Thursday, July 12, 2007

Keying into Kenote

In the last couple of weeks, I have been creating the on-line siddur that is the project being funded by the technology grant from AVICHAI. It has been exciting to learn to work with Keynote, Apple's presentation software (like Power Point). It works successfully with Hebrew (you can input the Hebrew more easily than in Power Point) and I am slowly learning how to create those magic links that are so easy in Power Point (to jump from slide 3 to slide 20, for example, when that's an appropriate leap to make for a given audience).

It is tempting to try to develop a presentation for each of the blessings in the amidah as well for use in our tefillot at the Robert Saligman Middle School in Philadelphia, where I teach, but I am going to leave that and some other things for students to do as part of the eighth grade tefillah curriculum.

I would be interested to hear about experiences with importing video materials into Keynote. There are some interesting videos either involving the Shema or evoking it on YouTube and I am interested in importing a video or two into my on-line siddur, but I don't know if that is technologically possible.

I also would be interested to hear from others about their successes and disappointments or pitfalls in using technology to enhance the experience of tefillot, especially with student groups larger than 100.

I hope everybody is having a good summer.


Tikvah Wiener said...

This sounds very interesting and necessary! I know students need ways to make praying more meaningful. I see you're making the presentation for Middle School, but do you think it could be used in high school?

Tikvah Wiener
The Frisch School
Paramus, New Jersey

Judd Levingston said...

In response to Tikvah's question, I absolutely think that this could be used in high school. Essentially I am developing a siddur that is 3-D with sound, image and, of course, meaningful text. It would be up to a thoughtful shaliah tzibur (prayer leader) to lead the student congregation without being overwhelmed or overly distracted by the technology.

Thanks very much for your comment!

Debbie Harris said...

It is technologically possible to insert media files into Keynote. For youtube videos, you'll need to download them (do a web search on downloading from youtube) and then you'll need to use MoviePod to convert them to .mov files. Then put the .mov file in your Movies folder.

mp3 files are easy - just make sure they're in iTunes.

Then, open Media inspector in Keynote and just drag and drop.

Hope this helps.