Getting Creative With Slide Decks

This week I had a really great chat with Mike and Webs from the Intelligent Hoodlums. Mike and Webs are friends and fellow Apple Distinguished Educators. Together, they’ve started virtual conferences to reach educators across the globe in presenting professional learning opportunities to all. During this uncertain time in all of our lives, they put together a limited series called “I’m Bored.”

We can’t lie. We might have a bit of cabin fever. So we thought we’d hangout with some cool people and make stuff. Twice a week- Tuesdays and Thursdays, we’ll issue a creative challenge. On Tuesday we’ll discuss it. On Thursday, we’ll give everyone an opportunity to present their work. Sounds like a good time, right? It’ll be a fun time to exchange ideas, some laughs, and make some new friends as well.

Mike and Webs, Intelligent Hoodlums

Mike and Webs reached out to see if I’d be interested in sharing about slide decks…and since I am a slide enthusiast, I of course, said yes! To see a replay of our conversation, click here. We chatted about tips and tricks for creating compelling presentations, but also talked about moving beyond the traditional and into more non-traditional ways to use slides.

To read more about this limited series and to see the speakers they have lined up, click here. Additionally, you can find them and follow their work on Twitter @trustahoodlum.

I use both Keynote and Google Slides. In my opinion, based on so many factors, creativity and innovation being number one…Keynote will always win the golden crown.

Resources I Shared:

Resources from Apple:

I challenge you to use the slide creation tool of your choice to create compelling presentations. Take a chance and move beyond the presentation tool to give students opportunities to share their learning in new and innovative ways! Watch the creativity go through the roof!

Cheers, friends! Hang in there! #thistooshallpass

Animated Visual Vocabulary

This week I have been trying to think of activities, projects, and ideas to engage students in distance learning through fun and meaningful ways. I’ll admit that I have felt like I’ve been in a creative slump, as most likely is the case for so many others during this time. I have had this idea in my head for awhile and I thought this would be a good time to share it. I think it would be fun for siblings to do together or a project to get the whole family involved! This would be a great for PE teachers to demo various exercises, foreign language teachers to bring language to life, and other vocabulary words where kids can bring to life through visualization. After all, did you know that it only takes 150 ms for a symbol or picture to be processed and 100 ms to attach meaning to it? Our brains crave visuals and what a better way to study and learn vocabulary, parts of speech, or physical movements!

The Project

This project can be completed in Keynote or Google Slides. The first step is to create the background. I like to have 4 rectangles on each slide with the vocabulary word at the top, but you can design it however you’d like. Then, you will need to use your device to take video of someone demonstrating the word. These are just short videos, no more than 5 seconds. The next step is magical! I stumbled upon the site, This site doesn’t require a green screen at all, it just analyzes your video with AI technology and generates it without a background. For this project, I chose to have a transparent background, but you can do some other cool videos that have awesome built in backgrounds for additional awesome amounts of fun! You’ll see the one I created at the bottom of this post…I’m surrounded by fireworks! This company also removes backgrounds from photos at Once you upload your video, you can download it as a gif (more downloading options for the pro version). Once downloaded as a gif, then you can place it on the rectangle to visualize the vocabulary word.

In Keynote, you can set each video as an animation and have them all loop and play at the same time. You can export the slide as a movie and play the movie as it loops through. At this time, I do not think there is an option to export a Google Slide as a movie, but you can use third party extensions, such as I haven’t used it, but from what I’ve researched, I think that would be the way to go. The other option with both Keynote and Google Slides is to create each slide and just present (or play) the slide and it will keep looping though the animated gifs while it’s in full screen mode. This would be especially helpful to have when we go back to school and you are teaching PE moves or introducing new vocabulary. I think students will have a blast making these…I know I did with my two teenage boys!

Download the template (Keynote)

Download the template (Google Slides)

Animated Visual Vocabulary
Example of the various backgrounds at

Hope you enjoy this! Have fun! Create videos where you are in lots of different virtual locations while social distancing! Be safe out there, friends!