Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Global Screencasting Project: Alphabet X Explain Everything

Welcome to the Global Alphabet Screencast!

The purpose of this experiment is to explore the capabilities of global collaboration facilitated through the use of iPads as a screen casting device. Anyone is welcome to contribute to the global alphabet screencast by simply selecting one letter of the alphabet and creating a short (30 second or less) screencast that captures the meaning, essence or unique perspective on that particular letter. This project would not be possible without the creation and thoughtful development of Explain Everything

How does one contribute?
Create a short screencast (30 seconds or less) about one letter of the alphabet. Explain, describe, narrate, animate, sing, recite a short poem about or provide insight into any letter of your choice. Each screencast will then be merged and compiled into one world wide English alphabet screencast that will be published online (YouTube & Vimeo) for the entire world to view.
Please watch this short video tutorial if you are not sure how to upload and share an Explain Everything project through Google Drive or Dropbox.
NOTE: If your school Google Apps domain does not allow for sharing of work outside of the domain you may have to use a private / individual Google Drive account to share. You may also upload your Explain Everything project to Dropbox & share the link to the file.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Any educator, classroom, student or administrator is welcome to contribute!

Due Date: Mid April, 2014 (tentative)

Publishing Date: TBD - the goal is to combine and publish one week after the due date. The final project will be published on both YouTube and Vimeo.

Resources Required:
1. iPad
2. Explain Everything
3. Google Drive or Dropbox
4. Creativity

Sign up Process:
Complete the Google Form below. Please select one letter of the alphabet as indicated by the first drop-down menu. I will include four (4) screencasts per letter in the final project and will do my best to update the Google Form by removing any letters from the drop-down menu that have been successfully completed.
If you are a younger student submitting you may wish to use your teacher’s name in the name field below. Names are only being collected to assign proper attribution once the project is complete.

Click HERE to sign up via the Google Form

Submitting Your Screencast:
Option 1: Google Drive1. Upload your Explain Everything PROJECT file to Google Drive. Once uploaded the file should have a .XPL file extension.
2. Name the file: Alphabet Letter - Your Name - State - Country - School Name
3.. Share the Explain Everything PROJECT (.XPL file) to:

Option 2: Dropbox
1. Upload your Explain Everything PROJECT file to Dropbox. Once uploaded the file should have a .XPL file extension.
2. Name the file: Alphabet Letter - Your Name - State - Country - School Name
3. Copy the link to the file in a Dropbox and email the link to:

Details, Specifics & Questions:

Length: 30 second maximum project length per letter

What do I screencast about? Explain, describe, narrate, animate, discuss, tell the story of, recite poetry or sing about your favorite letter of the alphabet. Include visuals, writing or video to enhance your unique perspective on the letter chosen.

What can I use? Please use creative commons (CC), or images and video that you have created to include in your screencast. Feel free to include music, but please do not include any copyright projected music in the background of your screencast.

Will my screencast be included in the final project?
Screencasts with innaproprite language or content will not be included in the final collaborative project.
All submitted screencasts may not be included in the final project depending upon the number of submissions for each letter. I will do my best to update the sign up form and remove any letters that have been completed (4 screencasts per letter)

Why Explain Everything?
While there are a number of screen casting apps available for the iPad, Explain Everything was chosen for a number of critical reasons:
1. Ability to export as a project file to Google Drive
2. Fast upload as an .XPL file to Google Drive
3. Ability to merge .XPL projects on an iPad. All alphabet screencasts will be merged on my iPad.
4. MacBook XPL Compressor. The project will end up being approximately 48 minutes in length. My goal is to export the entire merged XPL project back to Google Drive, download the XPL file to my MacBook and compress to an MP4 file with the Explain Everything compressor. If this process doesn’t work (48 minutes is a rather huge file), I may upload the project in small batches to YouTube and merge the smaller chunks together with the YouTube editor.
5. Explain Everything is terribly flexible, easy to create with and allows for saving projects locally before they are uploaded and shared through Google Drive.

Who is Greg?
I am a former high school history teacher who now works with school districts and teachers throughout the country to thoughtfully integrate technology into their classrooms. For more about Greg, see his full bio here. A special thank you to Reshan Richards, the creator of Explain Everything, for creating such a dynamic creation platform for the iPad.

Is this a one-time project?
This is part one of what I envision to be a much larger global screencasting experiment. There are a number of topics that I want to explore in the future, but based on some back and forth with a number of trusted friends of mine, I have decided to start with the English alphabet. Stay tuned, more topics to come…


  1. Greg, I love this project! But with so much of the East catching up after snow days, any chance of extending the deadline?


  2. Nate, I've pushed the date back!

  3. Greg, Who is the target audience?

    Robin Montgomery

  4. Any educator or student, regardless of grade level. I'll adjust the post to add a section about target audience.
    Please grab a letter!

  5. Thanks for extending the date! I have 2nd and 3rd grade teams who want to participate. They are so excited that we might have to do our own too!

  6. If we finished it as an iMovie, shall we change it to explain everything?

  7. I would prefer the Explain Everything Project (XPL file) so I can easily merge them on my iPad. But if you only have the video file from iMovie I can modify the content. Let me know which you send.

  8. Would April 21st be an acceptable deadline? Maumee Valley in Toledo would love to participate, but we just got back from spring break!