How to turn off the autocorrect on the ipad (aka the most annoying thing in the world)

As I have A LOT of notes from yesterday’s workshops and must organize, research, hyperlink, screenshot them and I just don’t have the time in the ten minutes of my remaining workday,  I thought I would write a brief post about how to get rid of the autocorrect function on the ipad. I don’t know about you, but it is about as annoying as fingers on a chalkboard.

It is so easy, and totally explainable in a few seconds.

1.Tap the setting icon:

2. Make sure you are in General.

3. Tap Keyboard:

4. Switch the auto-correction to off.

And, that my friends, is how you stop having this phantom bad speller always changing your words (eg. instead of Traf, I would get traffic. Bescherelle would become an incoherent bunch of symbols.)
It was like having your notes ciphered and not having the key.

Have a great weekend- and trust me. There will be WAY MORE about the workshop in the posts to come.

Collaborative sites for ipads in education: tips, apps, ideas, discussions

When I am searching for apps or ideas on how to use the ipad, I tend to leave the app store and check out what the people who are actually using it are saying. In my virtual travels I have come across a few good collaborative sites whose content is provided by teachers, staff and other people who work in a classroom.

Here are a couple of sites you might want to check out:

ipads in Education: Exploring the use of ipads and eBooks in schools and colleges

This is a Ning site – a free space where people can sign up and contribute. The Tips section is a little like this blog- it gives how tos, such as how to download a youtube video to your ipad so you can watch it offline. It even has a section on deployment with planning considerations, volume purchasing and apps. Although I find the interface a little bit daunting (too much stuff!) it is relatively easy to find the section you are looking for and has some great tips (how to use your ipad as a whiteboard?)

ipads in Education by Ian Wilson (an apple educator from the UK)

Not exactly a collaborative site (okay not at all) but a beautiful, clean interface. What caught my eye with Wilson’s site was his discussion of the “agile space”:

I am using the term ‘agile’ here to signal a new technology space in between handheld and portable. Devices which fit this space are particularly useful for teaching and learning purposes, as they offer the flexibility needed for modern learning practices.

He makes a compelling argument for how the ipad is uniquely qualified for use in the classroom.

He also has an amazing array of apps for visual arts, and music as well as other subjects (I got stuck in these last two..) Warning: he quotes the price in Euros -so you will have to look them up in the app store to get the price in dollars.

ipad in Education: a wiki by the department of Educational Technology in the School District of Palm Beach County.

I think I have already sent you this link, or at least the page where they discuss good apps for high school. As with all wikis, it is only as good as the contributions. Although the ipad apps section was pretty comprehensive, the lesson plans only had one lesson uploaded (although it looked cool).
Still worth checking in from time to time to see if there is any new content.

DIGRESSION! The ipad app of the week is CTV – I can finally watch the Daily show!!!! (not having a television, this has proved harder than I like to admit). DIGRESSION CONCLUDED.

OMG!!!!! I am so excited. Why you ask, WHY? because I just came across this blog with 12 lesson plans on how to use the ipad in a variety of classes. I am totally RSS ing this woman’s blog. right now:

A big barrier for me when thinking of the ipad in the classroom is well first of all, I’m not in a classroom so I don’t know what goes on in one (except for the 20 odd years of actually being in a classroom as a student) and second of all, no concrete examples of how it can be used. Well this last post gives some really great lesson plans. If you look at the blog post before this one, she also outlines how she creates them.

Lisa Johnson (the awesome creator of the Techchef4u blog and instructional tech specialist) mentions the Apptivities site which has even more lesson plans! (ooh and I just saw a To Kill a Mockingbird lesson plan for the ipad!

Okay. Enough for today. I am gathering all these sites on my evernote account (which I haven’t given up on yet although our relationship is very tense indeed). If you would like me to share my ipads folder with you, just send me an email. Of course, you must have your own Evernote account for this to work…

Using the Ipad for Marketing the Library

 I used my ipad to create a slideshow of different services, events, etc. the library offers for new parent orientation and for open house. Though I am not sure how many people actually looked at it, especially at new parent orientation – I’m not exactly the main act, or even the off broadway act at this event. But still. It was there and it looked cool.

I began by creating slides on my desktop. I used powerpoint for my slides, as it offers different themes and you can add different media.

1. Create your slides.
2. Save them as jpegs.

3. Open iphoto.
4. Create a new album:

5. Add your slides to your album.
6. Sync your ipad, but be careful to select only the album- if not you might sync all the photos on your computer (trust me, unless you have hours to wait for it to download, you don’t want that).

7. After ejecting your ipad from your computer, click on the photos icon on your ipad.
8. Choose your album.

9. Select the slideshow option in the top left hand corner.

10. Press play!

If you want to customize the settings you need to go into settings, then into photos:

I have uploaded my files to slideshare.net so that you can see it for yourself:

Proof of insanity in two examples: Installing the Eprint Bookmarklet for Safari and Evernote

“Insanity is defined as repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result.”- Einstein

Sometimes I get stuck on a tiny little detail. I can’t find the solution and all my grand plans grind to a halt as I hit the same buttons over and over again, hoping that it was just a fluke that it didn’t work the first ten times. Mr. Einstein would not approve.

So the first time I tried to install the Eprint bookmarklet I failed miserably. Why? Because, despite the totally arcane instructions (see below) I couldn’t figure out how to move my cursor in the URL field. So Kept on tapping the URL wanting to scroll and it wouldn’t. It finally took me accidentally holding my finger down long enough for the magnifying glass to show up, and then moving my finger in shock at its sudden appearance to realise this is how you move your cursor in Safari on the ipad.

Yes. I know. Duh.

This is how it looks like:

Here are the directions for the bookmarklet. If you go into Eprint, click on settings, then scroll to the bottom. You should find them there. I did have to write them down however as when you begin the process in Safari, it doesn’t allow you to switch screens for a moment to check them. Once I figured out how to move the cursor so that I could remove the Http:// in the URL it was very easy. And now I can easily print pages of the web! (this is helpful if you are using the SIS system on the web and want to print out a class list, or if you have accessed a google doc or a map or a recipe or….well, the possibilities are endless.

So first proof of insanity. Am I cured yet?

Second proof: installing Evernote on my desktop. I know, I know. This is an ipad blog. but one of the mysteries of Evernote, which everybody seems to speak highly of, and of which I find clunky and non-intuitive, is that you can’t actually tag anything on the ipad. You can VIEW stuff, but you can’t save it on Evernote. I find this ridiculous. They should really have an Evernote. bookmarklet.

Maybe they do and I haven’t looked hard enough?

But I digress. I wanted to tag some of the articles i have been receiving via my Google Alert for the keywords “Ipads in schools” and “Ipads in education” and share them with you (which I will still do, I promise.) But I couldn’t find the little Evernote elephant icon in my browser’s toolbar. So I downloaded it from the website, restarted Firefox and still no icon. So I did it again. And again. Until I was about to start lobbing things at my computer. I finally gave up and did something else. It wasn’t until I began this blog post did I finally spy the elephant. And no, it wasn’t on my browser’s toolbar but on my desktop toolbar!

I kind of hate Evernote more now.

If you are having better luck with this app, please let me know. So far, as you can probably read, I’m not loving it.

The Future of Libraries: QR Code Scavenger Hunt!

For testing this year, admissions (okay- Carolyn and Beth) asked me to create a scavenger hunt using QR codes. The theme was to be the Future of Libraries and, with the use of strategically placed QR codes,  the criteria was  to show how the library is so much more than books now. There was to be a variety of information and not be too “bookish” (I don’t even know what that means). The hunt could also only last a maximum of forty minutes.

Oh, how I love a challenge!

First of all, for all of you who might not know QR stands for “Quick Response.” It functions like a visual URL. All you need to do if you own a smartphone or an ipad 2 is download a QR scanner (it should be free). You just open the app, pass your camera over the code and it automatically takes you to a bit of information (website, text, etc.)

This QR code links to a free, downloadable version
of Cory Doctorow’s novel “For the win”

I am pleased to say after weeks of preparing for it (it did take a long time to take shape in my head, but I think that is mainly because there is a scarcity of space up there- a bit of a mental housing crisis if you will), I finally completed it.

This is one of my favourite uses of the ipad so far: information literally at your students’ fingertip. I am certain the framework of the game could be used in a variety of different ways in the classroom, so feel free to pilfer!

Here is a very bad photo of the books I used and their codes.
 Now I just have to put them back in the stacks and the game is afoot!

I came up with a total of six clues, each with a couple of questions for the students to answer. I chose:
1. History: timeline of Anne Frank’s life (QR code affixed to Anne Frank’s book)
2. Math: link to Greg’s math tutorial
3. Astronomy: Video by Nasa entitled about solar flares (link to be affixed to gorgeous book on the Universe)
4. Geography: Cia World Factbook (link to be affixed on an Atlas)
5. English: Several different fiction books (different codes on each one leading to interviews, author websites, trailers for the upcoming movies and even an author who makes his book freely downloadable in e-format).
6. What’s your flavour quiz.
The take away is a personalized book list. After they have taken the quiz and found their genre, they go to the library desktops where they:

  1. Open photo booth and take a crazy photo of themselves
  2. Drag photo to desktop
  3. Open the document that matches their flavour
  4. Insert their photo in document
  5. type in their names
  6. and print!
The logistics:
  1. Group the students in teams of two or three
  2. Give each group an answer sheet:
  3. Each team gets a clue. They scan it to find out where they need to go and what questions they have to answer.
  4. The clues do not need to be completed in order. To get another clue they must first complete  the one they already have. That way the teams are not trying to access the same clue simultaneously.
  5. Once they find the code and scan it, they write the answer on the answer sheet, have it approved by a teacher and receive another clue.
These are the text clues that will lead them to the link clues on the books.
You can’t see them in this photo, but in a fit of ironic genius,
I used the old card catalogue fiches to glue the clues on…
Other important information:
  • I use Qrafter because it lets me save text codes to the clipboard. This is very important as the students will need to re-read the questions once they have the link to the information.
  • It also allows me to open the URL in Safari, which keeps the scanner screen free:

I am super excited about using QR codes in the library. It will allow me to link web resources with print resources, give added value on books, link student reviews to books,and so much more my little brain hasn’t thought of yet.

Besides the Scavenger Hunt, I have added a QR code to our small social media collection of books that links to a webliography on my website. The web resources include a section on how to stay  safe, articles exploring issues of privacy as well as interesting videos to watch. (It is also available on my new library catalogue if you are interested. (Be advised though- it is a work in progress).

I am also using them on the What are your reading posters, as well as a welcome to the library poster and one I am about to make for openhouse entitled, “Did you know that this used to be the gym?” with a link to the musée Mccord’s collection of Traf images.

If you have any new and innovative ways you can see using the QR codes, please let us know!

One way to print from Pages

Okay. So I understand that the ipad is not a laptop, that it was not conceived as a word processing device. I get it. However, we are asking our students (and not just us- many other schools as well) to purchase it instead of a laptop. In many ways it makes sense:

  • lighter,
  • more than enough power to handle the needs of the average student
  • lots of cool educational apps 
  • many innovative uses in the classroom
  • and yes, with the purchase of pages and the rest of the iwork suite, can be used as a word processing device.
But, let us not forget: word processing is an AFTERTHOUGHT.

I also want to be clear: Even though this is a tech blog, in that I am logging my adventure with the ipad here,  I am in no way more technologically inclined than the next person(which would account for the difficulties of the last few days). Although I have a willingness to play with these new devices,  it is considerably tempered by my need to have it work and work NOW.

Alas, this was not the case with trying to print a document from Pages using my cheap-o print option Eprint. The print option given in Pages kept on saying “no printer detected.” And when I open the eprint App, it would not give me an option to open a document in Pages. My goal was to find an easy way for students to create and share a document using their ipad.

After researching the issue and finding nothing (nothing meaning many articles detailing how it wasn’t intuitive. Duh. Or how to connect an airport printer- which is also useless for the majority of people) I started playing around with it.

Here were the options:
1. Save it to your itunes account and sync it with your desktop. (BOOOH. I want to print NOW.)
2. Email it to yourself and this is where I discovered that: DOCUMENTS IN YOUR INBOX CAN BE PRINTED WITH EPRINT!

 I seriously feel like a genius right now.

So. Here is my backhanded but nonetheless efficient way of printing a pages document with Eprint:

1. Create your document in Pages.
2. Once created, go to the toolbar icon on the right and choose “Share and Print”:

3. Then click on the “email document” option:

4. Choose the file format you would for the document and email it to yourself:

NOTE: YOUR MAIL APP MUST BE CONFIGURED WITH YOUR EMAIL.

5. Go to the Mail app and check your mailbox (I found that the messages I send to myself via the ipad appear in the sent mailbox). Click on the message and then on the document:

6. Open in eprint. A message will appear saying you are trying to open a document from another application. Click OK and it disappears without any ill effect. Press print!

Woohoo! Take that mister sync from itunes! (there is no actual mister- I am just assigning a gender to my ipad frustration-sexist, I know).

Of course, syncing to your itunes is still a viable option for all those with more patience than myself, or those who start a document on their ipad and who want to finish it at home.

Pages Acquired!

Here is the beginning of my blog that I wrote with pages and then copied and pasted into this blog:

Okay. So I am writing this post via my newly downloaded pages. I tried and tried to get Googledocs to work, but I kept on getting an error message. I did manage to see the editing options when I switched to desktop mode, but it still wouldn’t let me edit it. So. In order to be a useful librarian, I need to re-create the tasks the students will need to use. So far the major issues I have seen with the iPad is printing, and word processing.

Both of these capabilities cost money. I like things to be simple so when it isn’t, I get a little frustrated.

So far, the pages is working quite well, barring my own sausage fingers….

Not bad! I just figured out, after swiping my fingers over the screen like a madwoman, how to select and highlight text. It seems to work the same in Pages as in this blog:

1. Tap the screen at the end of the text you want to highlight: ( had to switch to my desktop to write this as blogger on the ipad does not support inserting images, or the compose mode-it is html all the way).

2. HIghlight text. The copy option should show up:

3. Click on the place you want to paste the text you selected (in my case it was in this blog). The paste option should show up. Paste!

Inserting an image is also fairly easy:

This is also where you will find the shapes (arrows, circles rectangles) as well as charts and tables.

Now let me see if I can print my document…not easily with eprint…Hmmm. A question for tomorrow I think.

Issues I hope to get to in the coming week:

  • Printing from Pages
  • Sharing documents with your itunes
  • the promise and failure of Evernote