That was an incredible week. Usually when I go to a conference I meet like 5 people with whom I immediately feel common energy, purpose, and interest and know that I am going to stay in touch with them from the first hello. Now imagine that those 5 people from every conference all over North America were gathered for an entire week in one room. That's how it felt. I don't think I can articulate it in a way that people who weren't there would understand, especially after reading @KristiMeeuwse's post (http://iteachwithipads.net/2013/07/19/reflection-on-the-apple-distinguished-educator-institute/) which captures the essence so well.
So what I will do is share a cool trick from each tool-oriented session I attended.
iBooks Author - Full page photo gallery widget
If you make a photo gallery widget the full size of the page (or slightly bigger) it will disable the full screen popout and hide the navigation dots. Doing this allows you to create the illusion of turning a page when you are actually just swiping through pictures. WIth the right combination of locked background images and transparent PNG's, you can create amazing effects. Download Andrew Kim's 90 Degrees Multi-Touch book (http://www.minimallyminimal.com/blog/90degrees) which is a bargain a $1.99 and will provide a ton of great ideas for elegant design using iBooks Author.
Andrew Kim's 90 Degrees - a book about 'Knolling'
iAD Widgets - available for iBooks Author
When you sign up for an iTunes Connect account and are taken to the screen to download iTunes Producer, you can also download iAd producer. iAd was originally designed to allow advertisements using widgets. Those widgets can now be used in iBooks Author and published in the books. There are some really nice tools that extend beyond what is in the Widgets menus in IBA.
iTunesU Course Manager - Save documents as .ePub
Instead of uploading .doc, .pdf, or .pages files to an iTunesU course, save the file as an .ePub (Pages allows you to easily do this) and upload it to the course. This will allow you to leverage the note taking and aggregating features that are already integrated into iTunesU.
Final Cut Pro X - Keyboard shortcuts help a lot
I am new to using Final Cut Pro and one thing that was reinforced during a session which is really valuable are all the little keyboard shortcuts that make workflow more efficient. Some of these work in other media editing apps, but I never bothered to internalize them before.
Fn + LEFT Arrow - rewind to start of playback
Shift + Z - fit the timeline to fill the viewable space
Q - connect a clip
N - snap the clips
There were lots more that were shared and you can find great resources on @ajmanx's FCPX delicious page (https://delicious.com/ajmanx/fcpx).
Like Final Cut Pro X, Motion is not a cheap piece of software. However, when you see videos like the one below you can understand why it is an industry standard for professional video editors. My goal for the next few weeks is to figure out 1/100th of what is going on in this ADE video below (this doesn't look like it was shared by Apple so when they make theirs official I'll replace it).
Header photo by Robert S. Donovan