Today, while prepping an activity for Monday with a colleague, we accidentally discovered awesome. He was using the iPad to tap through slides in a Keynote I made and he tapped too long on one slide. From the bottom of the screen popped up some hidden tools – 7 colored markers and a laser pointer tool. I know this isn’t like discovering Teflon – and maybe everyone knows about this but me – but I was still pretty excited to find these hidden treasures. Once the tools pop up, you can select a color and write on the screen to highlight an idea or draw something onto an image. Tap the laser pointer and you can drag it around to emphasize or draw attention to something.
I have written this year about using my iPad as part of my classroom routine for giving notes. I have been using an app called IPEVO Whiteboard for this. It has just the right amount of bells and whistles for me, including the ability to import images and record the screen while talking and writing. Yesterday I presented an iPad PD session and some of my colleagues asked for an easy way to draw on a slide. A screenshot and IPEVO Whiteboard is pretty easy, but if you already have a Keynote (or a PowerPoint you turn into a Keynote), these hidden tools are even easier.
So tonight I opened Keynote on my MacBook to see if these tools are available in the desktop version of Keynote. They’re not. At least not exactly. What I learned tonight (thanks Keynote Help!) is that you can use your iPad or iPhone as a remote to control a presentation on your laptop or desktop Keynotes. When you use your iPad (or iPhone) as a remote, then you can use the highlight and laser pointer tools on your iPad and they will write on the slides on your desktop version.
It was very easy to set up my iPad to control my laptop version of Keynote. On the iPad in Keynote, I went to the Presentations screen and tapped the iPad icon. Then I tapped continue. Then I went into Keynote on the laptop and opened Preferences. I clicked on the Remote tab, clicked Enable, and selected my iPad. Then I could see a giant green play button on the iPad. When I clicked it, it started my presentation.
I’m not really a prepared slides kind of a teacher. I typically like to start with a blank canvas, but if I have a lot of images to share and annotate, I would definitely use this. Finding it today felt like discovering buried treasure!