iPad Blog

Must Know Tips for the iPad

iPads are used quite a bit here at UNI TQP and are becoming much more saturated throughout education. Here are some helpful, yet simple tips for using iPads in the classroom from Edudemic. At the end of the article are 101 ways you can get started using iPads in the classroom.





Preventing in App Purchases

Many apps allow users to purchase items within the app to use in the app.  These are often "add-on" style items that enhance the app.  While there may be a number of benefits to these "add-ons" there certainly is a negative effect to them as well.  I'm talking about the potential of unwanted purchases, especailly if your children use your iPad and know your password!  Remember, your credit card is connected to your account and all you really need is your password to make a purchase.


Apple has made it possible to prevent these types of purchases from your iPad by turning on restirctions to your iPad for in app purchases.  I'd recommend doing this on your iPad and turn it off when you want to make a purchase, promptly turning it back on after the purchase is complete.  Remember this is only for in app purchases, not apps that you buy from the app store.


Here's what you need to do: 

  1. On iPad, touch the Settings app
  2. Then touch General
  3. Then touch Restrictions
  4. Then touch In-App Purchases Off

TQP Technology Support Group: Camera App

Today was the first TQP Technology Support Group meeting and we talked about the camera app for the iPad.  This app is one that comes with the iPad and is just what it sounds like.  It is the interface for taking pictures and video on the iPad.  The App is pretty easy to use.  There are just a few features to know.  

Switch from the front camera to the back

The first thing to know is which camera you are using.  In the top right there is this icon  (above) that allows you to switch between the front and back cameras.  Just press the button and the camera will change views.  If you are planning to use the camera app to record a testimonial or something where you really want to be able to hear the audio as clear as possible, make sure the camera is set to the front of the iPad since that is where the microphone is located.

Slide to switch from the camer to the video camera

In the bottom right is where you switch between still pictures and video.  Just slide the slider to the appropriate format and you are ready to take pictures.  

Press to take a picturePush to record

To take pictures, press the button in the bottom middle of the screen.  For stills, it will be a small camera, and for video it will be a red dot.  When making a video, simply press the red dot button again to stop recording.

Tap and then slide to zoom

If you want to use the digital zoom, just tap the screen and slide the zoom slider.  To focus on a certain area, tap the screen where you want to focus and then take a picture.

Press to see pictures and videos you have taken

To review the pictures and video you have taken, press the icon in the bottom left and it will let you review everything you have done.

Where the power of this app will emerge will be in the uses of the pictures and video that you create.  Looking at the role video and images may have in a future teacher performance assessment, this app could be the most powerful app on the iPad.  To be able to show teachers and student teachers footage of their teaching they can then use to improve upon, that lays the foundation for making real change in the way teachers teach.  This footage could also be taken, with the right permissions from people in the video, and shown to other teachers and pre-service teachers about model practices.  Too often great teachers are left to operate in isolation, so why not share their knowledge and skills with others so we can all improve.  

The TQP Technology Support Group will meet two times a month, about every two weeks.  Each session will be repeated once so updates about the sessions to this blog will be posted after the second session.  If you are a TQP faculty member, or even if you aren't and want to learn more, please swing by.

Charging your iPad 2



Image from: www.droiddog.com 


It was brought to my attention that the iPad does not charge very well when it is plugged into a computer's USB port.  This problem is worse on most PCs and in many instances the iPad will not charge using a PC, but will on a Mac.  However, the rate at which it will charge is much lower using any computer over the wall outlet.  This is because most USB ports only support about 1/2 amp for charging, where the wall allows for up to 2 amps.  

So my recommendation is to charge your iPad overnight using the wall adapter once the charge is below 30%.  This way by morning your iPad will be charged to 100% for the next day.  Remember the battery can last 10 hours of regular use or up to 3 days with sporadic use.

Staying Productive

My Home Screen


One thing I noticed very soon as I began using my iPad as a tool and not a toy, was that to stay productive I needed to find a way to keep my Home Screen organized.  I had apps all over the place and was getting "tired" scrolling between screens.  My solution was to put all my tier one apps on the first home screen.  These would be things like bookmarks for sites I go to all the time, like the Iowa Core and UNI sites, photography apps, like the camera and Adobe Photoshop, as well as a number of other apps you can more or less see in the picture above.  

I also have a tier two Home Screen that I keep apps I use on an occasion.  Thes are things like Dropbox, calculator, drawing apps, reference apps, etc.  Typically I don't use these on a daily basis.

I also have a tier three Home Screen that is used entirely for games, movies, kid friendly apps, etc.  These are more fun type things I do when I'm not working.  In otherwords, apps I don't touch while I'm working, but want to keep on my iPad for when I'm in the car or when I'm with my son and we want to play/develop his skills on the iPad.

Now there is another way I increase my productivity and that's through the use of the "dock" style bar at the bottom of my screen.  The dock shows up on all Home Screens and is what I consider my top tier apps I need to have access to at all times.  You'll notice that on my dock I have two web browsers and four communication apps.  There is a limit of six apps in the dock, which is really a decent amount of apps to have on the dock.  Anymore and I'd likely get lost.

The iPad is only as powerful as you make it so ensure you are making the most of its potential by staying organized and productive!

iPad App of the Week

Below is a link to helpful iPad reviews over at Technology Tips.  These apps focus on two areas: content consumption and content creation.


Creating Folders

The main draw of the iPad are the apps.  The apps is what makes the iPad such a powerful device, but one thing that happens very quickly is the screen filling up with too many apps that users spend a considerable amount of time scrolling between home screens looking for an app.  This doesn't have to be the case however!

A useful feature on the iPad is the ability to create folders for your apps.  Here's what you do:

Group Apps by Type

Step 1: When creating folders I like to keep my apps organized by type.  In this picture there are two magazine apps: Wired and National Geographic.  To save space I'll put them into a group together.

Press and Hold on an App

Step 2: Press and hold on an app.  This will allow you to move the app.  Be careful not to press the X.

Drag One App on Top of Another

Step 3: When you drag an app on top of another app, it will create a folder.  A name for the folder will be created automatically, but you are able to change the name to anything of your liking.  For example, I am going to change the name of this folder to Magazines.

Saving Space

Step 4: The space savings appear rather quickly as you download more and more apps.  In this picture there are 5 folders, with a total of 15 apps stored in the folders, in addition to the 8 apps located on the screen.  Without the folder, I wouldn't have enough room on this single screen for all my apps (Max of 20 app spaces per screen).  This means I'd have to scroll to another page to see all my apps.

Accessing and Quitting Open Apps

When you finish with an app and push the home button on the iPad, you aren't really quitting the app.  Instead, you are mearly just closing the app from view, much like closing a window on your computer.  This may not seem like a very important fact to most, when in reality, it could save you time and battery by following these steps.

Saving Time

If you have a number of apps installed on your iPad and it takes a bit of time to scroll through your different pages to find an app you use frequently, you may want to consider pushing the home button twice to access the apps you have open.  By pushing the home button twice you will see all the apps you have open.  Here is a view of some of the apps I currently have open on my iPad.

Push Home Button Twice To Access Open Apps

If I want to switch to a different app, I just touch it from the list.  If more than seven apps are open, more will be available if you scroll your list at the bottom to the right (touch on the right and move finger to the left).  So if I'm unsure where an app I opened earlier in the day is installed, I can press the home button twice and search for it in the list, thus saving some time.  This trick can also be used from within an app as well.

Saving Battery Power

While it is convenient to have multiple apps open at one time, having too many open can quickly drain the battery.  To save on battery power quit, not close, an app by puching the home button twice and then touching and holding on an app in the list for a few seconds.  Once you do that, you will notice the apps begin to shake and a small red minus sign appears in the top left.  Here is an example of what you should see.

To quit an open app, touch the small red minus sign in the upper left.  You can still scroll to the right to see all your open apps, closing the apps you wish.  When finished, simply push the home button once to make the minus signs disappear.

Just remember, if you want to be slightly more productive with your time, save some by pushing the home button twice to navigate between apps.  If you want to save battery, push the home button twice and then press and hold an app for a few seconds.  They you can close as many apps as you wish.

Downloading an App

Downloading an app is straightforward for the most part.  The first thing you do is find an app you think you'd like to download.  If the app costs money, please note the cost, but in many cases, you can download the app for free.  Once you find the app you want to download, click where it says Free or the price of the app.  Where you just clicked will turn to Install App.  Press Install app again and then you will be prompted for your password for your Apple ID.  After entering the password, the app will be downloaded to your iPad.

Here are some pictures that go through the process:

Find an app you want to download and click free or the price of the app.


Confirm you want to download the app by clicking on Install App.


Enter your Apple ID password to download the app.


Your app will then be downloaded to your home screen. Download times will vary based on your Internet connection and the size of the app you're downloading.

Taking Screen Shots with the iPad

Did you know you can take a screen shot using the iPad.  All you need to do is push the home button and the top button at the same time.  The screen will flash and then a new picture will be added to your Photos app.  Very handy when trying to describe something or if you want to capture something from a website.  After you capture the image, you can sync it with your computer, email it, or just look at it later as needed.

Here is a demonstration: 

Introducing the iPad Blog


I'm proud to announce the creation of the iPad blog.  iPads are amazing devices, but for many people they can be difficult to use.  This blog is going to take on the task of explaining many of the simple tasks, tips, and best practices that all iPad users can benefit from.  The context of this blog is important since the primary readers will be university faculty and staff participating in the Iowa Teacher Quality Partnership grant.  However, this does not mean that this blog will not be useful for others as well.  Feel free to jump in an leave your own comments and suggestions.