Saturday, January 19, 2013

Keynote: Go Interactive

If you're at all interested in you and your students creating interactive content on iBooks Author (and if you're not, why aren't you?), at some point you're going to have to get your head around the Thing of Wonder that is Keynote.

 And that's not just the newly-minted ADE-to-be promoting Apple products.

As soon as we've finished the fine-tuning, I'll post a link to the WWII Home History book the kids created. It is fabulous, if I do say myself. What we're really excited about is the kids' response to it: their empowerment, and the monumental improvement in their writing on just this one project. But more on that later. I promise.

 Back to Keynote.

While iBA provides some nice interactive widgets, most of the REALLY cool ones you see in books are made on Keynote. I thought it was just presentation software; it had some cool design elements (adding shadows and reflections, etc), but I didn't truly understand what it could with with a little imagination and know how. After I realized that everything I spent hours (and $30) creating on Hype, I could have done on Keynote, I determined to figure this out.

So here's the video of an interactive animation on evaluating historical maps.  You can download the file here, if you want to go in to see how I did it.

Anyway, all of this is a very long lead up to sharing Keynote Classroom a great website I found this morning,  hosted by Mike Sammartano, a science teacher near NYC.  He has some quick, fun tutorials exploring some of the advanced features in Keynote, and showing some cool animations he created. One of them inspired me so much, I have a new project to play with this Saturday afternoon.

UPDATE: Hmm. Blogger really isn't liking that video.  Let me upload it to Youtube, and I'll repost.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Moderated Comments for Awhile

I'm really getting slammed with SPAM comments lately. This seems to go in phases. So, unfortunately, I'm back to moderating comments until things calm down.

Keynote Tech Tip: Grab Those Files!

Have you ever dropped something into a Keynote presentation, then needed it for something else? You can't get it out of Keynote, and you can't find it again online? Did you know those .key files are actually just renamed zip files? Me, neither! If you want to grab an image from one of your old Keynote presentation, just change the .key suffix to .zip, and tell the prompt to accept the change. Double click on the zip file, and you now have access to all the separate files that make up your Keynote. Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

ADE Update, among other things...

So, I received a letter a few days ago and (drum roll, please) I am now in the Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2013! Whoo-hoo! Must say, in the middle of this Beijing winter, a week in Bali in March sounds wonderful. I will, of course, blog any great new ideas I learn! On another note, this video is really fascinating. I justify posting it by saying it's great to share with your science teachers, but, really, I just thing it's really interesting! And, finally, we are finishing up our iBooks Author projects this week, and surveying the students tomorrow. I will write our final thoughts next week. It's been a fantastic project, and the books look great.