respect to the other elements. It is straightforward to add text and arrows and order them in a similar way. Much like Prezi you can set a field of view (frame) that shows as the element is drawing.
You can resize, rearrange, move and do a number of other things to any file you import.
Use the camera icon to set your view giving you a frame very much like in Prezi.
You can overlay the entire presentation with a soundtrack (either from one of the royalty-free musical tracks included or your own). You can also record a narration to go over the top. The problem with this is that the presentation doesn’t run at the same time as your narration so it is hard to keep track of where you are and you can only overlay one voice over so it all has to be done in a single take. As I am incapable of doing that, I rendered the movie and exported it to my Camera Roll. I opened up iMovie and opened up the file. I then used the iMovie audio controls to overlay the narration. I then exported from iMovie to YouTube.
Recording narration in iMovie
The finished product showing the different audio components.
As you can see there are more steps to this process than to a similar process in Explain Everything. I don’t think that VideoScribe is as suitable for annotating images and web pages as EE, however the finished product feels slicker and more characterful. I like having discovered iDraw as a result as it seems a better drawing program than the ones I had been using. I think for revision purposes (or for showing off) VideoScribe is better than EE; for new content and internal material EE might well be better. Prezi is still better for presenting when you are actually present.