Getting Creative with Keynote

I am not going to lie, I am very jealous of all the amazing teachers attending the Global ADE 2018 summit in Texas. I have been closely following the hashtag #WWADE2018 and #EveryoneCanCreate and enjoying some of the amazing content being created and shared.

It has reminded me of all the brilliant new additions to the Keynote app and inspired me to try some with a project with my children. They are going on a school trip tomorrow to the zoo and so created this animated quiz about animals:

Keynote has been an app that I have used personally in my CPD and training sessions for years. Essentially, it is Apple's version of Powerpoint. At the UK ADE summit last year I was very fortunate to get a one to one tutorial with a Keynote expert, Alan Rosenfield, who really opened my eyes to creating engaging content to support my training sessions. More recently, Apple have announced a number of new updates to Keynote which take the app beyond a simple presentation app to an incredibly powerful creative app.

Here are a few of the features we used in the video above. Each one can easily be adapted to a whole range of other topics and activities. 


The ability to draw adds an incredibly powerful dimension to the app in terms of creativity and animation. Take the Elephant example in the above video. The pupil added an image of the elephant from the shape tools and then traced over the top with an Apple Pencil (the pencil certainly helps in term of accuracy but isn't a necessity) they can then colour the image. But here is the lovely addition, once completed, you can tap onto the image, choose animate and select the line draw option. When you tap the play icon, it then plays back a video of your drawing. Here is a quick gif demonstrating this tool:

It was the brilliant @MrTullock who first made me aware of the line draw tool when I saw he had created this and shared it on his facebook page:

I had a play when I created this animation for our podcast:

If you haven't listened to the podcast yet, check it out:

Masking through Images

This was something I picked up from the ADE summit from the awesome Abdul Chohan:

The first thing we did in the animals video above was to create an image in Adobe Spark post of the glasses (see right). This was then added over the picture of the animal and using the Instant Alpha tool, you can make the lenses transparent.

To make the glasses move over the picture we used the Magic Move transition. This was repeated over a couple of slides. The following gif demonstrates this process:

The potential to this idea is massive. Giving clues about a part of the body or a planet linked to science for example. Maybe sharing clues about a book or a character in English. Revealing clues about a certain location in Geography or a famous historic landmark. This masking tool can also be added over video too, taking it a step further.

Recording Audio

Possibly the best addition is the ability to add audio recording to each slide. The best part is that it is so simple to do. Simply tap the + icon and choose the record audio option:

Once selected, the children can record at the bottom of the screen. The brilliant thing about it is how it easy it is for children to edit and re-record by just scrolling back and tapping record again. The pupils can stop, gather their thoughts and then continue to record and then insert the whole recording to the slide. 

Image Animations and Transitions

With some of the other images, we simply used some of the animations to create the reveal picture. By adding an image and tapping the animate tool, you can then select the desired animation. You can then adjust the duration to match the audio the students have recorded. 

Another option is to add different shapes over the image and using an effect to get rid of them one by one. Here choose the build-out effects and then order them to play automatically after each other. 

These are just a couple of options we used but there is a wealth of others within the app. 

Export as Video

Another brilliant addition is the ability to export every project as a movie. Previously, it would be a case of playing the Keynote and using the screen recorder option (which I have previously blogged about here.) With the movie export option, this saves a lot of time and improves that functionality. 

So with all those amazing new additions to this fantastic app, the question is, what will you create?

As always, please do share anything you create using these ideas, all I ever expect is that you just give us a shout out and thanks for where the inspiration has come from. I can't tell you how demoralising it is when people use ideas from the blog and then try to pass them off as their own. Don't get me wrong, it inspires me to stay creative and original but when those ideas are then being used on other CPD sessions without any credit, I just find it very disappointing. 

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