Presenting with your iPad

This blog post consists of notes from the first of the ‘Teaching with your iPad’ workshops focussed on the Keynote and Keynote remote apps. Keynote is similar to PowerPoint and allows you to create presentations on your iPad or edit existing presentations made in PowerPoint.

Why use Keynote instead of PowerPoint?
The most obvious answer here is because Keynote can be used on your iPad and allows you to create your presentation on the go – you don’t have to be sitting in front of a laptop or PC.

However, when we all have existing PowerPoint skills, what does Keynote offer that would tempt us to learn to use it rather than sticking with the familiar PowerPoint?

  1. The slide templates in Keynote are much more contemporary and slick than those in PowerPoint. Consequently, your presentation will be much more professional looking and will stand out and catch people’s attention.
  2. Although we would tend to steer away from using too many distracting slide animations when teaching, Keynote does have a wider range of animations and a number are subtle and polished.
  3. Because PowerPoint is more familiar to us, people tend to think it is more user-friendly. However, Keynote has fewer tabs to find your way around, is more intuitive and you can use your hands rather than a mouse to position images, etc. The stylish templates mentioned earlier make it easier for a new-user to produce a more stylish presentation more easily with Keynote than PowerPoint.
  4. The graphics available for presenting data in Keynote are once again more polished than PowerPoint.
  5. PowerPoint was built primarily to present text and static images. Although videos can be linked in PowerPoint, Keynote allows you to embed video files directly into a slide page so that you do not have to leave the slide.
  6. Keynote allows presentations to be turned into podcasts.
  7. Keynote file sizes are smaller than PowerPoint.

How do you use the Keynote app?
Andy Zarkesh, from The University of Manchester John Rylands Library, led colleagues through the following exercises using a series of videos.

Exercise 1 – Editing a PowerPoint file

  • Open the PowerPoint email attachment in Keynote
  • Customise the view
  • Edit some text
  • Add a new slide
  • Insert a text box
  • Format the text
  • Insert bullets and columns

Exercise 2 – Working with images

  • Search for and find an image on the web using Safari
  • Save it to your iPad’s camera roll
  • Insert it into your slide

Exercise 3 (Part 1) – Working with charts and animations

  • Insert a chart
  • Edit the data
  • Show the legend

Exercise 3 (Part 2) – Working with charts and animations

  • Animate a chart
  • Animate a text element

Exercise 4 – Manage Keynote files

  • Duplicate a file to create a template
  • E-mail a file
  • Delete a file
  • Re-name a file

Andy’s Keynote workshop videos can be found here.

An additional handout that takes you through some activities step by step can be found here: Presenting with your iPad handout.

What is Keynote remote?
Keynote remote is an app that can be downloaded to your iPhone or additional iPad. This will allow you to use your phone or additional iPad as a remote for the presentation as you walk around the lecture room. Via this device you will also be able to see any notes you have added to the slides as prompts.

Are there any similar apps?
SlideShark is probably the other most prominent app used for presentations on iPads. There is not really a great deal of difference between their functionality and it is probably just personal preference as to which one you choose to use.

How can Keynote be used in my teaching?

  • Keynote can be used to prepare presentations for lectures or to edit and update existing PowerPoint lectures. If you want to show videos, these can be directly embedded into your presentation.
  • Keynote files can be converted into podcasts that can be uploaded onto virtual learning platforms.
  • If your course is in need of an animated figure to demonstrate a process, you can use Keynote or PowerPoint to create the stages of the animation, using a slide per stage. If using Keynote, once complete, you can email this to yourself as a PowerPoint file and software such as iSpring can be used to convert this PowerPoint file into an animation to be uploaded to your virtual learning environment.
  • If you are planning a short mini online course in support of your face-to-face teaching or even an entire distance learning course, Keynote can be used to storyboard your ideas for the course. Each Keynote slide represents a page of online learning into which you can insert text, add images and links to other websites or documents to the slide. Using slides helps you think more clearly about how to structure the learning and adhere better to best practice for online learning.
  • If your organisation adopts iPads for all students, there is also scope for you to build the use of Keynote into student activities and assessments. Students could be asked to give presentations on a particular subject area or even to create some of the resources outlined above as part of their assessment.
  • Students often also find using Keynote helpful to their revision. They can break their learning down into bite-sized chunks by clumping learning on different topics onto one slide. They can use both text and visuals.

If you have any additional ideas for how Keynote can be used in your teaching or general thoughts or questions relating to Keynote, please feel free to comment on this post.

About Cathy Thomas-Varcoe

I have a passion for distance learning and the opportunities it provides for lifelong learning. I have spent the past 11 years focussing on delivering quality distance learning. Drawing on my nursing background, I initially worked for the Royal College of Nursing Institute who ran undergraduate and postgraduate distance learning programmes validated by the University of Manchester and then for The Open University Health and Social Care Faculty. More recently I was a learning solutions consultant for The Open University’s Centre for Learning and Professional Development. In January 2012 I was appointed as the Distance Learning Lead for the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Manchester. I have been involved in courses from concept to delivery, but the bulk of my work has focussed on writing and conceptualising distance learning courses.
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