Thursday, September 24, 2015

Give iPad Presentation Tools Another Try

Presentation Tools on the iPad

Presentations are a way students can synthesize their thinking, add visuals to deepend and further demonstrate their understanding, and go public to share their thinking with new, authentic audiences.  There are three powerful presentation tools available on every SDW student and teacher iPad that you should check out.  

And remember, technology moves fast. If you tried it last year and did not love the experience, some major changes have happened that may make these tools even better this year.
Now users can add images from the iPad
Camera Roll, create shapes and colors, with
all of the collaboration tools you'd expect.

Google Slides (formerly Google name, same product)
If you were underwhelmed by this app the last time you used it, give it another try.  You can now add images directly from the iPad’s camera roll, or using the camera on the iPad.  You can also add shapes, text, lines, and tables.  All of that coupled with the collaboration tools you have come to expect from Google.  

Keynote, the most powerful presentation
app on the iPad, is built specifically for
use on the iPad, making it easy to use.
This is Apple’s version of Powerpoint. This gives you all of the functionality you would expect from a presentation tool right on the iPad.  Beautiful backgrounds and themes, amazing transitions (called Builds in Apple’s terminology), and built for the iPad.  This is not a tool built for collaboration (unlike Google Slides), but you and your students will make beautiful slides from this app.

Explain Everything
A new logo and a slightly
re-designed user interface for
the 2015/16 school year.
Not everybody has explored Explain Everything yet, and those who have often don’t consider it a presentation app.  Explain Everything gives users a blank space to draw on, set photos and text and images on, and to record from (while you write on the "board", point to things with a digital laser pointer, and move objects around).  However, it also gives you a “slide deck” feel (similar to any other presentation app) that allows you to create multiple slides to present from.  If your goal is to create a presentation and then record it and share it as a video, try Explain Everything (a core app available to all students and staff).

All three apps are available in Self-Service.  Keynote is available in Self-Service on the Mac for staff to download as well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Free Professional Development: Bb K-12 Innovative Teaching Series

As we dig deeper into the powerful tool set that Blackboard is in our classrooms, it is always helpful to have more resources from which to learn.  Blackboard's increasing support in this regard may be just the answer.  There now offering free professional development this school year called the Innovative Teaching Series.  We encourage you to sign up and learn from the experts that blackboard has scheduled for us to engage with in this endeavor.

Below is the press release put out by Blackboard. Click on the links to register for the series.

Free Professional Development: Bb K-12 Innovative Teaching Series

Sign up for our free, online professional development series, the K-12 Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series, designed to help K-12 educators reimagine education with Blackboard teaching & learning solutions. Our special K-12 series is designed to bring teachers and administrators together to spark conversation around today's classroom challenges and share best practices.

We are pleased to announce that we will be offer professional development certificates for live K-12 Blackboard Innovative Teaching Series attendance.  These certificates can be used to document time spent in the webinar to be used to meet continuing education requirements for professional re-certification. While Blackboard does not have official CE Certificate provider status, our certificates are acceptable for the requirements for many states. 

Each fall and spring we begin a new season of free, weekly training sessions that offer:

  • Strategies to increase educator efficiency
  • Pedagogy to improve student achievement
  • Tips for innovation and creativity in the classroom

Register for one (or all!) of our fall sessions, and get easy access to past sessions.