Getting started with Keynote

Keynote is a great presentation tool and a fantastic way to quickly share ideas.

  1. The default templates are a good way to get started.  They look slick too.
  2. You can add a new slide by clicking the ‘+’ button on the top left corner of Keynote.
  3. You can change a slide format by clicking ‘Master’ and choosing the layout you like.
  4. Simply drag in pictures you want from the Media Browser or Safari straight onto your slide.
  5. You can apply transitions to individual objects or whole slides
  6. Instant alpha can remove backgrounds from pictures.
  7. You can mask shapes to cut out bits you don’t need.
  8. Shadows and reflections can make ideas stand out.
  9. You can export your presentations in a range of formats, even PowerPoint.
  10. This is a nice intro to keynote.

Mac tips & tricks

Here’s a few things that will help you get started with your new MacBook Pro.

  1. Use Finder to access to your documents, music, movies and pictures.
  2. Spotlight helps you find anything on your Mac.  You can even search for words or phrases in documents and email.
  3. Have a screen full of applications?  Tap F3 and Expose will give you a much better view.
  4. With AirDrop, you can easily exchange large files with any MacBook user near you.  No need to use USB or network shares.
  5. You can take Screenshots by pressing Command (⌘) + Shift + 3.  Try Command (⌘) + Shift + 4 – it’s even more useful.
  6. Access network shares quickly by pressing Command (⌘) + K.
  7. Interested in exploring the concept of flipped learning?  You can capture all your screen interactions and audio with QuickTime.
  8. Little white dots under your Dock applications indicates they are running.  Be sure to quit any you aren’t using.  It speeds up your Mac!  Command (⌘) + Q is the fast way to quit.
  9. Use Activity Monitor to solve any ‘Spinning Beach Ball’ issues. It usually pops up when you have too many programs open.  See step 8.
  10. Here are some great, simple videos to get you started with your MacBook Pro


Digital Storytelling in Kindergarten

As part of our their ‘All About Me’ SOSE unit, KA students have been creating their own digital stories using the Scribble Press app for iPad.

First, Ms Sue created an example to share with the children so they could see what was possible.

Next, she spent roughly 10 minutes with each child guiding them through the creative process.  During this time, students developed both their own text and illustrations.

Finally the digital stories were shared with the rest of the class via the iPad and projector.   This activity gave the students experience as authors and illustrators and helped the class get to know each other.  They were all very proud to see their creations being enjoyed by all!

iPads and Macs roll out to staff!

We recently kicked off our 2:1 program for all teaching staff at Shekou International School!

The day started off with some Simon Sinek inspired discussion around the “Why” and then teachers had a full “Out of the Box” experience with both their iPad and Mac.

eCoaches will kick of 101 sessions every Monday and Tuesday as we move into a phase of substituting these new devices.

Embedding Video Files

Many teachers and Students wonder how to embed video files into their blog posts. This post is going to explain how to do it, and most importantly how to choose the right plugin to do it.

“Why?” you might ask. Because in the real world we live in, video formats are plentiful. Almost every video camera brand has tried to force consumers into their own, even if many different formats already exist. And some of them are even standardized.

This is why there is no “one-size-fits-all” plugin for embedding videos.

Our WordPress server currently offers you the ability to use two different plugins:

Available Video Plugins

  • Embedded Video can handle video from video portal such as: YouTube, Google Video, dailymotion, MyVideo, Clipfish, Sevenload, Revver, Metacafé, Yahoo! Video, ifilm, MySpace Video, Brightcove, aniBOOM, vimeo, GUBA, Garage TV, GameVideos, vSocial, Veoh, Gametrailers. It can also manage the following video formats: flv, swf, mov, qt, wmv, mpg, mpeg, mpe, asf, asx, wax, wmv, wmx, avi
  • Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator can manage the following video formats: ogv, mp4, m4v, webm

Using Embedded Video

To use Embedded Video, simply click on the small TV-like button when you write your post

Embedded Video Add Button

You can then choose how you want to use the plugin:

As you can see, you can not only use a video sitting on a remote video portal, but you can also upload a video from your computer, hence making it a local video to be used.

Using Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator

To use this plugin you will have to set it up first.

From your Dashboard, go to Settings->Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator.

Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator Settings

Then make sure that the settings are as follow:

Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator: settings part 1Video Embed & Thumbnail Generator: settings part 2

and don’t forget to “Save changes”.

Then you can use the plugin when you write your post. Simply click ont the “Add Media” button

Add Media Button

A new tab has been added to the usual window:

Add Media: Embed From URL Tab

This is where you’ll go to embed a video of one of the formats that this plugin handles. Once again you can upload the video file when you’;re about to use it or use one that’s been already uploaded before, from the Media Library.

Copy the File URL for that video file

Video Embed: File URL

Then paste this File URL to the plugin:

  1. Embed Video From URLChoose a title
  2. Paste the URL
  3. Generate then choose the thumbnail for this video
  4. Tick the “Generate DownloadLink…”
  5. Insert Into Post.


Embeding a Storybird into your post

To be able to show a Storybird like this:

[easyembed field=”Storybird”]

You need to go to your post, and use the easyembed plugin.

In the editor you add the easyembed call like this”

Adding the EasyEmbed call

where “Storybird” refers to a custom field that you have to set like this:

Using a custom field

The value is obtained on the storybird website by clicking on the “Embed & badges” link:

"Embed & badges" link on Storybird

and cutting the code placed on the right:

Copying the embed code from Storybird

Embeding Voicethread into a post

How to show a Voicethread in a post like this:

or like this:

Simply go to your post and write the URL of your voicethread like this:

Embeding a Voicethread

And make sure that the URL is not seen by your editor as link, but just as text.