Sunday, May 01, 2011

Learning Keynote for the iPad

I have moved myself from PowerPoint to Keynote on the Mac in the last year for creation of my presentations. For those of you that do not use Keynote, there is one major difference between Keynote and PowerPoint.

When I create PowerPoint presentations with linked videos or audios, I had to make sure to bring the media files along with my presentation when I went out to speak. Keynote, on the other hand, embeds all the media files right within the Keynote file itself, so I only have to take one (large) file with me! This is a huge relief for those of us that were always worrried that we might forget one of the linked videos for our PowerPoint presentations!

When Keynote for the iPad came out, I was very excited since it was very easy to move my Keynote files from my computer through iTunes, iWork, or my iDisk to Keynote on the iPad.  All the sound files, movies and the standard transitions and timings worked great on the iPad. And, once the latest version of Keynote for the iPad came out, and I could see my presenter notes on the iPad while presenting, I began to present directly from the iPad with the VGA-out connector!

The one thing I had not done was create a Keynote presentation on the iPad itself. I purchased the Visual Quickstart Guide, Keynote for the iPad, by Tom Negrino and found that it is really well-written. As one that learns well from manuals, I read it through it and tried some things out.

However, an iPad app, Tutor for Keynote for iPad by Noteboom Productions, was recommended by my friend Midge Frazel, and I decided to demo it. It is made up of a series of screencast tutorial videos and is chunked beautifully! The speaker's voice is calm and low-key, and the tutorials are very easy to follow.

Screenshot from Tutor for Keynote for the iPad

The screencasts are broken up into the follow chapters:
  • Introduction
  • Presentation Sample
  • Presentation Sample Close Up
  • Keynote Interface
  • Virtual Keyboard
  • Themes
  • Working with Slides
  • Skipping Slides
  • Working with Objects
  • Deleting Slides and Objects
  • Working with Text
  • Working with Media
  • Working with Tables
  • Working with Charts
  • Working with Shapes
  • Hyperlinks
  • Copy and Paste
  • Transitions
  • Magic Move Transition
  • Using Builds
  • Presentation Notes
  • Laser Pointer
  • Sharing
  • Conclusion 
After watching the entire series of tutorials and experimenting with Keynote on my iPad after each chapter, I realized that Keynote on the iPad is full-featured enough for teachers and students to utilize it for creating their presentations.  You really do not need to have access to a presentation program on a desktop if you have an iPad. With the purchase of the Keynote for the iPad application for $9.99 and this Tutor for Keynote for iPad app for $3.99, you and your students can have both a wonderful tutorial series and the software you need to create stunning presentations with enough bells and whistles to keep any student engaged!