5 Ways to Use Keynote for the iPad in Your Classroom
Since its release in 2010, the Apple iPad was touted as the game-changer for the K-12 classroom. Now, almost three years later, this prediction appears to have come to true. Thousands of school districts throughout the world have adopted these devices for use in elementary, middle, and high school classes. I myself have been using a class set of iPads in my 8th grade Earth Science classes for two years now. At first, I anticipated accumulating a growing collection of dozens of powerful apps which would engage and captivate my students. To my surprise, however, despite all the amazing content that existed on the App Store, I was just not finding what I really wanted. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used plenty of apps, some of which are completely, mind-blowingly amazing, however I quickly found myself tailoring lessons to match those apps. This is a big no-no. Educational content needs to be designed around the end learning goal. The technology should not be the star of the show, but rather a supporting cast member that enhances the lesson. I knew that the only answer was to find a tool which would allow me (and my students) to build content for the iPad. Enter Keynote. Keynote is a perfect classroom app, in fact, my students and I use it daily, and for a variety of different activities. Here are five ideas for using Keynote for iOS in your classroom.
1. CREATE YOUR OWN SIMULATED APPS WITH KEYNOTE
Can’t find the right app for your lesson? Simulate your own with Keynote. You can quickly and easily build a beautiful, multimedia-rich, linked presentation which can mimic what a native app would look and feel like (stay tuned, lots of tutorials on accomplishing this are in the works). Want an example? Launch this Keynote slideshow on your iPad and check out what can be accomplished.
2. BUILD VOCABULARY LISTS WITH KEYNOTE
Keynote provides a simple way for students to take and share notes. Everyday, my lessons begin with a relevant vocabulary word. I project the term on the Smartboard, the kids search the web to find and acceptable, meaningful definition, and an accompanying photo or diagram and they create a slide. The slideshow is saved automatically in Keynote and at the end of the unit, they email their work home for review (I actually have them upload the files to their Edmodo backpacks where they can retrieve them later, see this blog entry for details on this).
3. HAVE STUDENTS DEMONSTRATE LEARNING BY CREATING PRESENTATIONS
Keynote is intended to be a presentation design program, and so why not use it that way? Have students created slideshows to demonstrate their learning. Student photos and videos can easily be incorporated as can content from the web. Students can present their work to the class wirelessly using an AppleTV and a projector.
4. FILL OUT WORKSHEETS AND PROBLEM SETS IN KEYNOTE
Why not complete practice worksheets using Keynote. I often build a partially completed slide deck and have the students upload it to their iPads. They fill in blanks, label diagrams, and solve problems right in the Keynote app. When they are done, they email me their completed slideshows. It goes a long way to reducing the amount of paper consumed in the classroom, and it immediately engages students in a way that traditional worksheets don’t.
5. BUILD FLASHCARDS IN KEYNOTE
Need flashcards for review, Keynote can do that too! I like to have students create their own flashcards using Keynote. One slide will have a term or concept, then the next slide will have the definition or explanation, complete with photos, diagrams, and videos. Simply add a nice “flip” transition between slides and you’ve got a nice set of full-screen flashcards to study from. Files can be sent home as Keynote or PowerPoint presentations for further review, or as pdfs for easy printing. Simple, quick, and effective.
So these are just a few ideas on how you can use Keynote for iOS in your classroom. Check back as I’ll be building some video demos on how to do incorporate some of these ideas into your curriculum.