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iPad tips and tricks for educators

With no manual in the box, simple tasks can sometimes seem tricky or even impossible. Here's iPad Educators guide to those little iOS tricks that can make educating with iPads easier.

Search your apps

A really simple task that some don’t utilise. Swipe left from your home screen til your on-screen keyboard pops up with a search bar. A quick way to locate apps once the quantity on your device increases.

Closing apps properly

It still surprises me how many iPad users just don’t realize that all their apps continue to run if you simply press the home button to “close” them. To really shut your apps down (and save masses of battery life) you need to double click the home button and then hold a finder on an app til it wiggles. Press the small, red stop sign to completely close an app. Be aware that not all apps autosave your work.

Split the keyboard

Use two fingers to pull your on-screen keyboard to the left and right at the same time and it will split into two smaller “thumb” keyboards for those of you that prefer to type on phones.

Caps locking

Need to type more than one letter in capitals? Rather than try to hold the Capitalisation arrow down with one finger, just double tap it to toggle it on. It turns blue to denote that this has been done.

Access extra keyboard symbols quickly

Need a degree symbol? How about quicker access to common punctuation like apostrophes and speech marks? Try holding a key down on the on-screen keyboard and you’ll be surprised what you’ll find. (NB the full stop key and comma key are where you’ll find the apostrophe and speech marks quickly.)

Speak selection

A useful tool, especially for SEN students or those learning English, the Speak Selection tool allows for block of text to be highlighted and then spoken out loud to the student. Turn this function on by hitting Settings and then locating it under General/Accessibility.

Guided Access

A somewhat advanced feature but a powerful tool for educators as well. Also found in the Accessibility menu, once turned on you can triple click the home button whilst using an app and lock access to chosen parts of it. The ability to close the app is also removed until the Guided Access password is retyped. An example of how this could be used would be to open a webpage in Safari and then lock the search bar or certain elements of the page.

Install and switch keyboard languages

The keyboard options are found under the General Settings but to add a new keyboard language you should instead click on the International tab. Once installed, the keyboard will display a small globe symbol in the bottom left. Click this to change the keyboard language.

Set restrictions for e-safety

As educators, e-safety is a constant concern. Whilst this feature won’t go into various apps/options related to this matter (we have a separate feature planned though) something that needs highlighting is the ability to apply restrictions. Through the General section of the Settings app, turn on Restrictions by setting a four digit code for the device. You will then be able to block web access, app store access and more.

Foldering apps

As your iPad fills up with apps, a good idea is to folder them sensibly. To create a folder, hold your finger on an app until it wiggles then drop it directly onto another app. You will then be given the option to name a folder that now contains both apps. Grouping apps by subject area is a nice idea.

Camera roll access and privacy

Many apps allow you to export to your Camera Roll (Photos) which can be essential for moving content from one app to another. Sometimes you will get a warning that the app does not have permission to do this. A simple fix – head to the Privacy section of the Settings app and click on Photos. Ensure that the app you are trying to use is set to “ON” and you won’t have the issue any more.

Screen grabbing

If an app won’t allow an export (such as Apple’s Maps) then screen grabbing is the way forward. Press the power button and home button simultaneously to save a picture directly to your Camera Roll. One of the single most useful tips for educators.

Picture cropping/edit

So you’ve saved the screen grab to the Camera Roll but it has that annoying time/wifi/battery percentage strip across the top. Want to get rid of it? Easy – just open the image and select edit at the top. Now use the crop tool to select just the right part of the image that you need!
This article was taken from: www.ipadeducators.com