Once Upon an Apple Pencil - my Americas Showcase and Resource Links


Once Upon an Apple Pencil - iPad with Castle drawn inside and Apple Pencil
Once Upon an Apple Pencil Title Page

It was a huge thrill last week at the ADE America's Institute to share my "Once Upon an Apple Pencil" Showcase. This is a story that has been rolling around in my head for the past 4 years. I have told parts of it in previous year end reflection videos, but it was fun to weave many ideas and projects together into one story, told in "fairy tale" style. Here is a link to my Apple Pencil resource page - it contains a prerecorded (not live) version of the showcase and links to many of the student projects referenced in the showcase:


Here are a few little geeky tidbits of how I built the presentation:

  • Most of the animated line drawings (except for the ending page) were totally traced in Keynote. Tracing is a creativity game changer!
  • I wanted the title page to be a cross between a castle, a school, and an iPad. I ended up using Adobe Firefly to generate images to give me ideas. I traced and adapted this picture in Keynote make my castle/school.

illustration of a castle/school created with Adobe Firefly
illustration of a castle/school created with Adobe Firefly

  • I recorded the presentation with audio in Keynote and exported it as a video. Then I pulled the video into iMovie where I did some edits to make sure it was under 3 minutes. Finally, I muted the audio track.
  • I felt like the story needed some GarageBand music in the background. I used the Toy Celesta from the ToyBox with autoplay to create a theme that lasted about a minute. I repeated that theme a second time, adding some gentle percussion and some synthesized notes underneath. For the third repeat, I added a duplicate version of my original track, but using the Epic Cloud Formation to give a richer tone underneath. I added a final Toy Celesta loop and adjusted a few notes to draw the music to a conclusion. My last step was to adjust the tempo slightly so the music would be exactly 3 minutes.
  • I exported the song from GarageBand and added it under video in iMovie. This movie (with no talking audio) was exported. It was set on my second slide in Keynote after my Memoji title page. So all I had to do was press the clicker once, and the entire presentation with music would play automatically! All I had to do was share the story!

I truly love my Apple Pencil, and once the students have used it, there is no going back to using fingers or styluses!

All Comments

Posted on July 19, 2023

Love your fairy tale with the happy ending! Such a creative way to present an idea. It certainly caught everyone’s attention! Thanks for sharing your “how to”.

Posted on July 22, 2023

Loved your showcase, Karen, and this "behind the scenes" post is super helpful! I think it's so neat how you've embraced AI, like Adobe Firefly, in your creative work!

Posted on July 28, 2023

Thanks, Jessica and Cheryl! It was amazing to share a story that has been a part of my teaching for the past several years. I had so much fun putting it together!

Posted on July 29, 2023

Thank you so much for sharing. I was there to witness your Perfectly Enchanted Apple Peril showcase presentation. I am so intrigued with your story and how those Apple Pencils change the presenter and those little ones lives. I started myself on this new journey of sketch noting and making use of my Apple Pencil.

Posted on August 01, 2023

Tambra, thank you so much for your kinds words. Best wishes on your new sketchnote adventures - it is a strategy that truly changed the way I listen and learn and has brought me much joy! Let me know if I help you out in any way.

Posted on August 02, 2023

I loved the showcase and I love the idea of using the Apple Pencil in order to create.

Posted on August 02, 2023

Love this so much! The view is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

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