The Do’s and Don’ts of Slide Design for Students

Here is another great post by Lisa Johnson (techchef4u). She has created a handy infographic for high school students laying out some design principles for their slide presentations. Also handy is a link to a post about how to design beautiful hand outs. Check it out!

» The Do’s and Don’ts of Slide Design for Students |


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

OLA SUPER CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT: Creative thinking: A 21st Century Success Skill


This is one of the best , thought-provoking sessions I attended. The speaker, Gerard Puccio, a professor from Buffalo University, gave a brief description of what he means by creative thinking, how it is more and more important in the knowledge economy and how schools are not preparing their students for this world.

I was most intrigued by his discussion of “deliberate creativity.” He talks about the different steps in the creative process: how it has to begin with divergent thinking- brainstorming, etc. Then must move on to convergent thinking, developing the idea, pruning it. Editing it. He talked about how where most people go wrong is by crossing the two- going all convergent (“that could never work” etc.) when you are in the divergent phase. This resonated with me as a writer as I have learned over the years that sometimes you have to practice ignoring the constant editor in your head and just get the ideas down, typos and crappiness and all.

Here is a Ted Talk by Gerard Puccio on Creative Thinking:

Here are his 4 phases of deliberate creativity:

  1. Clarify: Identifying the challenge.
  2. Ideate: Generating ideas.
  3. Develop: bringing ideas to life.
  4. Implement: Give ideas legs.

HIs divergent guidelines:

  • defer judgment
  • Go for quantity (eg. hemingway always wrote down 100 titles at leats before choosing which one he wanted to use.)
  • Make connections
  • Seek novelty

His convergent guidelines:

  • Use affirmative judgment
  • Consider novelty
    (don’t dismiss things out of hand)
  • Check your objectives
  • Be deliberate

He also gave a very useful guideline to thoughtful feedback. It is called the POINT system:

Plusses: strengths, good points, etc.

Opportunities: What if thinking

Issues: Weaknesses, trouble spots, minuses (phrased in “how to” How might”, etc.)

Overcome issues through New Thinking:

  • prioritize concerns
  • generate ideas to overcome Main concerns.

Relevance: Extremely relevant to all aspects of school life.

Curriculum connections: Cross-curricular

Additional resources:

Powerpoint presentation

International Center for Studies in Creativity (you can get a degree in this!)

 Gerard Puccio’s books

Innovation Design In Education – ASIDE: Design Principles For Students As They Create Visual Projects And Digital Stories

More and more of students’ presentations are visual these days, from the now old school powerpoint to the newer infographic. Teaching our students about good design is becoming more and more necessary (lest you have to look at bright green backgrounds with fuchsia comic sans font taking up the whole page). The following info graphics practice what they preach about design- they are simple, elegant and get to the point.

When assigning a project with a visual component, why not use these info graphics as a sort of checklist?

Innovative design crosses over all aspects of education. The American Society for Innovation Design in Education, or ASIDE, seeks to infuse curriculum with new approaches to teaching and thinking. Integrating the design of information into the daily conversation is an essential part of the teacher’s toolkit and the purpose of the ASIDE blog. The underpinning of innovation and educational design is based on looking at the information available and communicating meaning for a world of learners. Thinking like a designer can transform the way children learn. ASIDE’s goal is to bring together as much information, resources and supportive scholarship in one place for teaching and learning.


See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

iPad Challenge: Text to Speech follow-up

IN honour of our amazing students who came to show our Staff how they use various text to speech apps on their iPads, here is the revised post on how to turn on the built-in text to speech option on the iPad. Although I wrote this tutorial last year, it has changed slightly with iOS8.


Sec. I student teaching the teachers on how she uses WordQ and Prizmo.

Go to settings –> Accessibility

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Tap on Speech:

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Turn on Speak selection. This means that when you are in most apps as well as online you will be able to select text and have it read to you. One of the students in our presentation listened to a whole book in iBooks using this device.

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Highlight text: Another student highlighted the Highlight feature (see what I did there?). She finds this especially useful when reading texts for science or History.

The Speak screen function is new. It allows you to have a whole page read instantly:

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We discovered during this morning’s session that the text to speech also works on texts uploaded to the portal. However, it didn’t work on a PDF in explain Everything.

Image Attribution Workshop

I have uploaded the powerpoint from today’s presentation about Image attribution for reference purposes.

However, I did just want to mention the lovely new feature (ok, new for me) from wikimedia commons (thanks Mel for showing this to us!)

From desktop:

I searched for Uffizi gallery wikimedia commons on google images:

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I clicked on the image and chose “visit page”:

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It took me to the wikipedia article. I clicked on the image:

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.45.30 AM

Here you get all the information you need for a nice image attribution: the title, author, source and license.

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However, you can also click on the download icon and it will give you a full attribution to copy and paste! (this is going to be large as it includes the full URL. You can probably hyperlink this in a presentation).

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.46.26 AM

Very cool. I also tried it on the iPad – though it still is handy, it does not give you the download option:


When you click on the “Details” icon, it takes you to the image on wikimedia commons with the full set of metadata. However, the above attribution (including the URL linking to wikimedia) is all you need!


And here is the powerpoint:

Slide01 Slide02 Slide03 Slide04 Slide05 Slide06 Slide07 Slide08 Slide09 Slide10 Slide11 Slide12 Slide13

Social Media for Staff Workshop

This morning Alissa Sklar, social media and youth expert came to talk to our staff about social media and our students. She presented us with a whole slew of information regarding the 9 elements of digital citizenship (as defined by Ribble and Bailey) as well as some tips on how to manage our own online identity.

Here is a takeaway (along with a link to her very thorough presentation) that she so generously shared with us and allowed me to share with you!

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 3.00.02 PM

Digital Citizenship handout teachers

The day culminated with an intense and productive discussion regarding our upcoming social media policy for staff, but more on that when I have something to show!

rAPPido review: Google Slides

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 10.15.26 AMFollowing the tradition of having everything be a separate app (why? Why????) Google has just released Google Slides.

So I thought I would take it for a test drive and write my review as a Google presentation.

Most of it was done on the iPad, but then I thought to check the difference between my iPad and the Desktop.

Here is the result:

Screen Shot 2014-08-26 at 10.15.07 AM

Here is the link again.

Notice how it is not embedded. Humph. I did a quick search on the internet to see if anybody else has commented on the reduced functionality of the google suite on the iPad, but not a word. I feel like a crazy person. How hard is it to ask to be able to insert an image or even a link inside your document? How is this helpful for our students who only own an iPad and not a desktop?

This is so close to being an amazing free and handy alternative to the paying apps such as Pages, and Keynote, but without the basic ability to make a visual presentation directly on the iPad, the only thing this is good for is a very quick and dirty sketch of a presentation.

9 Powerful (And FREE) Tools To Boost Summer Learning

The closing ceremonies were yesterday and there is only one week left of work before we head off on our summer adventures. Why notkill two birds with one stone and blend your travels with learning some new iPad tricks?

Check out the great ideas on how you can take your vacation photos and make some interesting multimedia presentations!

Rapidly approaching the dog days of summer (give or take a few days or weeks), I felt a need to share a power packed suitcase of tools that could be used to archive your summer highlights and memories. Many educators never really go on vacation. While they may appear to be leisurely sipping daiquiris on …


Wednesday Workshop: Moodle, Showbie and Conference notes

Just in case you missed another installation of our staff iPad Show and Tell, here is a list of links to the presentations and resources discussed!

1. MOODLE by David Pelletier

The first presentation was from David, who attended a tech conference and became enamoured with Moodle. Unbeknownst to him, he had already been using Moodle as a student – he is taking an online course on wine that uses it as a platform. It was the perfect opportunity to show us what the tool is capable of.

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2. Showbie by Nadia Schoonhoven

Nadia has been playing around with Showbie as a way to collect student assignments and give feedback. She is using the free version which means she does not have access to the built-in annotation function in the app. To get around this, she uses Showbie in conjunction with Notability to send her feedback to the students. As she mentions in her presentation, it is a great tool to help you go paperless!

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She even shared her presentation via Showbie so that I could have access to it:

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 9.16.02 AM


I also wroe a rAPPido review on Showbie which you can see here.

3.Conference notes by Melanie Leblanc

Last but not least, Melanie gave us a whirlwind tour of a dizzying amount of resources she learned about at her conference. Highlights include resources for making info graphics, and mind mapping tools.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 9.24.58 AM

The presentation includes many excellent links so check it out!

Thank you so much to our presenters!


Updating my Skill Set: Getting Over my Fear of Photoshop

ladieslearningcode-500x500Learning something new is scary, especially if you have had time to build up a good infrastructure of fear around it. But there comes a time when you have to woman up and face your fears directly. That time came for me this last Saturday, when I took an introductory workshop on web design with the organization Ladies Learning Code.

That wasn’t the scary part. The scary part was that we were using – gasp – Photoshop as a design tool.

Confession time. I am Photoshop phobic. The few times I have tried to use it, I end up simply moving my mouse up and down with no idea where to even begin. Anytime photoshop is required beyond resizing or cropping images, I get my husband to do it (or my daughters- they are now both adept at using it due to Mr. Scruton’s multimedia class.)

Photoshop is one of the few tools I felt I needed some handholding to begin to understand (and, for the sake of my marriage, the hand holder could not be my husband), so I jumped at the chance when I saw the workshop advertised. It cost $50 and included a catered lunch. There was a workshop leader and then a mentor for every 3 participants (these people volunteered their time to help out) which meant that there was always someone around to help if I got stuck.

I met some interesting people and above all, learned the basics of navigating the arcane (ok, now a little less for me) world of Photoshop! I was even able to put my new found skills to work on Monday, when I designed the following poster using Photoshop:

Used Book Sale Poster

It was way easier than using word or powerpoint (which is what I have been using) once I finally understood the advantage of layers. Okay, so I have a ways to go in terms of design, but it’s a start!

I would definitely recommend Ladies Learning Code if you want to learn something new (they give introductory workshops on html, CSS, etc.) Their next workshop is a mother/daughter introduction to html/css. Check it out!

Now can anybody tell me what the heck rasterizing means?