Want to show your cursor on the iPad screen? Want to find the cents button? Want to help a student with a unique character spell their name? There’s a trick for these things and more on the iPad. Today, Tony Vincent shares six ideas every iPad teacher needs to know.
Matific is a fantastic site full of math manipulatives and customized playlists of activities to help students at every level master math. This fun, gamified site is sponsoring Math games this February and students can compete to win prizes for themselves and your school. Set up is easy, send them their class rosters and they’ll have you set up in 24-hours. This is a great way to try out Matific, help your kids boost their math skills and have fun. And it’s free!
iPad Magic: 6 Ideas Every iPad Teacher Needs to Know
Link to show: www.coolcatteacher.com/e247
Date: February 6, 2018
So what is your first magic idea, Tony?
Tony: Well, the iPad is packed with things that you may not even realize are there or that can be used in different ways.
So one tip I really like is that I use my iPad and I project it up for students, for audiences to see, and it’s great. There are different ways to project, but you’ve got it up on a screen. The problem is that they can’t see where you’re touching on the screen.
Tony: So in the past, I’ve carried around a laser pointer. In one hand, I’m manipulating the iPad, and the other I’m pointing at the screen. It worked OK.
However, I have re-purposed the iPad’s zoom controller. You can turn that on in the Settings,in the Accessibility Settings. When you turn on the zoom controller, iOS puts a little circle on your screen that you can move around.
Idea #1: Repurposing the zoom controller to use as a pointer
Now you can also tap it and adjust the zoom level, which is an extra added benefit, but I use it as a pointer. I have it right there on screen. I can move it, and I can drag it around, and show my audience what I’m talking about and about what I’m actually touching on the screen.
Vicki: Oh, what a fantastic idea!
We are going to link to the blog posts that have a lot of these magic tips so that you’ll be able to get all of these tips.
I love that one! What’s next?
Tony: That tip really goes into the next one. With iOS 11, the newest version that came out in the fall, you can actually screen record everything that’s happening on your iPad.
We’ve wanted this for years, and we finally have it.
Idea #2: Screen record everything that’s happening on your iPad
You have to turn it on, and if you go to that blog post, you can get step-by-step directions. But in the Settings, you get it tuned on, you can record your screen along with the narrations. You can make tutorials. Or students can go through and show you what they’ve done in any app, or in multiple apps, because it records everything that’s happening on your iPad.
If you turn on that zoom controller, then you also have a pointer. That zoom controller/pointer will show up in the video that’s saved to your camera roll.
Vicki: Oh, that is so nice! Teachers everywhere applauded when that feature came out. It just makes life so much easier, because we can record everywhere!
So wonderful! OK, what’s our next one?
Well, not as exciting, but this has been around for a while, but it’s always a good reminder. Apple has hidden some characters on the onscreen keyboard.
Idea #3: Hidden characters on the onscreen keyboard
For instance, I live in Iowa, and the other day it was just 2 degrees. I wanted to type out the degree symbol.
If you look right away at the keyboard, you don’t see it initially. But the trick is, if you hold down certain keys on the keyboard, then above the key appear some alternate characters.
So if you want to type the degree symbol, you hold down the zero key and slide up. You’ll see the degree symbol.
Vicki: Hmmm. That just makes sense, too, right?
Tony: Yeah! You skipped ahead. If you want different currencies, you hold down the dollar sign and then you’ll get cents and pounds and yen and a few others.
You also can hold down “e” or “n” to get accented characters.
I know in one workshop, this was a tip that really changed the world of one of the teachers and one of her students because she said, “Oh! Finally, my Zoe can type her name the way that it’s supposed to be typed, because it had an accent on the “e”.
Vicki: Awww… Yeah. Kids really — those accents are important when they have them in their names. I mean, it’s their name!
Tony: Yeah! It is possible to type them on the iOS keyboard. You just have to know how to “reveal” them by kind of trial and error. Hold down some keys and see what happens.
Vicki: So how do we know what happens, or what is going to be on there?
Is there any easy to see that, or…?
Tony: There are a few. You can do some Googling and see what’s on there. On my blog post I put the most popular ones, the ones I see that I’ve used the most.
You probably won’t need it until you say, “Oh, I need an accented ‘e’…” So then hold down the “e’ and see what’s there. Chances are that they put it in a logical place.
Vicki: So cool! OK, what’s next?
Tony: Sticking with the keyboard, this was introduced in iOS 9, but it’s still a surprise to a lot of people.
When you have your onscreen keyboard showing on an iPad, if you touch the keyboard with two fingers — and it’s weird because the letters on the keyboard disappear — then you can drag those two fingers around in the keyboard area. You actually have a trackpad area, and that moves your cursor.
Idea #4: Using the onscreen keyboard as a trackpad
I find myself using this quite a bit to position my cursor just to where I want. It’s a little faster, sometimes, than trying to tap and get your cursor into the right spot, because you don’t even move your fingers from the keyboard. You just press two of them down.
Vicki: Oh, cool! Awesome! OK, what else?
Tony: Well, you know those apps that keep asking you to rate them?
I’m trying not to get too excited, because I know what this one is!!!
Vicki: Go ahead!
Tony: In iOS 11, Apple realized that app developers just asked for ratings too often. If you have an app that you like, please do rate it. But we don’t like to be bugged. We don’t want this to pop up during lessons for our students, or for us as we’re just using our device.
Idea #5: Turn off app ratings and reviews
So you can go into settings on your iPad or your iPhone with iOS 11 and tap iTunes and App Store. You can actually turn off In App Ratings and Reviews.
There are still a few ways that this might pop up, but it greatly reduces the number of pop-ups that ask you to rate and review and app.
Vicki: OK, remarkable educators, remember that if you’re on that morning commute like many of you are when you listen to the show, so this when you get to school, Don’t do this while driving. (laughs)
But it is REALLY very exciting! (laughs)
OK, do you have another one for us!
Tony: Well, another one that you certainly can’t do while you’re driving — is rearranging your Home Screen.
Idea #6: Reorganize your Home Screen QUICKLY
I have so many home screens. I think I have fifteen, which is the total number of homescreens you can have while on your iPad or you iPhone.
I organize pretty much meticulously the first two pages, and then I’ve given up on the rest.
Tony: It’s just too hard to move those app icons around. You can take all day to move them from page to page and put them in the folders. If you don’t have that many apps, I guess, it’s not too bad. But it can take a while.
So in iOS 11, Apple’s made it slightly easier. It’s a little complicated, but once you get the hang of it, this is a pretty nice way for making folders.
Apple allows us now to take one app icon (you know, when it jiggles), and then with a second finger, you can tap other icons and it stacks them behind that one icon. So you can stack like six icons from one page, drag that stack from one page to the next, add a few more, drag and then finally put them on their own screen or home folder.
Tony: So you can go and find all your math apps, pluck them from every page, add them to the stack, and then put that stack into a folder.
It’s so much more efficient than…
Vicki: YES! One at a time…
Oh, I just like… Oh my goodness. I don’t have words for that one! (laughs)
With all the wasted (time)… because I do like to organize things.
OK. So we have time for one more?
Tony: One more…
Well, one that’s been in iOS for a while that people don’t realize it, is that you can annotate over a photo.
BONUS: Annotate over a photo on your camera roll without using an app
Anything that’s saved in your camera roll, you can draw on, you can add shapes, you can even add magnifiers. This is sitting right there. You don’t need an app at all to make this happen.
When you’re in the Photos app, viewing anything, you can click Edit. In the More button which is the three little dots. Then there will be this marker icon. That’s for the markup tools. And then, popping up from the bottom you have a pen, you have a highlighter, you have a sketch pencil, you an eraser, you have a lasso. Then you have several tools, including a text tool. You can add your signature and arrows.
You have this complete suite of drawing tools that’s available to you to use on any picture. You click Done, and then your annotations are saved right there on that image, which then you can use in a project, or share, or just keep there in your Photo Library.
Vicki: Teachers, we’ve gotten six fantastic ideas of iPad magic, things that we all needed to know.
Now if you want to know lots more, you can go follow Tony’s blog and Twitter and all the places he shares. Learning in Hand. He is one of my Go To people for iPads. He just knows everything about them.
- iPad Magic: iPad and iPhone Tricks Revealed by Tony Vincent
I know that now, Tony, you’re learning everything about Google Classroom, so you know lots about really cool things.
These are little How-To things that are actually a really big deal when you’re using iPads. Get to know these tips and tricks with iPads.
Get out there and learn some more. You may just save a whole lot of time!
Contact us about the show: https://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/
Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford [email protected]
Bio as submitted
Tony Vincent used to teach fifth grade in Omaha, Nebraska. Today he is self-employed and does what he can to help teachers be even more awesome.
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