For decades, teachers have used a variety of software options to create classroom materials. For many educators, that has meant using a suite of programs for desktop computers. Now that mobile apps have evolved to the point where they can offer similar functionality at a fraction of the price, educators may want to explore alternate technology for accomplishing classroom tasks.
The EducationWorld How To series offers simple instructions that help educators use app technology to simplify life in the classroom. See more How To articles.
The App: Keynote
The Goal: Have students record a video interview and screen it with Keynote.
The Steps: The goal of this activity is to conduct—and record on video—a brief interview. To keep things manageable for students, each interview should be no longer than three minutes.
Before launching the app, teachers should decide who will serve as interview subjects. The possibilities are infinite, from family members to local politicians. The teacher may assign interview subjects or ask students to choose them. If the subjects of the interviews will be non-family members, the class can get some writing practice by emailing potential subjects to request an interview.
There will be considerable prep work to schedule the interviews, work with students to come up with suitable questions, and practice using the iPad’s video recording capabilities. Additionally, each student should have a “cameraman.” Given that the students will appear on screen with their interview subjects, they will need someone else to shoot the footage.
Before even picking up the iPad, students should be confident in:
Once the interview subjects are booked and the questions are ready, have students practice using the iPad’s native video recorder. Tapping the Camera app launches the iPad’s camera. In the lower, right-hand corner of the screen there is a digital toggle between the images of a still and video camera. Switch the toggle to the video camera to engage the video recorder.
Now it is simply a matter of pointing the iPad’s camera at the subject and tapping the Record Button. The iPad will record all video and audio until the Record Button is tapped again. The video is automatically saved to the iPad’s Camera Roll. It is important to stage the interviews in a relatively quiet place that is well lit, as the built-in camera and mic are good, but certainly not studio quality. Advanced classes can use apps such as Final Cut to edit their videos and add effects.
Once the interviews are complete, students will have everything they need to produce Keynote videos right on their iPads.
Begin by launching Keynote. You will be presented with a selection of themes. Students may choose the one they like best. For this project, they may get the best results by selecting a simple theme such as White, Black or Gradient.
After selecting the theme, students will see their first slide. It will display some sort of image as well as some filler text. Have them remove the image by tapping it once and choosing “Delete” from the task bar that appears. Next, have them double-tap the filler text to bring up the iPad’s virtual keyboard. Here, students can type in the name of their video. This name can be anything the students likes, provided it is appropriate and illustrates the topic of the interview. Single-tap on a blank area of the slide to disengage the editing tool.
If there are any other filler-text areas, students can clean up the rest of the slide by single-tapping them and choosing “Delete” from the toolbar.
Now they are ready to import their videos. Have students tap the “Plus” button in the upper, right-hand corner of the screen. This launches the graphical element menu with choices for “Media,” “Tables,” “Charts” and “Shapes.” Instruct them to select “Media,” followed by “Camera Roll.” They will see a list of all video and still-shot images housed on the iPad. They can scroll vertically until they find their video interview.
Once they do find it, have them tap it once to bring up the preview player, then tap “Use.” After a few seconds of video compression, it will appear on the slide with the blue sizing manipulators engaged.
With the sizing manipulators engaged, students can adjust the size of the video player by tapping and holding on any of the blue dots and sliding them in any direction. They should adjust the video player so that it is large enough for easy viewing, but small enough to fit on the slide with the accompanying text.
Tapping and holding anywhere inside the player will allow students to move it anywhere on the slide. For the purposes of this exercise, center-justified is probably the best choice.
The video is now imported, titled and placed. This could be the end of the lesson, but if you’d like to take things to the next level and inject a bit of Hollywood magic into the productions, have students single-tap the video player. This will bring up the main item toolbar. Student can tap “Animate” and be presented with two menus—one for “build in” and one for “build out.”
Students should tap “build in” to bring up the effects menu. They can scroll through the various effects that can be applied to the video player during the presentation. For a video presentation, “Sparkle” is an excellent choice for the “build in.”
Once their “build in” effect is chosen, students can tap “Options” to adjust the way their selected effect will be displayed. Options exist for the direction of the animation, the part of the screen from which it will appear, and the amount of time it will take for the effect to complete. Once these choices have been made, students can single-tap on the video player to return to the original “build-in” and “build out” menu. They can repeat the process for the “build-out.”
The process is now complete. If teachers wish, they can have students create an introductory slide and a “credits” slide. These would be standard text and image slides that bookend the primary interview slide.
The presentations may be screened in class, either by viewing them directly on the iPads, or by connecting the devices to a monitor or other display.