Today was an unprecedented Saturday for media production and new media experiences around our house. Everything kicked off with a great breakfast with Alan Levine, who visited last night enroute to the east coast, and a big thrill listening to him broadcast live from I-40 on #ds106 radio from his iPhone and talk to my 8 year old and I after he headed east. I think that made quite an impression on her, especially when I told her “We’re going to learn how to do that from Alan!”

In the morning and for part of the afternoon, Rachel and I created an ePUB eBook with a fiction book she’s been writing all school year by hand with a classmate. (Literally since the first week of August!) She recorded each of the seven book parts with RecordPad, and I compiled the book with typed text, scanned pictures drawn by her classmate, mp3 files I converted with Switch, and Pages software. We’re getting the last illustration (hopefully) from her classmate to tomorrow to scan, and will most likely publish it on ePubBud, Amazon, B&N Nook Books, and a new website domain I registered for her and am configuring tonight. She created the main website graphic today using Brushes on an iPad. She’s going to give the book away as a free download, but offer it for purchase as a hardback! It’s precious!

eBook Audio Recording

This afternoon, my 11 year old daughter worked with two classmates on a science project about the Ejyafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.

Phonetically spelling Ejyafjallajokull

Using two laptops, they continued research they had started earlier in the week and created a narrated slideshow video as their “final product,” following the instructions in their teacher provided rubric. They created a presentation using Keynote software, and wrote a project script using Pages. They found photos to use from multiple sources, including Flickr Creative Commons, and included attribution on each slide for the websites where they found the images. I encouraged them to use a minimum of text on each slide, and instead use large images to make their points. (Presentation Zen style.) They recorded their final video on an iPad using “Explain Everything.” To get the Keynote slides from the laptop to the iPad, they used PhotoSync software to transfer the images. The $3 “Explain Everything” app allowed them to create their narrated slideshow directly from the images transferred with PhotoSync. They used my iRig microphone for the recording, and they sound great!

Explain Everything for iPad Screen

They recorded their script twice, reading it from the screen of a laptop in Pages instead of printing it out. They did a super job, and are justifiably proud of their afternoon of work! I’ll feature this narrated slideshow soon on “Student Media Examples.”

The proud science group

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3 Responses to A Saturday Filled with Media Creation and #playingwithmedia

  1. Stillk says:

    Hey Wes.

    Still enjoying the creative elements of the blog. Thinking about your passion for storytelling and your sons passions for games, have you tried Quest. It’s available from I spent a year working with the platform and it’s great fun, certainly challenging.

  2. Nancy Sharoff says:


    Now that’s the way kids should feel about assignments! (engaged enough to be willing to work on them over the weekend.) and of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a parent with the tools to get the job done! Thanks again for doing a wonderful job of detailing the steps. I plan on sharing your post with parents to show how relatively easy it can be. I think you may be on to something here. I know your focus is other educators, but I see a market/nche for parents as well.

  3. Explain Everything says:

    Cool project!! You can import keynote files into Explain Everything viaDropBox, Evernote, or as an email attachment (in iPad email press and hold the attachment). Thanks for using our app!
    Co-creator of explain everything

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