iOS8: Some Interesting New Features

Hmmm. There looks like there will be some interesting features in the new iOS8 which will be released later this year…I am especially interested in the ability to annotate your photo directly from the mail app. Also wifi calling to any device (not just an apple one).

Check out the article below- and I also recommend you click on the related articles. Some interesting stuff coming up!

See on Scoop.itipadyoupad

Apple filled in the gaps with its newly announced iOS 8, generously borrowing from other apps and leaving their continued success a question.

See on

iCloud and Back Ups: an Overdue Lesson

icloud-icon-399x400The other day I had a grade seven student come to see me. her eyes were red and she had a terrified squint.

“Hi Ms. G. You’re good with the iPads. Maybe you can help me. The keynote presentation I worked on all weekend has disappeared.”

Oh dear. My stomach did a lurch for her. This has happened to me me before and I know f several students who have said that after they update their iPads they lose their documents. Now, I should have investigated this as soon as it happened, but one thing leads to another and well, I forgot. 

Ok. It was more than just forgot. It was also procrastination. Truth is, I never really understood how iCloud works or what happens to your data when it gets backed up. Where does it go? How can you retrieve it? These are questions I treated as Need to know. I didn’t particularly need to know at that moment so I ignored it.

Boo me. Now there was this poor girl in front of me, facing down the barrel of having to repeat all her hard work. The Need to know light just got switched on with a vengeance.

It turns out that her issue was a little different, a complicated story I will try to reduce to bullet points:

  1. She was using her mother’s old iPad.
  2. Her mother’s apple ID was still signed in.
  3. The student realised she was receiving her mother’s personal messages.
  4. They decided to switch the iPad to an account created for the daughter.
  5. The mother enlisted Apple tech support to help her do this. As she was doing they also got her to do many updates.
  6. So the problem was two fold:
    1. The keynote was done on her mother’s account
    2. Two it had been backed up to the icloud and wasn’t showing in either person’s account.
  7. How did I fix this? I didn’t. I called super tech guy. I followed him up to this point but then his fingers went flying in keynote and all of a sudden the keynote presentation appeared. I wish I knew what he did, but I still don’t. Sorry.
  8. UPDATE: Just talked to super tech guy and figured out what he did- it turns out that all keynote presentations was being saved to iCloud. Because of this, the presentation did not show up right away when we signed back into her account. It would have though eventually, without Mr. tech guy’s constant tapping. It turned out he was doing the equivalent of pressing the walk button over and over to cross the street thinking that it is going to make the light turn green faster…

To have your keynote and Pages documents saved to to iCloud go to settings–>Keynote–>and tap Use iCloud:


 I did learn some extra tips from super tech guy about using iCloud. I might even try using it now that I have a better idea how it works.

1. Go to Settings–>iCloud and make sure the iCloud backup is on. This is the default setting.



2.Go to –>Manage storage–>back ups. Now this is where the magic happens. Check out the next backup size: 



If I backup my camera roll my next back up size will be 3.3 GB. Keep in mind Apple only gives you 5 GB of free storage. That means I will run out of space faster than our government is running out of goodwill.

Now check out the next back up size with the cameral roll turned off:



I know, right? Big difference! But then go to show all apps:



It is worth while going through the apps and seeing which ones you need to back up and which ones you don’t. For instance, I don’t really need to back up my scrabble games…

So I turned on my iCloud and I did my first iCloud back up. With the camera roll off I only used 327 MB of my 5GB of storage. When I do another back up I can also delete the older one which means I will probably never need the whole 5Gigs but still have a reliable back up of my documents.

Yay!!! Thanks Super Tech guy!

Friday Workshop: Annie and Greg’s Presentations

Okay! Now that I have a nice, new platform to exhibit all the cool things the teachers are doing, I can focus on, well, all the cool things the teachers are doing.

Let us continue with last Friday’s presentations, shall we?

Our next speaker is…


Except that I pretty much covered a lot of her presentation in a previous post entitled Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Annie Brown and her wonderful whimsies .

But just  in case you need a refresher, Annie likes to use apps such as  Sonic pics lite and Fotobabble to evaluate talk competency in her English class.

Here are my notes:

  • The apps are both free
  • Sonic pics lite made for iphone
  • Can take an image, talk on it and send it really easily
  • Of interest in teaching visual and media literacy
  • Used it for the first time at open house
  • Also used it for new student orientation
Here is an excerpt from my previous post, which describes these two activities in more detail:

For new student orientation, Ms. Brown took the original activity- of picking an image from a bag and writing a short poem about it and put it together to create a slick product the Grade Sixes could then email to themselves. There was the original physical component of the exercise, where the girls could take the images out from a bag and then write their poems. But because Ms. Annie Brown also had the images in her iphotos- she could find them easily on her ipad. The girls then recorded their poems over the image and were able to send the results either to themselves or their parents.

For open house she did a similar exercise where she asked the girls to think about their favourite part of themselves and write a short blurb about why. Once they were done, they opened sonic pics lite, used the camera to take a photo of their favourite part and then recorded over it.

  • Grade tens: for the end of act I of Macbeth, the students must send in a photo as well as a record of talk competency
  • Fotobabble: used for the halloween screams!
  • Evaluate a design project or a math construct is take a picture record your comments and send it back to the students

Greg”s Presentation:

Greg showed this video:

With the line that sometimes taking in all the new technical information feels like drinking from the firehose.

Too true, Mr. Scruton. Too true.

Mr. Scruton (math teacher) was nice enough to send me screenshots from his presentation as well as a little blurb that describes it better than my notes.

Here it is:

The things that I touched on in my presentation was using Keynote in class. Making PowerPoints or Keynotes on computer, then transferring to the iPad via Dropbox or the iCloud.

Here is a screenshot of a Keynote presentation

Ahhh, but Greg also talked of using Numbers:

Here is a screen-shot of a Numbers spreadsheet from my presentation.

I would love to explain more about how Greg uses Numbers in his classroom, but it involved solving equations. I don’t do equations.
I also make the PowerPoints into videos that the students can access from their iPads.
I am sending this video because it took the better part of my life-time to make, and I think that only one student has watched it (under duress).
All my form I and 3 videos can be found at

Thanks Annie and Greg!

iOS5: Three New Fantabulous Features!

If you have updated your iPad to iOS5 (and I know Beth is doing the rest of the iPad lab as we speak) here are a three new features to beguile, bedazzle and befriend you. Meaning they will make your life easier, but with alliteration.

1.  New Moves! Add a couple of fingers and you have a whole lot more functionality. The folks on the iOS5 information site have explained it better than I could ever do so here is a nice screen shot:

Just make sure you use four fingers are you’ll wind up swiping at the screen like one of those overzealous housewives in a Mr. Clean commercial. Also, the left/right swipe to navigate between Apps works in the vertical and horizontal viewing mode. I especially love the swiping up to see the toolbar- very handy!

2. Notifications: With just a quick scroll you can get all your notifications in one place! This is a one-fingered activity. (No one-finger jokes intended)

Just tap the screen to make your notifications disappear.

3. Photos: You can now edit your photos on your iPad! This, I must admit, is so FREAKIN’ awesome!!!! I would love to crop some of my unwieldy screenshots taken from the ipad.
Just tap the edit button, and you can rotate, enhance, fix red-eye as well as crop. Crop!!!!

Beautiful, I tell you. Just beautiful (I have tears in my eyes. Seriously).

Updating and Syncing your ipad: A Friday Fright Tale

I have a very impulsive husband. I love the man, but he reverts to the equivalent of a child that can’t stop pushing the elevator button when it comes to new tech. So when I first brought the ipad home, needless to say I was not the first to get to it. Before I could think about it, he had attached it to my computer at home. My computer at home which is synced with his library. The one that has all my music, my audiobooks, my podcasts, my photos. My computer that shares its itunes library with his computer.

So when I finally began to play with it mainly for and at work, I wanted it to be synced to my desktop in the library, not at home. Every time I synced my ipad, which honestly, was only to transfer photos from ipad to desktop and vice versa,  I would get messages saying there are songs in my library that I do not have the authorization for on this computer. I would erase and sync, erase and sync and still get some error messages.

And in true me form, I would totally ignore them and go my merry way. I didn’t pay attention to the syncing settings. Didn’t really care what made it on my ipad or didn’t. Until yesterday, when I tried to update my apps and wasn’t allowed because I had not updated the ios on my ipad or updated my itunes library.

So before I could even start playing with my ipad, I had to update the ios.

Imagine the scene in a horror movie when the Prom Queen knocks on the front door of the abandoned shack. The door creaks open on its own. Your heart beats a little faster. She takes a tentative step inside.

That is how I felt when trying to decode the messages itunes was shooting at me with every click. I wish I had taken screenshots of all the messages I got so I could give you a visual of this minefield. The climax of fear though, came when I got the message that if I performed the update, I would lose all my apps that were not synced in my computer.

The prom queen’s foot is hovering on the steps that will take her upstairs now.

And I realized that I had never synced my apps to my computer. I have just been happily purchasing them from the apps store on my ipad, not thinking about back up. Luckily, the only ones I have purchased have been Pages and eprint, but still. I would lost a whopping 13$ in addition to a whole lot of time as I would have to go and re-purchase all the free apps I have bought in the last while.

The Prom queen is going slowly up the stairs now.

So, thinking of all these things after I had started the update, I did what the itunes told me not to do (once again in a nice, grey message box) and stopped the update. I then went to the apps tab and paused.

The Prom Queen is on the landing now, debating whether she should open the door to her right.

Of course the Prom Queen opens it (She is not very bright).

I finally hit the sync button, shoulders hunched up in a terrified flinch, when another message comes up telling me that if I don’t want to lose my apps, I should sync them to the computer. So I did. I then updated my software…

Wait a minute. There is something behind that door.

The screen on my ipad doesn’t look right. And I still can’t update my apps… I just shut off my ipad and will restart it. Hopefully this will help.

I will save this post and come back to it later with an update…

Okay. I tried again, and this time it worked. It backed up all my apps, and updated the ios. I could even update my apps from the computer (though I have to do it again from the ipad because I didn’t sync it after the back up was done).

Oh. And when I went to see how this affected the ipad, I realised the update was for the new icloud, which means that now, all my devices will be able to sync wirelessly. I will let you know how that works out.

So to conclude our horror story,

The Prom Queen opened the door to the dark, dark room, and called out, “who’s there?”

A tall, hunched figure began to emerge out of the darkness. Queenie backed away in horror her back against the bannister. But the figure kept coming closer and closer, not heeding her screams for help.

Paralyzed with fear, she watched helplessly as the figure entered the pool of moonlight seeping in through the hall window.

She let out a gasp and then a squeal of surprise- it was the ghost of Steve Jobs, handing her an ipad and showing her out to sync her devices through the ether!

All’s well that ends well. Wait. No, Like isn’t that Shakespeare?

Monday update:  although the software update was a success, it was like sanding the floor or painting a room- it looks good but leaves a hell of a mess to clean up. All of my beautiful folders I so painstakingly created are messed up and I have to re-organize my whole screen. Also there are some new features that I can see at a glance- Newstand (which has the same shelf as ibooks) and something called reminders. Click here to get to know your new features better (which I will probably do in subsequent posts).

Tip from Ms. Reich– If you don’t see all of your purchased apps on your screen- do not panic! Go to the apps store –> purchased–> not on this ipad and they should be there, waiting for you to re-install them.

Think of it as replacing the furniture and vacuuming the layer of dust after the contractors have left…