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As part of Apples iWork software Keynote has come a long way over the past couple of years and I thought it would be good to share some of the diferent ways it has been used at my school. Many school Apple users do not have iWork as they are provided with MS Office but we are finding over time, that more students out of choice are using Pages instead of Word and Keynote instead of Powerpoint. Keynote definately is a favourite with many of our students so much so that I discovered that our electronics students have started drawing their circuit diagrams in Keynote. Trust students to find a little niche use for a software not really conceived for this application. On further investigation I found that their teacher decided to follow their lead and now it’s widely used. They are able to use the line and shape tools quickly and precisely with the alignment tools helping them and the adjustable freeform line tool for tricky stuff. The circuits can be grouped and easily scaled. It can be printed to different scales to match their PCB (circuit board).

Our Visual Art Teacher in photography came up with another novel use where students took photographs of body parts and made stick people and then after cropping the body parts placed them over the stick body parts creating photographic stick people and then animated them by playing a fast slide show. It is possible to animate it better by saving each slide as an image and importing into iMovie as you can have much faster frame rates in iMovie. However as an introductory task this was great fun for students and developed many skills.

Besides using it for presentations, digital portfolios, etc, I have found it a great asset for creating variations of vodcasts. My media students often use it to turn static media into moving media to import into their iMovies. In case you are not aware it can open powerpoints and export in many formats such as pdf, a quicktime movie, powerpoint file, png images, swf, HTML and to iDVD to be part of a DVD. Definately a worthy piece of software and if you have Apple OSX it is well worth purchasing.