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:

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.23.12 AM

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

How to Organize your Data on the iPad: Pages

Ahhh, pages. It takes some getting used to, especially if you are a longtime Word user. As in the software not actual words.



Somethings you need to know before we start:

1.Pages saves your document automatically, so don’t go on a wild goose chase for the save button. You won’t find it.

2. To name your document, you have to first create it:


3. Then go back to documents:



4. Then click on the title:


5. Then name it:

I am not sure why they don’t make this easier, but there you have it. You can’t name your document until you have actually created it.

I recommend always naming the documents and I say this by experience. I had months of notes from meetings with the title Blank 1, blank 2, blank 3, blank…well you get the picture.

Okay. Now for the good stuff. How to put your documents in folders. Super important to know so that you can teacher your little grade seven grasshoppers how to organise their notes.

1. You take your finger (doesn’t matter which one)

and press the doc you want to move until it starts a jiggl’n:

Alas, you can’t see the jigglin’

Then, as if you were executing an unsure chess move,

drag the doc on top of the other doc

and feel that file folder groove:

The folder magically hugs

your documents in a nice rectangular rug:


Then give it a name and avoid the generic folder name shame:


Next up: Organise your apps! Because nothing is too small to organize. Nothing.




Pages in Ios5 Features Split Keyboard

A student came to see me yesterday while her class was working on the ipad lab in the library. She passed her ipad to  me and said, “how do I fix this?”

On her screen, the keyboard had split in two, as if Moses was haunting the ipad under a ghostly delusion that Pages was the red sea.

So I did what any red-blooded modern day librarian would do. I googled it.

Turns out, this is one of the fancy new features of the ios5– you can now split your keyboard as well as unmoor it from its squat at the bottom of the page!

This is handy for two reasons:
1. you can see more of your page. That hulk of a keyboard can severely diminish your view of your document.
2. If you feel more comfortable having the keyboard higher up, or are doing a task where it helps to be able to move the keyboard around, this is the feature for you.

You can undock (I like unmoor personally) and split the keyboard by pressing and holding down the keyboard icon on the keyboard (the one that when tapped makes the keyboard go away). You can also split the keyboard by placing your thumb on one side and your forefinger on the other and then performing the splits.

Here are a couple of posts I found that go into more detail if your interested:

To Kill a Mockingbird Background Documentary Project

Last year, I devised a few scavenger hunts in the library to compliment the required reading in different English classes. They were strictly Old School (indeed, that is what I called them) in that the students were not to touch a computer to do their research. They were only to look at books, the idea being to give them some historical context for their book and at the same time showing them what kind of print resources are available in the library.

Although the students had a lot of fun scavenging, I am not sure how much information they actually retained. We only had one period to do it in and the girls would write their answers by copying directly out of the book. There was no thought, no digestion of information, nor any reason to do so as they wouldn’t be using it.

With the new ipad lab and our emphasis on the fact that it can be used for creation and not just as a content provider, I thought I would try something new. The girls still have a series of questions they must answer using books in the library. But they now need to type their answers in full sentences and in their own words using Pages. The students use another ipad to scan QR codes which will bring them to websites, or use Apps with photo archives for images. They then bring their images and texts together in imovie.

Grade 8 English Class of 18 kids= 6 groups of 3.


  • 12 ipads: 2 per group: 1 for  their “script”(answers typed in Pages), 1 for their movie production
  • 8 questions on the topic of the Great Depression and Racism in the 30s.
  • An instruction manual for the various ipad functions they will need (I made it into a PDF and saved it in ibook)
  • Apps:
    • pages
    • Qrafter (for Qr codes)
    • Safari
    • LIFE app (photos)
    • Linetime app
    • imovie
    • Photos
Behind the Scenes Guide:

The students are asked to answer 4 questions each. Each questions has two parts:
1. The research. Here they are given the name and call number of a book. They must find the book and answer the questions in full sentences and in their own words on their script ipad. They must take a photo of the book they use for their credits.
2. Visuals: Then they either scan a QR code that brings them to a digital archive or use one of the apps listed above. Here they choose images they feel best represents the concept behind the question eg. Dust Bowl). They save the images into Photos. (does this automatically when you press save image).
3. They insert the photos into imovie and record their script over top of the images..
Sample Questions:
This question uses a QR code to find suitable images for their imovie
This questions requires the student to find the Life app and screenshot images
Length of time:
Originally we had planned to take a double period for this project. However library and ipad availability as well as a shortened day meant we had a little less time during the two periods and so we need to add another period tomorrow for some of the groups to finish up their last question and put their movie together.
Ms. Allison made an awesome rubric for them and will be grading their finished product.
  • I tried to keep my explanations to a minimum as experience has taught me that information overload is a real problem. I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the girls understood the project and how quickly they got down to work.
  • Most of the girls understood intuitively how to use the ipad- not a whole lot of instruction was needed besides the odd functionality of an app (for example, when scanning a QR code in QRrafter, they have to open URL in Safari and not in the app itself or they won’t be able to save images from websites).
  • The project was a little too long- a double period would have been sufficient to do 3 questions properly.
  • Although Ms. Allison would be able to better judge of this, I felt that the students had a better grasp of the Great Depression and Racism in the 30s, just by virtue of having to do something with it. The conversations I had with the girls and the answers I saw confirm this.
We had our second class today and although several groups have answered their four questions, they are not finished putting their movie together. Once they do and Ms. Allison has a chance to review them, I’ll ask if I can put one up on this blog so you can view the results!

Pages and Tables and Apps, Oh My!

Okay. I have decided to write this blog post in Pages since it will be all about the word processing abilities of this crazy little device.We have already seen in my other posts how to do all caps, accents and change the keyboard language (Dutch anyone?) so today I think I will make a table for all the apps that were mentioned in the workshop.
So far so good.
Okeydoke. (the one annoying thing about typing on the iPad is first of all to make sure the check spelling option is turned off- I keep on getting hi pad for iPad. Secondly, my sausage fingers keep on hitting the numbers keyboard by accident.)

First thing we have to do is insert our table by clicking on the image icon and then scrolling through the options:

I am going to choose a nice Traf-like blue. To type in the fields, just double tap where you want your text.

But how did I get rid of that extra column, you ask? Notice In the screen below there are four columns when you insert it. Just tap on the left and right arrows at the corners of the columns and rows. Here you can add or subtract as many columns or rows as you like! Personally, I find this way more intuitive than Excel.

Click the above row to delete or add columns

Use the side bar for adding and deleting rows

Okay. frustrating bits so far: I can’t crop the screenshots nor do I have the functionality with moving the images. Still, we are chugging right along just like that little engine that could. Time to insert my data! I love data! 

But I lied. I am only going to do the general apps as I am already I am only going to do the general apps as I am already bored with data. I promise I will get to everything soon though….

The last thing I want to try today is how to draw the lines in between my text. Hmmm. let me go explore….
Easy as pie!

1.    Select your table by tapping inside it once. You should see the grey border (that look sort of like mufflers).
2.    Tap on the i in the toolbar above.
3.    Tap on table options.
4.    Tap on grid options.
5.    Turn horizontal lines on.


And here is our final list:

Now I am going to copy and paste it and see if I can’t stick this behemoth in blogger (I think I might have to mail it to myself as blogger doesn’t yet support the iPad. Word press does though, just in case you are a wordpress freak.)

NOTE: I could log on to blogger and enter text, but there was not much functionality. When I tried to copy and paste the whole text it only gave me the last page. And of course, I would have to do the images separately….

More Challenges: English & French Keyboards, Accents, Spelling and Caps

Okay. I thought I would try to do this first thing in the morning instead of late afternoon when I am falling asleep in my soothing herbal tea ( I hate afternoons – it has been scientifically proven that people become more pessimistic in the afternoon). So. In order to curb some desultory writing I will write this post with the benefit of freshly administered caffeine and the bright optimism of a day just begun.

Today, my little padawan learners, we will see how we can navigate oh so smoothly on the ipad in different languages. We will go from changing the whole language of the ipad to switching keyboards in Pages. And for you advance jedi trainees in the ipad arts, we will also show the ease with which you can find the accents for all those pesky French words. And for all of you who rely on the correct spelling tool to produce an error-free text, you will learn how to turn it on in Pages. It is as easy as constructing a light saber with the force. (See picture).

How to switch languages on your ipad OR (comment changer de langage sur votre ipad):
Settings–> General–> International–> Language–> choose your language of choice. It will automatically change the language of your ipad.

Here is the screen you get-tap your language of choice and then tap done.

You will see this black screen while it switches gears…
See? Settings is now réglages!

I know, I know. That was so easy! The force is with us today my fellow jedis!

Now. Pages. As Montrealers, we tend to switch seamlessly between French and English and would love our devices to do the same. How fortunate we are that it is as easy as tapping a button in Pages!

But first we must go to our homebase, the Tattouine of the ipad (without the two moons of course), Settings–>keyboard–>international keyboards.

If you only have English as an option,  tap the  Add a New Keyboard option. Choose the language you want to add (I assume it will be French but you might want to try out your chinese).

To delete a keyboard, tap the edit button and the little red dot with the minus sign shows up.

Now we must board our Millenium Falcon and travel at warp speed to the planet Pages where our two keyboards will be waiting for us.

Once in Pages, tap the Globe icon on the keyboard:

Tap it until the language you want appears on the space bar. The start typing! But honestly- there isn’t much difference between the French and the English keyboard. Although I did try Finnish and the umlaut did appear…And I am not sure if the spelling correction tool works with anything but English. Hang on while I try…Nope. No French spelling corrections even with the French Keyboard. Only English. WAIT! IT DOES WORK A LITTLE! I just spelled “the” with the French keyboard and it auto-corrected it to thé! Auto-correct: annoying in all languages.

Pour les accents, c’est très simple: pesez sur la lettre qui vaut un accent jusqu’à temps que vous voyez ces options:

Maintenant, sans lever votre doigt de l’écran, glisser votre doigt sure la lettre avec l’accent que vous avez besoin.

Now, I wonder if they have a jawa keyboard?

I have already mentioned in a previous post how to turn the auto-correct off for the ipad. (A note about that- the check spelling for the whole ipad is automatically disabled of you disable auto-correct. You can only check spelling when the auto-correct is on).

On the planet Pages, it is as simple:

Make sure the Check spelling option is on.

Now for our final adventure on the planet Pages (for today!)- CAPS!


Thus concludes Part 3 of our epic ipad challenge. Like Lucas, I might decided to write a an atrocious prequel trilogy though, so stay tuned.

Oh and in parting, we cannot let this day go by without a fitting adieu to Mr. Jobs, the man who made this blog necessary. Despite beginning my computing journey with a Commodore 64 back in 1984, all my subsequent computers have been Macs. I have grown up with the little icon and can’t imagine using anything else.

Thanks, Steve.

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:


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.