In Which I make a Discovery that makes Me Feel Very Silly

Ok. I am sure everyone knows about this already. But I hadn’t used Pages on my iPad for quite a while. Then I brought my iPad to the symposium yesterday and wanted to take notes.

As soon as I opened Pages I was confronted by all the documents I hadn’t named: a screen full of “Blank” titles. Sigh. That means I am going to have to enter each document to see what it is, close it again and change the title. Wondering why apple, who is usually so intuitive makes it so hard to name a document, I made a a mental note to clean those up later, then opened a new document and tried to remember to name it.

But then a thought occurred to me. What would happen if I simply tap the title at the top of the document:

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Oh dear. Please don’t tell me it has always been this easy. I feel very late to the party…

4 Things Every Student Must DO to Preserve their Work

I am curious to know how often it happens that a student loses their work on the iPad? Although we don’t have to deal with the challenge of swapping students’ iPads or taking them back after they graduate (though this is an issue for the teachers), I can imagine that if a student breaks their iPad or upgrades to a new one and they haven’y followed certain steps they might face a situation where they lose some of their work.

Is this a problem? Either way, I think it is good to think about!

» 4 Things Every Student Must DO to Preserve their Work |


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iPad Challenge: Text to Speech follow-up

IN honour of our amazing students who came to show our Staff how they use various text to speech apps on their iPads, here is the revised post on how to turn on the built-in text to speech option on the iPad. Although I wrote this tutorial last year, it has changed slightly with iOS8.


Sec. I student teaching the teachers on how she uses WordQ and Prizmo.

Go to settings –> Accessibility

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Tap on Speech:

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Turn on Speak selection. This means that when you are in most apps as well as online you will be able to select text and have it read to you. One of the students in our presentation listened to a whole book in iBooks using this device.

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Highlight text: Another student highlighted the Highlight feature (see what I did there?). She finds this especially useful when reading texts for science or History.

The Speak screen function is new. It allows you to have a whole page read instantly:

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 9.27.32 AM

We discovered during this morning’s session that the text to speech also works on texts uploaded to the portal. However, it didn’t work on a PDF in explain Everything.

iPad Challenge: Put Last Month’s Presentations into Practice!

Well, the feedback came and we heard it loud and clear: you would have liked more time to try out the skills presented to you by our amazing presenters Nadia and Greg. So tomorrow’s meeting will be devoted to trying out GoodNotes with Google Drive and following Greg’s recipe for an explainer video.

Here is what you will need:

  • laptop
  • iPad
  • GoodNotes (all departments should have this) Price: $5.99)
  • Google Drive
  • Material you would like to work with (a concept you would like to make a video for, or a PDF you would lilt annotate in GoodNotes!)
  • Air server (talk to Brian about this).
  • MPEG Streamclip
  • Greg’s Videos (Please take some time to view these before tomorrow’s meeting. It will give you a flipped classroom experience as well as give you an idea of what you can do with your own videos!):
    • Video 1 (1.  Turn on AirServer
                     2.  Connect your iPad to your computer
      3.  Record your computer with QuickTime Player
                     4.  Using GoodNotes as a “smart board” )

      Video 2   More  Using GoodNotes, 5.  Using “Hide User Interface” for a                  better user experience.
      Video 3  Yet still more  Using GoodNotes
      Video 4   6.  Editing with MPEG Streamclip
      Video 5    More editing with MPEG Streamclip
      Video 6   7.  Uploading to iTunes
                     8.  Linking to your portal

Greg and Nadia will be circulating through the room to help you with any problem you might be facing.

Good luck and see you tomorrow!

11 Useful Tips for Managing iPads in the Classroom

I feel pretty good right now. Taking a look at my hero Lisa Johnson’s recommendations for managing your iPad classroom, I feel like we are doing pretty well. However there is always room for improvement. I like her suggestions for visual cues, guidelines and student roles.

Check it out!

» 11 Useful Tips for Managing iPads in the Classroom |


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iOS8: Heart your Favourite Photos

Yep. I’m still perusing the new iOS8 tips, in an effort to get to know this finicky new operating system.

This is a tiny tip, but could be helpful in terms of quick selection. For instance, say you want to choose some images from student artwork for a slide show, all you would have to do is scroll through your photos, heart the images you would like to use and they will automatically go into a “Favourites” album.

Here are a few screenshots of the process:

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Simple, but could be handy?

iOS8: Set DuckDuckGo as your Default Browser

I saw this tip in this article that features 35 tips for iOS8 and thought I would pluck it pout of the line up and emphasize it. We forget that as great as Google is, it is not the only search engine in town, nor is it the one that respects your privacy very well – it is notorious for tracking searches, profiling its users as well as targeting search results depending on the suer (which can admittedly be good or bad, depending).

Here is what MACworld says about DuckDuckGo:

Privacy could be the next big issue that divided Apple and Google – and one of the ways Apple has set itself on the ‘privacy-respecting’ side of things is this small concession to iOS users: you can now set DuckDuckGo (a search engine that doesn’t track your searches, doesn’t profile its users, and shows the same search results to everyone) as the default search engine on your iPhone or iPad.

To chane your default browser just go to settings–>Safari–>Brwoser and choose the best one for you!

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 8.36.28 AM

Here is a screenshot of a search in DuckDuckGo:

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