Archive and Showcase Learning Experiences in a Keynote Portfolio

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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:

My Top 4 Updates to iWork for iPad

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I am like a kid in a candy store reading about all of the new features just released by Apple to iWork for iPad. I couldn’t wait to share them with you so that you could get busy playing with the newest features and creating awesome content for your students when they return back to school. I am happy to share with you my Top 4 iWork updates.

 

1. Insert recorded audio to slides, documents, and spreadsheets:

You can now add recorded audio to slides, documents, and spreadsheets. This is a game changer…Keynote slides can become books, portfolios, and enhanced presentations with the added feature of audio. Think about how this would impact students being able to create full movies right in Keynote (especially with the new exporting features…scroll down to read more). Pages documents and books now have the added feature of recorded audio. Spreadsheets come to life even more with the addition of audio. Teachers can send out assignments with a recorded narration button to explain in greater depth what requirements are for an assignment. The possibilities of how this will impact our students are going to be amazing!

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2. New shapes, advanced fills to shapes and drawings, and image galleries:

You can now add custom gradient fills as well as image fills to any shape. SCORE! There are even more shapes to add to the already large library of shapes. This allows students and teachers alike to create professional looking presentations, movies, posters, spreadsheets, documents, and other graphics. The addition of image galleries is a great feature for presentations and templates for students.

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Fill options

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Variety of ways to fill a shape. In this example, I put my two ADE buddies, Kelly and Wes, as the image fill with a color overlay.

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Add an image gallery!!

3. Charts get a new look!

You can now change the look of your charts by rounding the corners…just a fun and contemporary update for columns and bars.

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Change the look of bars and columns

4. My new ALL TIME favorite update: Exporting presentations in Keynote as movies or images!!

Long gone are the days where the only way you could save a slide in Keynote for iOS was to take a screen shot. Now, we can export slides as images or movies. This is a HUGE WIN for students, teachers, and other creatives! Students can create an entire book in Keynote complete with recorded audio and export as a movie. The possibilities for creativity and showcasing and sharing learning excites me so much! They can later import their movies into iMovie for sound effects, music, and other movie editing features. Being able to export Keynote slides in a variety of ways is going to change the ways students publish work.

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With every update to iPad, my strong feelings supporting iPad in education increase. There’s nothing the iPad can’t do. Our students deserve to be able to interact with tools that give them a variety of options to showcase learning. The greatest part about these iWork updates: they are free! And as my great friend Jim says, “Free is in the budget.”

Have fun exploring these new updates and drop me a line to tell me how they are impacting what students are doing in your classroom!

 

 

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!

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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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! 🎉

Audio Alphabet Books in Keynote & Clips

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My name is April and I am a Keynote junkie. There, I said it. I feel better already. 😜

Anyone who knows my work, knows that I love to use Keynote to do just about anything creative. I love finding workarounds and new ways to use an old favorite tool. When Apple updated Keynote this summer, I was instantly engaged with all of the new shapes and all the things you could do with them. You can easily break apart the complex shapes and come up with your own creations. Before the addition of all these new shapes, I would draw my own shapes with the pen tool, so this is definitely a time saver and a great way to add creativity to projects.

This particular project focuses in on vocabulary, letter sounds, phonics, shape recognition, and organization. Students will open the Keynote template and insert shapes inside each of the block letters. What I noticed when I had students complete this assignment was the time they took to go through each shape and say the shape’s name out loud and determine if the shape started with that letter (even older kids did this). It’s also important to note that some shapes have multiple meanings, for example, the party hat could be viewed as hat, party, or birthday. Once they have filled their shape, then I told them the trick to see how many shapes they may have missed. This is always a great “gotcha.” If you click on the search bar in the shape tool, just type in the letter and you will see all the shapes that begin with that letter or are associated with that letter. For this project, I gave students one to two letters to work on, I do not have them create all letters of the alphabet. You will see the template I’ve created down below.

I also really love it when important learning and technology come together. This project takes students down a powerful path in using Keynote to change slide background colors, insert shapes, change a shape’s color, size, and rotation as well as exporting slides as images. I love a good work flow and this project turned out to be really fun.

This project is suited for elementary aged students and would be particularly helpful for our ELL students. However, think about ways to stretch this type of project to suit the needs of older students in language arts classes or to accompany literature unit when studying the main character’s traits. I could see this same type of idea used for science classes when studying the periodic table of elements. I challenge you to think about how you could create your own Keynote slides to use in conjunction with shapes, words, letters, or other elements.

This project can range from complex to simple depending on grade level, user experience, and time. Here’s some ideas from simple to complex:

  • Using the template provided, create an alphabet book in Keynote and fill each outlined letter with shapes that begin with that letter. To take this further, if you are using Keynote for Mac, students can record narration on their slides.
  • Using the template provided, create an alphabet book in Keynote. Use animations to bring their letters and shapes to life. Export this as a movie.
  • Using the template, each student in the class creates one slide with one letter using their iPad. Once all students have completed their slides, they can take a screen shot of their picture (only once they press play in Keynote) crop the black out of the picture and use the picture to create one big class book in Book Creator or iBooks Author. To do this, I’d select one iPad as the master iPad and have students Airdrop their photo to the one iPad to create one book. Additionally, if photos are on one iPad, you can select all photos and tap share and send them to iBooks. This is a great option for those using iPad and don’t have Book Creator.
  • Finally, for this project example I share below, students used the template. Each student had one or two letters to complete. Once they were finished, they exported their slide as an image (Mac). They used Airdrop to send it to one iPad in the classroom. Once all slides were collected, we opened Clips and each student added and narrated on their slide. Then, this becomes a whole class published project.

If you create your own slides, here are some tips and some workarounds I went through when creating this project:

I searched for fonts that were outlined. I downloaded the font to my computer. I created all of the slides and then using Airdrop, I sent the files to my student’s computers. What I didn’t initially think of was that they would be missing the font. So, my workaround was to create the slides and export the slides as images. I created a new Keynote presentation and imported my newly created images on each slide. I used Instant Alpha to create transparent letters. Then, I saved those files and used Airdrop to resend to my students. You will be able to download the Keynote file with no workaround! YAY!

Here’s an example from one of my classes (4th grade): https://vimeo.com/239898222

Download the Keynote file HERE

Hope you have as much fun as I did with this little project! Cheers! 😀