3 Exciting Updates to Keynote for iPad

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It was a surreal experience to be involved in the Apple announcement in Chicago last week. There were so many moments to write about and so many amazing updates to Apple technology (and implications for our learners) but for now I will share my three favorite updates to Keynote for iPad.

Exciting Keynote Update #1: Add drawings

As most of you know, Apple has a new iPad that is compatible with Apple Pencil. This truly is a game changer for education. The addition of drawing in Keynote is my favorite game changer EVER! The great news: you don’t have to have a pencil to draw…you can draw with your finger or another stylus if you have an older iPad. The implications for creativity are HUGE! Before, if you wanted to add a custom image you either had to create it in another app and use Instant Alpha to delete the background or you had to use the Draw with Pen feature in Keynote for Mac. Not anymore (picture a 40-year-old woman skipping with jazz hands and you’ll understand my excitement). Additionally, the power of the drawing tool is amazing! Lots of great features to play with, including changing the opacity, filling an image with color, custom colors, and a variety of drawing tools to make your drawings interesting. One of my favorites to the update is being able to pick my own colors to match a project that I am working on! Students can trace an image right in Keynote and match colors perfectly and there are no copyright infringements!

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Don’t judge my drawings…but I used the color picker to pull color from an image I found online.

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Exciting Keynote Update #2: Animate your drawings

So, yes, drawing on slides is awesome! So exciting! But wait…there’s more! You can animate your drawings! You can also animate each drawing as a separate object! There’s so much you can do here and I can’t wait to share more! This is just so exciting! Think about the possibilities this has for storytelling, showing work in math, experiments, and more! Here’s a sample drawing animation of a growing flower: https://vimeo.com/262884017

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Think of the possibilities in animating a story as each drawing can be animated separately!

Exciting Keynote Update #3: Change slide size

My next favorite addition to Keynote is having the ability to change the size of the slides to fit screens with different aspect ratios! HOORAY!!!!! This is seriously just the best! When I wanted to do this before, I could only change the size of the slide on my Mac and then I could send it to my iPad. It’s little things like this that make my creative heart go pitter patter! Here’s a link to one of my favorite projects, where the size of the slide has to be portrait!

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Click here to learn more about all the newest features in Keynote for iPad!

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Name Equations in Keynote

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This project collides literacy and math in a way that allows students to express themselves creatively. When you have combinations like that, a lesson is sure to be a success.

This project takes students down a powerful path in understanding a program such as Keynote (traditionally only thought of for presentations). Here are some of the skills they will learn in this fun project:

  • Inserting text to create name (change font, size, color, and alignment)
  • Learn to organize and space items appropriate for proportion of slide size
  • Align text and shapes (spacing and sizing are important for this!)
  • Search through the shapes library to find shapes that begin with the letters of their first name (phonics in action)
  • Add up how many shapes are in each letter column
  • Create an equation based on the number of shapes in each column
  • Change the background color of a slide
  • Export each slide as an image (Mac) or take a screen shot of slide in full screen (iPad)
  • Share!

Ways to share student creations:

  • Have each student upload their image to a Padlet wall.
  • Each student uses Airdrop to drop their image to one iPad and that one iPad can combine all to create an iMovie or Clips video with all of the class images.
  • Each student can create a checkthis.com site where they upload their image and write about what each one of the shapes represents. When students are finished, they can publish their site and share their URL with their friends and families!

Each child’s creation will be different and students will interpret the shapes in different ways. It’s important to note that some shapes have multiple meanings and can start with various lettters. For example, in the creative piece below, Austin uses a fork for the word utencil under the letter U.

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Swift Playgrounds: Learn to Code 1 & 2 Vocab Cards

 

coding vocab.001“Everyone should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”–Steve Jobs

Swift Playgrounds is an amazing app developed by Apple that can teach anyone the concepts of coding. The great part is that you don’t need any prior experience before diving in…I promise! 😀 As a teacher and professional development leader, I absolutely LOVE that Apple has given us many resources to be able to teach this to our students because it’s true…EVERYONE CAN CODE!

So…What is Swift?

Swift is a coding language meant to be easy to use so that anyone can learn coding and app development. Some of the world’s most popular apps were created in Swift.

So…What is Swift Playgrounds?

Swift Playgrounds is fun, engaging, and interactive. In Swift Playgrounds, students use real code to solve puzzles and interact with characters.  To explore more complex coding concepts, there are lots of challenges for which to build skills. Finally, students can make their codes come to life by programming robots and drones. Talk about cool!

Learn to Code 1 & 2 in Swift Playgrounds

Learn how to code in a fun 3D world with your new pal, Byte! At first, students will guide Byte through the 3D world and then they will move on to more advanced lessons. I love the teacher guides that come along with this because it lays out for you the lessons to teach coding concepts so there is a clear connection between real life and the code they use within the app. After all, coding is following a set of commands or instructions to accomplish a goal. In this case, it’s to get Byte through the 3D world.

Coding Vocabulary (aka: Coding Lingo) 😀

The vocabulary used to understand code can be tricky at first. I find it helpful to really have students learn the vocabulary so that they understand the concepts one needs to fully understand the code they are writing. This also allows students to build on each skill as they go through the lessons. I created vocabulary cards that go with the teacher guides for Learn to Code 1 & 2. Learn to Code 3 will be coming soon. I created these cards to print and display on the wall space in my room. Students can refer back to the vocabulary as they complete each lesson. Additionally, I created a Quizlet with the same vocabulary words for students to practice. I created these for my students and I thought yours would equally benefit! Hope they help you out! The only thing left is to get out there and get started!

Click Swift Playgrounds to download the vocabulary cards.

Click here for the Quizlet link.

Resources from Apple:

 

 

 

 

Become an Apple Teacher

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In September, Apple Education announced its Apple Teacher Program, a program aimed at helping educators unlock the magic and potential of Mac, iPad, and apps in the classroom. Teachers sign up and learn new skills, test their knowledge, and earn badges to be ultimately recognized by Apple as an official “Apple Teacher.”

The best part about this program is that it is self-paced and teachers can participate while in their pajamas at home! Teachers can decide if they want to focus their learning for the Mac or the iPad and choose the path that works best for them. Once teachers complete a module, they will be given a quiz. No pressure if you don’t get the questions correct, as you can test again. The purpose of the test is so that educators can truly get the most out of these modules and the tests force you to master the concepts rather than skimming through.

THE BADGES

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Once you earn a badge in each one of the categories and learn not only to use the app to get the best results, but you also learn how to infuse this into the classroom as a powerful teaching tool. Each module is full of ideas that relate to classroom content and help bring its use to life in meaningful ways teachers will appreciate. Click here to get started.

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You will use your Apple ID to get started.

I am a huge supporter of this program.  Apple’s commitment to education is evident and I appreciate the way Apple continues to give teachers quality tools to enhance learning and teaching. My favorite tools as a creative professional will always Keynote and iMovie. I couldn’t live without those two apps and neither could my students. If you choose to accept the challenge of becoming an Apple Teacher, I promise you that you will learn something to take back to your classroom TOMORROW as a result and perhaps you will have a new favorite tool.

TEACHER RECOGNITION

Since I am the instructional technology teacher and leader of the technology program, I am encouraging teachers at my school to join the program and earn their badges. I put together some fun rewards to recognize the commitment and time teachers put aside to further their learning in this area. We are an Apple school and we have access to all of these applications and tools, so I can’t think of a better way for teachers to learn on their own time, and I do think they should be recognized for their commitment!

  • Upon completion of the Apple Teacher program, teachers will earn a spot on the “Wall of Fame” located in the hallway of our school.
  • Teachers will also receive a certificate showcasing their skills at this will be hung outside their classroom.
  • Teachers will receive a “shout out” on our school Facebook page to congratulate them on their extended professional learning.
  • Teachers will receive the official logo from Apple to use in their professional email signature.
  • Most importantly, teachers will gain knowledge in unlocking the  potential with these great productivity and creative apps that are already on their iPad and Mac. These are the native apps and most people don’t realize the potential in these applications and how they can be used as tremendous tools in the classroom.
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The “Wall of Fame” located in the hallway of our school.

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Wall of Fame photo and school Facebook page recognition.

OTHER WAYS TO OFFER INCENTIVES

I have seen other schools and teachers provide a variety of incentives for teachers to earn their badges and expand their professional learning. Here’s two examples:

Do you have another idea? Please share it! #AppleTeacher

 
Here’s the link for further information: http://www.apple.com/education/teachers/
 
Here’s the link to get started: https://appleteacher.apple.com/auth/#/signin/
Good luck and happy learning!

Build Beautiful and Engaging Online Assessments and Worksheets

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I am probably late to the party on this one, as many of you might have already heard about this! Since I haven’t heard about it, I thought I would share with others who might be as surprised and delighted as I was! I love it when you stumble upon little gems!

So, this gem is called app.wizer.me and it is a site that allows teachers to build and design online quizzes, worksheets, and other material to test student’s knowledge or build a great review for them. What I loved most was the ability to add a variety of questions and tasks (open question, multiple choice, blanks, fill on an image, table, sorting, text, image, video) to reach all learners. I also loved that there was a “listen to instructions” button where you can record instructions or dictate questions. This is really great for formative and summative assessments and immediate feedback for students. Additionally, there is a teacher area that allows teachers to remix someone else’s quizzes/worksheets in a public gallery. This works well on computers, iPads, tablets, and Chromebooks. It works seamlessly with Google Classroom, too! It was super easy and I am already thinking about the possibilities in how I could use this in my classes. Here are the steps to get started:

  1. Create an account. This was painless.
  2. Begin building your document/worksheet
  3. Select which type of question you want to add (a little similar to a Google Form)
  4. Choose a design
  5. When you are finished, give it a title, and choose how you want to distribute to students. Can share via Google Classroom, copy the link and share it, or have your students enter the pin code. Students will need to enter their first and last name and create a password that they will use each time they go to the site! I love that the students didn’t need an email address in order to use! HOORAY!
  6. Loved the options of distribution…whenever there is a direct link, I do the happy dance.
  7. Share with other teachers!
  8. Boom! You’re done! I selected the option to allow my students to receive immediate feedback when they submit the assignment to see how they did. Then, you can review the work of your students and provide comments.
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First step is adding a task. Look at all the cool options!

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Lots of great design options!

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Assign to students by sharing the link with them. They will go to a new screen that asks for their first and last name as well as a creation of a password.

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You can also have students go to http://app.wizer.me/learn and type in the PIN code.

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Gives students automatic feedback once they complete the tasks.

Hope you are able to use this with your students. A fun and easy way to ditch the paper tests and worksheets!

On the appwizer website, it states how long it takes to set up…(and it really is that easy)

  • 5 minutes to set up and learn
  • 20 seconds to assign via Google classroom, Edmodo, Moodle, or direct link
  • Automatic grading
  • 5 minutes to make your first worksheet
  • 5 minutes to check grades and give personalized feedback

 

Parts of Speech iMovies

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 11.55.45 AMWhat a better way to demonstrate knowledge of a topic than by creating a video using iMovie! One of the great things about iMovie is the built-in trailers that kids can use to demonstrate or show their learning. I have kids create movie trailers to show their learning in all content areas and the result is always amazing. This time around, I had third graders showcase their knowledge of verbs, nouns, and adjectives. I have included a few of my favorites below. One thing that is very important to note is that I never allow my students to just take off with the iPad and begin taking pictures and videos for their projects. They must always do a rough draft where they complete an outline as well as the built in storyboard in iMovie. Additionally, this is also where they can decide what type of shot (video or still photo) they will add to their movie. A great resource that I love to share with others was created by Tony Vincent. He has created planning PDFs, which include fillable or printable templates for students as they plan their iMovie trailers. I love this resource and I use it all of the time! Once students have planned their trailers, then they get right to work in editing the text and adding photos and videos.

Verbs Can Be Fun! from April Requard on Vimeo.

 

Verbs are Everywhere from April Requard on Vimeo.

Scary Verbs from April Requard on Vimeo.

Nouns by Dylan and Landon from April Requard on Vimeo.

Nouns by Ahmed and Shayan from April Requard on Vimeo.

All Sorts of Verbs by Parishi and Asha from April Requard on Vimeo.

Verbs from April Requard on Vimeo.

Adjectives: Reese and Caitlin from April Requard on Vimeo.

March Madness and Bracketology in the Classroom

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A good friend of mine recently shared this app, Bracket Maker Pro, and we had a really fun time playing with it. I knew I wanted to try it with some of my students. Today, my SWAT Team (Students Working to Advance Technology) met after school and I thought it would be fun for them to have an epic “App Smack Down.” I asked the kids to get in groups of two or three so that we could have 8 teams. Since this was for fun after school, I told them that they could choose any app to showcase and they would have one minute to speak about the possibilities of the application and why we’d select that app over the opposing team’s app. Bracket Maker Pro  (this is an iPhone app, but can be used on iPad as well) makes it very simple. All you do is select the number of teams, select whether it’s single or double elimination, and most importantly shuffle the order, so no app has a higher seeded advantage. Then, the lightning rounds begin and each team has one minute to highlight their app. Once they both present, then the group votes for the team that will advance through the bracket. Since I work with very competitive 4th and 5th graders, I had them vote anonymously. Finally, once the votes are tallied,  a winner advances to the next round. Since we did 8 teams, our bracket was smaller than the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, Finals, and Champion.

As we played and the kids debated, it made me think of all the cool ways this could be used in the classroom. What a better way to engage kids in subjects than to involve them in current sporting events? The kids also surprised me with their public speaking skills, presentations,  general ability to prove their points, and their power to persuade.

Here’s a few ideas that you could use in your classroom:

  • App Sharing
  • Book Reviews
  • Various Topics in a Geometry Unit
  • Historical Figures
  • General Debates
  • Follow Up to a Persuasive Writing Project (Is a bike or car better?)
  • Geography

The list could go on and on, and what kid doesn’t love a good debate on something they’re passionate about?

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Pic Collage vs.Geometry Dash 

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Talking Tom vs. Clash of Clans

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This is what quickly voting anonymously looks like.

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I hope you have fun with this! Please leave a comment as to how your class has used this app as a tool to support this fun learning activity!