Tech Standards: Keynote Presentations with VoiceOver Activity Part 1

National Technology Standards state that students are introduced to creating simple presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides) in first grade and should master presentations - including format changes and other more advanced features) by the end of third grade. This post will demonstrate how to create a simple Keynote presentation on an iPad with VoiceOver running using an activity described in a previous Paths to Technology post, PowerPoint Lesson Plan for Elementary Students

Prior to Creating a Keynote Presentation

Students should have basic tech skills before being introduced to creating a Keynote presentation, including the ability to navigate, select, type/dictate, and the ability to learn the spatial layout of an app. Students should be creating and editing simple word documents. Students should also be familiar with how to access a Keynote presentation using VoiceOver.

Best practice also dictates that young students should be exposed to a tactile representation before the digital activity. In this case, creating a tactile image of the Keynote screen with the tool bar, slide thumbnails and standard slide layout will significantly improve the student's ability to understand and navigate the app efficiently. In the Keynote screenshot below, the tool bar runs across the top of the screen, starting in the top left corner with Presentations (Back Button), View Options, Undo, "All About me" (title of presentation), Play, Format, Add, Collaborate, More, and Enter Reader Mode. The thumbnail slides are in a column down the left side of the screen. In the bottom left corner is the Add Slide button.

The actual slide layout will vary depending on the theme used and the slide chosen within that theme. The screenshot below has a photo of 3 year old Hunter as a landscape image, with two textboxes below the photo. Be sure to choose which Keynote theme before creating your tactile graphic!

Screenshot of All About Me Keynote slide showing tool bar, slide thumbnails,  3 year old Hunter and textfields.

It is also helpful to provide opportunities for the student to use a simple Keynote (such as an age-appropriate teacher-created book) before creating their first Keynote presentation. (See the  Book Library on Paths to Technology for teacher-created Keynote and PowerPoint books and the post, Tech Standards: Accessing Keynote Presentations with VoiceOver, geared for emerging and early readers.

Introduce common presentation terms: "slide show" and "slide deck". A “slide show” is a presentation of a series of pictures and/or text on a page which is displayed on a large screen using a video projector. The “slide deck” is a group of slides put together in the same presentation. Students might also benefit from tactile graphics of different types of slide layouts (even slides within the same theme).

If the student is going to add images to his/her presentation, be sure that the images have image descriptions. Example: Initially use photos, placed in the student's Photo App. Add captions to these photos. For details on how to add image descriptions, see the Paths to Technology post, Tech Standards: Adding Image Descriptions to iOS PhotosIt is recommended to place these photos in a separate album in the Photo App to make it easier for the student to locate when creating his/her presentation.

How to Create a Basic Keynote Presentation with VoiceOver

In the video tutorial, a Bluetooth keyboard was used to type the sentences. The onscreen keyboard, braille display or dictation can also be used to input text. If using dictation with VoiceOver, when the textfield is opened (VoiceOver will say "editable textfield"), then simply use a two-finger double tap to start or stop dictation. Dictation does require an internet connection. Note: For young students who are not yet writing sentences or who do not know how to keyboard, dictaton may be a great option!)

In the video tutorial, I chose the Showroom theme (originally located under Minimal); this theme has thin font and may not be good for students with low vision. For young students, chose a theme that has a image on top and sentences underneath. It is recommended to use the same slide layout for students using VoiceOver who are learning about presentations, so that the layout is predictable. In the video tutorial, two different slides were used to demonstrate the pros and cons of each layout.

The most basic Keynote would be a presentation with text only. Your student may benefit from creating a text only presentation before learning how to add photos. Since images are typically included with presentations, this tutorial will demonstrate how to add photos from the student's Photo App.

Creating a Keynote with Images:

  • Open Keynote
  • Create a Presentation: Right swipe to Create Presentation and select. (popup menu appears)
  • Choose a Theme: Right swipe to Choose a Theme and select.
    • Choose a Theme: Right swipe to desired theme and select. (I selected Showroom under Minimal.)
  • Name the presentation: Right swipe to Presentation (number.) (popup appears)
    • Select Rename
    • Focus should be on Presentation (number); if not, navigate there.
    • Clear text: Right swipe once to Clear Text button and select.
    • Type name of presentation. (I chose, "All About me".)
  • Add title to slide: Right swipe to Title Textbox and Select.
    • Double tap to edit.
    • Type desired title. (I typed, “All About Me”.)
  • Add author and date: Right swipe once to Body Textbox and select.
    • Double tap to edit. Type in desired title. (I typed, “Hunter 3/26/21”.)

Note: Number and labels of textboxes may vary, according to which theme you use.

  • Add new slide: Right swipe once to Add Slide button and select. (Popup appears on left side of screen with multiple slide types.)

(Note: With some themes, the VoiceOver focus does not automatically move to the add slide options; you may have to touch the left side of the screen to move focus to the slide options.)

  • Navigate to Horizontal photo and select.
  • Add Slide 1 Text: (VoiceOver focus should be on the Title textbox.) Select.
    • Double tap to activate.
    • Type: “My name is (add name).” (I typed, "My name is Hunter.”)      

Note: Horizontal Photo slide has all capital letters.

  • Leave second textbox empty.
  • Add photo: Drag finger above the Title Textbox which is the motorcycle image. (Right and left swipes will not move to the image.)
    • (VoiceOver announces, “double tap to select, Size. . .” ) Select.
    • Right swipe once to Replace Image button (Plus symbol) and select. (Popup menu appears with options: Choose Photo or video, take photo or video, Insert from . . .)
    • Select Choose Photo or Video to find photo in your photos. (Opens Photos app.)
    • Right swipe to find the desired photo and select. (Photo is inserted into slide.) 

Note: Must add Image Description to photo in Keynote!

  • Add Image Description: Touch the image on the slide and activate.
    • Navigate to the Format button in the tool bar at the top of the screen: Drag finger to Format Button and select. (popup appears)
    • Right swipe to Image Button and select.
    • Right swipe to Description and select.
    • Right swipe to Type to Enter Text textfield and double tap.
    • Type in Image description.
    • Close popup with two-finger scrub gesture. (With some slides, two-finger scrub gesture will not work until you move to the Image Back button.)

The video below demonstrates step-by-step how to create the simple Keynote presentation using VoiceOver. The presentation content is the "All About Me" activity geared for young students.

  • Add Slide 2: Right swipe to Add Slide button and select. (popup appears with slide options)

Note: You can chose to use the same slide layout (Horizontal Photo); I chose to use a different slide layout in order to demonstrate the pros and cons.

  • Select Photo Vertical. This option has Title textbox on the left, Body Textbox below title, and Vertical (portrait) image on right side.
    • VoiceOver focus is on “Presentations button” in the top left corner. Touch in the middle of the screen to move VO focus to the slide.
      • Drag to find the Title Textbox and select.
      • Double tap to edit.
      • Type the sentence: My family is . . . (I typed, "My family is mommy, daddy, and Hunter.")
  • Add photo: Drag right to the image (VoiceOver announces, “Double tap to select, Size. . .”) and select.
    • Right swipe once to Replace Image button and select. (Popup menu appears)
    • Select Choose Photo or Video. (Photos app comes up.)
    • Right swipe to navigate to desired photo. Select. (Photo is added to slide.)
  • Add Image Description to photo: Drag finger to image and select.
    • Drag finger to Format Button in the Tool bar at the top of the page and select. (popup appears)
    •  Right swipe to Image button and select.
    • Right swipe to Description and select.
    • Right swipe to Type to Enter Text textfield and double tap.
    • Type photo description. (I typed “Mommy holding Hunter with Daddy beside. Everyone is smiling and dressed up. Hunter has button down white shirt with tan suspenders and bowtie.
    • Close popup with two-finger scrub.
  • Continue to add slides.
    • Slide 3: My pet is . . .
    • Slide 4: I like to . . .
    • Slide 5: I like to eat . . .
    • Slide 6: My favorite thing about school is . . .

The short video below demonstrates adding the photo vertical slide to your Keynote presentation.

Note: Keynote automatically saves each presentation.

Note: Deleting a slide in Keynote: Currently you must turn VoiceOver off to delete a slide. With VoiceOver off, touch-and-hold on the desired slide thumbnail. In the popup, select Delete.

The All About Me Keynote (Hunter's version) is available for download here.


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