DMR here! I wanted to post about Friday’s iPad training provided by my school district and Apple before too much time passed. All the teachers in the district are getting an iPad 2.
I was a little unsure about how much I would learn at the training, but I was blown away by how much information I learned from Apple’s representative, Brittney. She showed us not only some tricks about using the device itself, but some great apps and ideas for use in the classroom. Again, all of this is for use on the iPad 2 (although most does overlap for use on all iOS devices.)
Settings: Know how to control the settings on your iPad to cut down on unnecessary interruptions during class.
General>Sounds- you can turn the keyboard clicks on and off. If students have them on, you can hear people working (or updating FB statuses). However, I think I prefer the sound of the clicks off. Personal preference.
General>Use Side Switch to- On the iPad 2, you can change the button on the side that slides up and down from a “sound on/off” switch to a “lock rotation switch.” I thought this was great! This means that if you turn the device, the screen won’t follow you. Imagine having the device hooked up to the projector and the screen constantly changing from landscape to portrait- how annoying! So remember to change the settings so that switch operates the rotation instead of sound.
General> Auto-lock- I also learned how to change the auto-lock settings so that the screen doesn’t automatically go into sleep mode in the middle of a class presentation. This avoids having to wake it up, type in a password, and open an application back up every 2 minutes. You can set it to “never” during class, but just remember to switch it back to a shorter time while not teaching to save battery life.
General> Keyboard- Here you can add international keyboards. This is especially important for foreign language teachers. The autocorrect is in that language when you use that keyboard. Also, the Emoji keyboard is where you have access to all of the cute emoticons. Also in this category is the option for the split keyboard, which I suggest leaving on. When your keyboard is up, just swipe your fingers between the g and h and pull them away from each other, and the keyboard splits up for easy thumb texting-like typing.
General> Accessibility-This is where you can set zoom, text size, and speak selection settings. When zoom is turned on, you double-tap the screen with 3 fingers to zoom in. To move around the screen while it is zoomed in, drag 3 fingers around. To change the intensity of the zoom, double-tap the screen, then drag those 3 fingers up or down without taking them off the screen after the initial double-tap. This requires practice. As far as large text goes, you can turn it up to 56 pt. This is helpful if the iPad is hooked up to the projector during a class presentation so that everyone can see. Change the speak selection rate to a much slower one so that students can see and hear as they read. Brittney recommended that we set the pace lower than we might think for best results.
I think I’m going to stop here, otherwise this post is going to be way too long. This is barely scratching the surface of things we learned during training. Even though these might seem like basic settings that don’t have anything to do with the classroom, they are important because they will help class run more smoothly. It will cut down on interruptions like, “I can’t see that,” “It went to sleep,” “It keeps turning and is making me feel sick,” and “I can’t work with all of that clicking going on!” I want to make sure that I have control over the technology as much as possible in my classroom. This is why I think that spending time knowing about how to use these settings is important.
*Side note: my high school chemistry teacher from the other high school in our district was at the training, and he is just as funny as ever. It was also fun to see my teacher friends. 🙂