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Project guide: Fire students’ imaginations with presentations on Mac

When you want to make a creative project in the classroom, there’s only really one choice: Mac. So, we’re going to take a look at how you can help students use Apple devices in lessons to create a web presentation based around a favourite topic, hobby or activity. Here’s how easy it is…

 

Conal Siddall

This project guide will show you how to create an amazing presentation based around a hobby or interest using a Mac and a free web app available on Safari. This will challenge your students to demonstrate their knowledge of a subject, use their creativity to convey information with images, text and more, and pick up some design skills and experience.

 

What you need

All you need is access to any Mac computer and Adobe Spark. You’ll want to use Pages to write out content before adding it to the presentation, as it’s a great tool for word processing and the spell checker helps cut out spelling and grammar errors.

Adobe Spark (free for schools to use) features design templates and intuitive tools that allow users with minimal design knowhow to create great looking visual stories by creating videos, web pages and graphics. Because it’s so easy to use, it’s a great app for creative work in the classroom.

Ask students to take a few photos and/or videos of them performing their hobbies or of their equipment before the lesson. Don’t worry if anyone can’t get photos – you can find free, child-friendly images while using Adobe Spark with the safe image search feature.

 

Step one: Choose a topic and create a plan in Pages

Open a new pages document and create a plan for your presentation, including the different elements you’ll use. Here’s a general template you could use for structuring this:

Section 1 – what the hobby is

  • • Video, pictures and text.

Section 2 – what you need to do the hobby

  • • Text and pictures.

Section 3 – a story about me and my hobby

  • • Text and pictures.

Section 4 – conclusion

  • • Text, button and a picture.

 

When you have everything prepped and the plans finished, you can ask students to begin writing their presentations in a Pages document. To help visualise how the page will look, you can insert pictures anywhere in your Pages document by clicking the media button and selecting any photos you have saved.

 

Step two: Create a new web page in Spark

Open Adobe Spark and click create a project, then choose web page – this will open a new page with a blank title. You can click the themes button in the top right to choose a theme, which will change the fonts and add filters to your images. Enter your title and sub header, then tap the + at the bottom, select add photo and add in an eye catching image. Tap the background image again to replace the image or change the focal point.

 

It’s really easy to build a page in Spark. Simply scroll down until you see a little + sign, click it and choose the element you want to add. Add a new text element underneath the title page and write an introduction to your topic. You can use the formatting options that appear at the top of the text area to make adjustments to the font size, colour and more.

Next, we’ll add a glideshow (a creative name for images with text overlayed that glides up as you scroll) to create instructions on performing the hobby. Choose however many images you want, then select done. Now you can double click the faded text box on any of the images and add the text.

 

Now we’ll add a short story about an experience doing the hobby using split layout. Split layout simply places a large half-screen image alongside text, buttons, photos or a video – tap the button in the middle to switch sides.

 
Step three: Adding in an Adobe Spark Video

If your students have photos or videos of themselves doing their activity, you can blend these together to make a short clip using Spark Video. Press the home button in the top left (your current page saves automatically), create a new project and select video. You can add different elements to your video to create the full clip, including videos, photos, text, and voice over by pressing the + icon in the middle of a slide. Check out this guide by Adobe for more tips.

Use the different elements to build a short video around your hobby, then click share and publish your video. You’ll need the link this creates to add the video into your presentation. Go back to your Spark Page, scroll to the bottom and add in a video element. Paste your link into the window and select done.

 

Publish and share

Once everything’s complete, it’s easy to publish and share the presentations. You can either print it off, connect to a whiteboard and present it directly, or send a shareable link. If you’re using Apple Classroom, you can share student work directly to an Apple TV by selecting a student in the app and casting their screen. All the student would need to do is hit present in Adobe Spark and the page will open in full screen mode.

 

Kit your computer room out with Mac

If you don’t have Mac yet, you can buy them from our store with a special education discount. Whether you’re looking for a portable solution like MacBook Air or a powerful desktop like iMac for creative projects, we can help find the right kit for you. You can also purchase Apple technology through a leasing or subscription scheme – whatever works best for you.

 

Get Spark for your School

Spark is a great app for students to use because they’re user friendly, simple and completely free for schools. Adobe Spark for education also comes with extra functionality designed just for schools, including logging in with existing schools accounts, better data protection, admin controls and free premium features. Click here to find out more about Adobe Spark in this education guide.

 

If you’d like to learn a little bit more about using Mac in the classroom, get in touch with our qualified education team by calling 03332 409 290 or emailing education@jigsaw24.com. You can also check out Mac in our store here, or take a look at our finance options. For the latest news, follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

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