Archive and Showcase Learning Experiences in a Keynote Portfolio

Archive Learning Experiences in Keynote.001

As most of you know by now, Keynote is my favorite tool for so many creative reasons. Let me share with you another reason I love Keynote. I love to create non-linear presentations. Non-linear simply means that the Keynote slides will not advance in sequential order. In these types of Keynote decks, you insert links that guide the order of the Keynote presentation. In this project example, if students begin the year by creating the ‘shell’ for their ongoing portfolio of work, then they simply add to it throughout the year. They can create buttons that allow the presentation to go in the order of their choosing and add links to various content areas or learning topics.

Think of the story of learning this type of project tells! It’s powerful evidence of learning and success!

Why not just use a portfolio based app that archives student work, you ask? My answer is because creating it like this is just another way students can become creators of their own work. This is especially great for even our youngest students in learning the basics of web design as they can ‘pretend’ this is their very own website. A website functions similarly; there are buttons that take the user to other pages. Students choose their design from scratch, add linking buttons that will create the action they want. There are no privacy concerns because the only people who would see this are people that have access to the Keynote file.  They can showcase their completed Keynote portfolio to a classmate, or family member with great pride knowing that this is all their own original creation. This would be an amazing artifact to show parents at the end of the year!

To make it more meaningful, when students add work to their Keynote portfolio, they explain what the project was, if they enjoyed it, and what they learned from it. It’s a very powerful reflection tool.

Students can embed video, projects from other applications, screen shots, and so much more to truly bring their digital portfolio to life. Students can use shapes as buttons and add links to various pages in their portfolio as well as add links to external sites. My suggestion is to help students build a shell for their work. Suggestions include:

  • Title slide with buttons, which includes links to the various content areas.
  • Create a slide with the title of each content areas.
  • Add as many slides as you need under each content area.
  • Add buttons to your slides with links that allow the user to go back to other pages.
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Title slide with buttons to link to these content areas

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Content areas (Think of this as chapters). Each of these have a link that goes back to the home page (title page).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What each content area on the title page looks like once each of the rectangle shapes have been linked to slides or external slides. The blue arrows indicate there is a link, but the arrows disappear once the user hits play and interacts with the presentation.

 

Putting it all together (Video):

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Keynote+GarageBand=Love

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Keynote for iPad has become even more than I have ever dreamt it would be. Add in the animated drawings and new exporting features, Keynote has become a creator’s perfect tool.  When students create projects, they can create their own audio soundtrack in GarageBand and import it into Keynote. That’s why this post is all about how Keynote+GarageBand=LOVE!

Originally, I was going to use Keynote and Clips (which I LOVE, btw) to create this project, but in the end it just wasn’t the right tool. It’s a great reminder that when we use technology, it’s ALWAYS about finding the right TOOL for the right PROJECT. I didn’t need a movie editor for students to complete this project, they could do it all in Keynote+ GarageBand.

In this example, a student interprets a quote that resonates with him as he reflects on a time he’s been studying in history class.  I got the idea of students interpreting a famous quote in history from Apple’s Everyone Can Create curriculum, an amazing resource for teachers and students. I wanted to take it further and I love it when we can combine apps to create something really wonderful, which allows students to share their work in creative ways.

Project Workflow:

  • Create a soundtrack in GarageBand with vocals, live loops, or other instruments.
  • Share file and export as a song, save it to Files app.
  • Open Files app, find the GarageBand song, tap to copy.
  • Open Keynote and draw the person who spoke the famous quote in history.  Add the line draw animation and adjust the timing of delivery as needed. Add the text of the quote. Add animation to the text and adjust the timing so that it matches with the quote as it’s being read in the soundtrack (I like the typewriter animation for animating text).
  • Tap on the slide to paste the GarageBand song and tap on it to adjust the delivery options.
  • Play your move to make sure all of the timings are correct and all of the delivery options are in the right order.
  • Export
  • Share!!

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Project Example:

Create Transparent Images in Keynote and Preview

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Happy New Year! I am so excited to share this cool tip with you all! It is with two of the most powerful tools: Keynote and Preview!

What I typically do is use Keynote and create images that I use in many other projects. After I create my graphic, I take a screen shot of my image or I save the file to my computer as an image. From there, I open Preview on my Mac and I use the Instant Alpha tool to erase the white background that came along with my screen shot. This was very time-consuming because I was making over 20 images to use in one project.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S AN EASY FIX FOR THIS!!! I discovered that you can create your image in Keynote and copy your entire image and use Preview for Mac to create your graphic with a transparent background. After you copy all elements of your image, paste to your clipboard and export the file as a .png (Portable Network Graphics) file. HOORAY! Don’t you love it when you find a simple solution! So, here’s how to do this on your Mac!

Visual Instructions:

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*Make sure you uncheck the Alpha box.

Text Instructions:

  1. Use shapes to create your image. This can be anything from photos to badges you want to make for your classroom.
  2. After you have everything the way you want it, select all (Command A) and then copy all of these elements (Command C)
  3. Open Preview
  4. Click File>New From Clipboard
  5. Your image will appear and it is the perfect size, too! Just the elements from your creation!
  6. File>Export (make sure you uncheck Alpha because it is saving it as a transparent image)
  7. Now you have your perfect image with no white in the background!

Cheers! 🎉

Creating a Student Film Festival

NS Swat film festival

This year, I really wanted my SWAT Team students (Students Working to Advance Technology) to help create an event to reach out to other students. We decided on creating a film festival to promote video creation. At first our goals were quite high and I knew that our first year we needed to start small and build on what we learn in year one. So, that’s just what we did. We decided to create a completely online film festival and we opened the application process to students in grades K-5 in our local school district. We marketed our event, gathered sponsors to award the winners with great prizes (a wonderful incentive to get student participation), and we advertised through our school district and various social media outlets. The films were due on March 3. We received 7 submissions and although I was initially disappointed by the lack of participation, I realized that this year was completely focused around the learning process in order to make next year’s event even better. As I look back, I now understand how this event taught my SWAT Team students so much more than I initally thought! They learned how to create and market an event, how to reach out to our school district, how to create a site where students can upload their videos, and how to gain sponsors. Once the submissions came in,  my students learned the true art of critiquing the videos which were submitted. We talked about various film elements to look and listen for as they watched the videos. We had great discussions after we viewed the videos about what was good about each and what could be improved. We talked about using various filming techniques and camera shots. We talked about how using apps such as Puppet Pals and Drawing Pad within iMovie could enhance films that were created using other methods. I was proud at how my students viewed the videos and how mindful they were to celebrate the risk each of these students took to put their work out there for the world to see. We celebrate the creation of each of these films!

Here’s the video we made to promote the film festival:

North Star SWAT TEAM Film Festival 2017 from April Requard on Vimeo.

Here is a video we made to announce the winners of our first film festival:

2017 Film Festival Results by the North Star SWAT Team from April Requard on Vimeo.

Here are the top three films:

Here is a list of all of the films!

Thank you to all who participated!! We look forward to next year’s Film Festival!

Creating Word Equations: A Rebus Puzzle

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Have you ever created a rebus puzzle? I have to say that I think they are extremely difficult, but really fun. I have seen this really help students with critical thinking skills, perseverance, vocabulary development, and creativity.

So, what is a rebus? It is a picture representation of a name or phrase. Pictures (emojis) are made with letters and words, which form a cryptic puzzle. I think this is more difficult for adults rather than school-aged students because in their world, this is how so many of them communicate when texting or using social media. So, why not bring this in for learning?

Try these puzzles that my students and I have created to see if you can solve them? They vary in difficultly.REBUS.001

Answers at the end of this post! 🙂

Part 1: So, how to make a rebus? There are lots of online rebus generators, my favorite is here. This is a great way to get kids interested and understanding the puzzles. I would recommend having them start with their name. Then, they can start creating basic words, such as phone, flower, chair, colors, etc. I had my students take screen shots of their created puzzles and drop them on a Keynote slide. Then, they switched computers with a partner to see if they could solve one another’s puzzles.

Part 2: Create your own rebus puzzle and sentences. Here’s my example:

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For this, you can use the built in emojis in your computer or iPad (on computer: control+⌘+space). I find that the emojis are really difficult to see, so my favorite website to find emojis or symbols is copypastecharacter.com. This will also teach students to navigate through two open windows on their computer and practice copy/paste skills as well.

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You can choose what characters you want to view. For this, I used the Emojis and the Numerals

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All you do is click on the character you want to copy and toggle back to Keynote and press ⌘V. Then, I just had students insert text to add the +- symbols as well as the additional text. This can be carried over into students creating stories with pictures (taking out the + and -) and using the emojis to create pictorial stories.

When my students were creating these, I was truly blown away at their concentration and perseverance to figure these out. Some of them were very difficult, but it was fun and kids have been putting a rebus puzzles under my door and on my desk with hand-drawn pictures, which I think is awesome!

Other websites/apps to practice creating a rebus:

The Rebus Show for iOS

My Rebus Generator

Rebus Creator

Answers to the puzzles above:

  1. appsolutelyapril
  2. tech
  3. keynote
  4. flower
  5. phone
  6. Sentence: “I went to school.”