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10 iPad tips every teacher should know

Over the last couple of months I have just about switched from my trusty old laptop to the iPad as my primary work computer. Basically, the iPad does everything I could do on my PC and a great deal more through all of the apps available specifically for teaching.

As a result of this, more of our staff are fronting up to work with iPads as they can also see the benefits in using a tablet for conferencing with students, checking email and using with their interactive white boards.

The first questions I get from new users are generally "What can I do with it?"  And "What apps should I have on it?" 

I think we have covered in detail more than once many of the great apps that are out their for education so today we are going to look at 10 tips are specifically useful for teachers who use an iPad.

So here are a few tips that you might find useful.

Disable In-App Purchases

This is mostly for teachers who share an iPad with students or other people, as the last thing you want is someone accidentally charging up your iTunes account with nonsensical or accidental in-app purchases. Disable these easily by tapping on Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions, then scroll down to “Allowed Content” and swipe In-App Purchases to OFF.

Use iCloud to sync your calendar, events and emails.

iCloud is a terrible beast that is aimed at getting users to purchase a premium plan.  However if you set it up correctly it syncs messages, mail, reminders, bookmarks, enables Find My iPad, and provides for the most painless backup solution there is for iOS users. It’s easy to configure and free, here is how to set it up if you haven’t done so already

 

 

Connect to a HDTV, Data Projector or Interactive Whiteboard.

You can connect the iPad 2 and new iPad to your HD television using Apple's Digital AV Adapter (which connects from your 30-pin Dock adaptor to a HDMI port) or a plain old Apple VGA Adaptor. Both are available from the Apple Store. The iPad 2 and new iPad support video mirroring, so your entire Home screen will appear on the TV, not just the videos you play. This is a great resource for your interactive whiteboard.

 

 Take an iPad screenshot

You can take a screenshot on your iPad by pressing Home and then the Sleep/Wake button. The screen will flash and you'll hear a click, indicating that a photo has been taken. Your screen shots are saved automatically in your Photos gallery. Here, you can view or email them as you see fit.

 Add a Google or Microsoft Outlook Calendar

Want to add your Google Calendar to the iPad's Calendar app? No problem. In Settings open Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Add an account and tap on Other. Tap on Add CalDAV Account and enter your Google Account credentials (the Server is www.google.com). Exit the Settings app and tap on the Calendar app and all your events should appear. By default all calendars are displayed, but you can tap on the Calendars button to choose which ones are shown.  This also works exactly the same with Outlook also.

 

 Use AirPrint

Thanks to AirPrint you can print right from your iPad, provided you've got a compatible printer, of course. If you've got an AirPrint ready printer then you just choose Print from the Share menu for virtually any open document. AirPrint works with the new range of printers from HP, and you can use a Mac app called Printopia (www.ecamm.com) to print to any printer connected to a Mac.

 

 Orientation Lock or Mute?

The internet got mightily upset when Orientation Lock was replaced with Mute on the iPad during the last iOS update. Apple listened, and now you can head to Settings > General to choose between Lock Rotation and Mute.

 Passcode Denied… DELETE ALL!

If you're carrying around sensitive data such as personal information about students, you can now enable a feature that'll erase all the data on the device if someone inputs the incorrect passcode 10 times. Navigate to Settings > General > Passcode Lock > Erase Data.

 

 

 

 

 Turn iPad caps lock on

To type a capital letter on the onscreen keyboard you first tap the left or right shift key, then the letter. If you need to type a whole word in caps this can be painful. Save time typing in caps by turning the caps lock on. To do this double tap on either shift key.

 

 

 

 

Copy and paste

You can quickly copy and paste text by tapping and holding down, and then choosing Select to select the exact portion of text you'd like the copy. Next tap Copy, then go to a different app, and tap and hold down again, then tap Paste from the menu that appears. Top tip: To select an entire paragraph of text you need to tap four times.

 

 

 

 

 Replace a word

When you hold down on a word to copy it, choose Select, then you will see a new option: Replace. Tap this and, you can see suggestions for alternative words that have similar spellings. It's a good way of quickly correcting typos.

 Add 6 Items to your Dock

By default the dock contains four items, but it can hold up to six on the iPad. Just tap an hold on an icon until it jiggles, then drag a couple more apps, folders, or website that you use frequently into the dock.

 

 

Sync your iPad wirelessly:

To set up iTunes wireless syncing, plug your iPad into your PC, make sure both devices are connected to the same wireless network, and then boot up iTunes on your PC. On your iPad, navigate to Settings, General, iTunes Wi-Fi Sync, select the computer you want to sync with, and tap the Sync Now button. Your iPad should sync wirelessly with your computer, and will now do so automatically whenever you have it plugged in and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your computer

 

Download the free iPad User's Guide:

You may have noticed that your iPad didn't come with a big printed manual--that's not Apple's style. However, you can download the PDF version of the iPad User's Guide from Apple's website, or you can read it in iBooks if you have that installed (iBooks is available as a free download in the App Store). Make sure to download the manual for the version of iOS you're currently using!