Monday, October 6, 2014

Keynote X Google: Creating & Sharing Presentations on an iPad

While the Google Slides app finally appeared in the App Store, the fact is the app is basically useless with regards to creating presentations on an iPad. While working on a presentation tonight in Keynote on my iPad, I stumbled across a workflow that at first seemed completely useless. I quickly realized it may end up being extremely helpful for both teachers and students.

The process:

Why should anyone use this workflow:

  1. Teachers can create slides on their iPad with Keynote, export to Drive (Slides), convert to Slides format for later editing from their computer, to present in class or to share with their students through a Google drive folder.
  2. Students can create slides on their iPad with Keynote, export to Drive (Slides), convert to Slides format to share for group collaboration or to share with a teacher or even turn in through Google Classroom.
  3. This workflow process allows presentations created on an iPad to be backed up in Google Drive, edited for future use or even exported back to Keynote for presenting from an iPad.

In the vein of my last post (see the update), while this workflow may help with technical processes, the most important idea to consider is what sorts of ideas may students be asked to present about using this workflow? What questions might we ask them to tackle and present on to their peers.



Thursday, October 2, 2014

Developing an Idea on Twitter X Bringing Images to Life with iPads

Please see the update to this post below...

It started with an innocent enough tweet from @PutmanLauren

The ideas was to have students create art in a similar style as the Animated Greek Vases video...and the process of developing and hashing out an idea on twitter had begun.  Lauren and I went back and forth with variations on an approach that would allow students to use iPads to bring old images, paintings and photographs to life.  While I think the final concept is a valuable one that can be used in a number of classrooms, what I find more helpful is the process of collaborating with someone via social media to develop an idea. 

The process of developing this idea progressed through a number of stage and back and forth tweets:

Along the way, we were also creating small examples of the concept that could eventually be used in the classroom by students to bring old images of photographs to life:

Version 1: My idea of using Explain Everything to crop out and enlarge heads that could be moved slightly when students want to narrate and bring a character to life. (Note - no audio)

Version 2: Lauren's version using ChatterPix to have the mouth of each character from the image move while being narrated. (Note - no audio)

Version 3: My version using a combination of Explain Everything to enlarge the heads, and ChatterPix to create the mouth animation during narration. (Note - no audio)

Here is a quick guide I created to make this sort of video.  Again, while the I find the technical process and the final product to have great potential in the classroom, it was the back and forth interaction, the hashing out of an idea and the process of creating a new concept that demonstrates the potential of using social media to develop and grow a small seed of an idea...

Update: I enjoy working through technical process like the one described above for a few reasons.  I enjoy what I consider to be problem solving with the purpose of allowing for another layer of creativity and creation.  However, I know that the ultimate purpose of the sort of activity outlined in this blog post is not the ultimate purpose or goal.  Ultimately, the most critical aspect of this sort of work is to provide or work with students to create challenging questions and have them develop the ability to both answer the questions and develop new ones while working through the process.  It was thanks to a recent blog post by Rafranz Davis that I added this update and because of her post I will do two things:

1. Continue to create and share these sorts of concepts online, a place where they are best shared.  Anyone can find, modify, use and build off of the ideas.  Ultimately I hope that once the technical concept is out of the way, the real discussion begins.  A discussion about student thinking, problem solving and problem creating.

2. I will make an effort to add an element to my blog posts that typically focus on technical processes, with a discussion about how the process outlined can play a beneficial role in developing students that can address questions, express understanding of complex ideas and create models to demonstrate their thinking.  Ultimately with the goal to have them consider and develop more complex questions.  
Thanks Rafranz

This #appsmashing concept and many more will be explored at my EdTechTeacher iPad Summit pre-conference workshop in Boston this November! Join me for a full day of hands on exploration of multimedia creation with iPads. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dry Erase X Hyperlapse = RSA Animate

I had a truly fortunate experience today to visit, speak with and work with the students and teachers at the Pembroke Hill School in Kansas City, Missouri.  After a morning keynote that focused on the creative potential, implications and balance that needs to be struck when using iPads in the classroom, I was asked to work with two history classes to model for both the students and teachers how the iPad can be used as a creation device in the classroom.

I was given a block period of 85 minutes to work with a high school history class that had just started to explore a unit on Islam the previous day.  My goal was to have them work in small groups to create short videos that would provide an overview of their understanding of the origins of Islam.

Our process was as follows:

Introduction to the Challenge - 10 minutes

Brainstorming - 10 minutes

Storyboarding - 15 minutes

Video Creation on Dry Erase Boards - 30 minutes

Voice-Overs & Editing - 15 minutes

The students were given a number of options for the final product they could create, but 3 of the 4 groups decided on creating RSA animate style videos.  I have had my classes in the past also create these style videos, without iPads.  We typically worked on a 3 day schedule and I admit that the time frame outlined above is extremely fast paced.  I was also blown away by how the challenge was embraced by the students once they recognized how efficiently they would have to work to get their final product created.

To create the RSA style films with iPads, we used the process below:

1 of the groups completely finished their challenge within the class period and two of them needed a few extra minutes to wrap up their process.  While the students in the group below were visibly proud of their work in the time frame allotted, it was also evident that they would have liked a bit more time to finalize and improve their video.

The goal for the day was to help the teachers at Pembroke Hill get a sense of what was possible on the creation side of using iPads in the classroom.  And while the final product above isn't perfect there was one discussion I had with an observing teacher during the process that was powerful.  She commented on how the discussions that were taking place between the students during the creation process was the most revealing and powerful aspect of the challenge.  I agree thoroughly.  The decision making, compromises, solutions and discussions taking place were powerful and meaningful.  In may ways the content and the use of the iPad was secondary to the face to face discussions, something that I couldn't be happier with.

Update: As an alternative to dry erase boards, the same process can be completed using pen and paper.  The example below is from a middle school social studies class at Pembroke Hill.

Stop Motion X Green Screen App-Smashing

The awesome folks at DoInk recently retweeted a picture of a student creating a stop motion video with legos in front of a green screen from Amanda Bradford's class.

I've done a bit of stop motion work, but never considered having my stop motion lego characters appear in an green screen background.  Inspired by the tweet above, I made a quick visual guide to creating stop motion green screen video on an iPad.

DoInk X Explain Everything = Video Writing App-Hack

I was in a layover last night in Cincinnati...what else would one do in that situation but shoot some video using Hyperlapse while walking through a terminal.  As I often do in my spare time, I wanted to figure out yet another way to use Explain Everything and DoInk to add a layer to the Hyperlapse video.

While the app-smashing term seems well known and understood by teachers and students exploring creative uses of iPads in the classroom, I think I may have stumbled upon another idea, App-Hacking.  I am no hacker and will readily admit that the term may be a bit misleading, no worries.

App-Hacking: Finding uses for apps or combinations of apps to use them in ways that they were not originally intended.

My first app-hack: Layered Green Screen Writing

An the final product...

I don't intend for this to be a daily process or even to be considered a terribly thoughtful idea for iPad use.  I can see students that are experienced with video creation on an iPad to add this sort of customized layer to their videos.  Ultimately, I think these sorts of experiments are more about thinking creatively and pushing the limits of what is possible with any particular tool.  Consider it a sort of experiment in creativity.