Secrets of the iPad: A Link-Up Story

Welcome to the Secrets of the iPad Link-Up, a place to share tips, tricks, nuggets, 
and posts on all things iPad (or other mobile devices if you feel so inclined). 
I'm excited to host this open link-up because the iPad is really unlike any teaching tool we've ever used.  There are no real lesson plans and EVERYONE uses and learns differently with it---and I'm including teachers too, not just students.

This device is a multi-functional tool and it differs from teacher-to-teacher and school-to-school which is an amazing thing--but it can also be frustrating if you're new to the iPad game.  Not just frustrating, but overwhelming.  And by overwhelming I mean you might have no idea where to start.  

There are thousands of apps and shortcuts that we don't even realize are available--not because we're uninformed--the landscape is just so expansive.  Which is why I love reading blogs and sharing information.  The saying goes "secrets, secrets are no fun" so let us share.

A perfect example was just yesterday Lauren left this comment with a trick I had NO CLUE about...but now I've used it nonstop today.  Even though others might know it, it was new to me.

So "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses" wait, sorry.  I was breaking into a sonnet on an iPad post.  My bad.  Let's try again.

So leave a comment, link an old post, create a new one, share lessons that you've used, and link up as many times as you need.  This also includes apps too, don't limit yourself.

Here are a couple of tricks I like:
  • Holding down characters (letters, keyboard buttons)  will bring up different types of characters like an umlaut if you're German.
  • Splitting the Keyboard so you can type like you text.  Use your thumbs to swipe the keyboard in opposite directions and it breaks in two.  Then move the keyboard up or down on your screen.
  • Appstorm has a list of 40 Great ones here.
Below is a post I did about a year ago (9/13) on the 
first time I introduced iPads to Kindergartners.
For their Choice Time/Free Play I brought in iPads 
for the students to devour, and that they did.
Students played a variety of games that included Bugs and ButtonsMonkey Math, Tangrams, Jake and the Pirates, and Teach Me Kindergarten.  The whole lesson lasted just under twenty minutes but it gave me an opportunity to see how the students would respond when given an opportunity to use technology both in the technical sense and appropriateness with the device.  Out of all the students I had only one that was trying to hover over the device and one who told me at least ten times that he "was not sharing".
Not a bad start, in fact quite encouraging to see how the students responded.  But the reality is that this is where we are at and where we need to start with these kids.  Eventually as their skills with language, reading, and writing improve, I'm planning on having them progress to creation using apps like Scribble PressToontastic, and more.  There are ideas and feelings that this is too young to have students do this, but I disagree.  This should be the launching pad (no pun intended) for students to make technology work for them and see just how much it can enhance their learning.

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