Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bland County Public Schools Meeting #1 - Getting to know your iPad

As mobile technology becomes more prevalent in schools, teachers need to stay ahead of the game.  This blog is a way for Bland County Public School teachers to communicate with one another about how they are integrating the technology into instruction.  It is also a place where we can share ideas and activities.

The objective of our first meeting is to get you acquainted with your iPad by understanding what the external features are and where they are located.  We will also setup your school email on your iPad and create an Apple ID and password that will allow you to download free apps from the app store.
The Basics

The exterior
Below is a picture of an iPad without its case take some time and check out where everything is.

Screen orientation
A few basic items are found at the top of the iPad screen such as Wi-Fi signal strength, the time, and battery life.

The swipe feature allows you to move to different screens.  This function will become much more useful as you add more apps.

You can also adjust how you view your iPad by adjusting the picture to landscape or portrait.

iPad Care
As you have noticed fingers leave smudge marks on iPads.  Use a dry soft cloth to clean all smudges.  To wipe off smudges turn off the iPad (the darks screen makes smidges easier to see) if possible use a microfiber cloth, but in a pinch your sleeve will do.Do not use windown cleaners, household cleaners, aerosolspary, solvents, alocohol, ammonia, or abrasives to clean the screen.  If you still have a smudge, add some moisture with a puff of breath and rub a bit longer without the pressure.

Unless you have this super fancy and expensive case the general rule is iPads and water don't play well together!

iPad screens can break, so be careful not to place anything on top of them or drop them, and, if possible leave the case on at all times.

iPads do not like extreme heat or cold.  The general rule is never leave your iPad anywhere you wouldn't want to be left.

Now its time to get to business and set up your email account.  I will walk you through this as a group, or you can watch this video.

Creating an Apple ID and password without a credit card
Once again I will walk you through this step by step, or you can watch the video.  Please do not go ahead because this can be a little tricky.  If you view the video be aware that it was made in the United Kingdom so the app store will be diffrent than ours in the United States.  Also the accent can be a bit tough to follow. However, if you follow what is going on on the screen you can create your Apple ID and Password.

    Setting up iCloud
    Now that you have an Apple ID you will want to set up iCloud.  In one of our next sessions we will go over some of the benifits of using this and possible ways that it can be used in the classroom.
Syncing up you Google Calendar with your iPad
We are going to put our next meeting in the iCal app of the iPad, but since many of you use Google Calendars I thought this video might help.

Notes app
Notes is an app that comes with your iPad.  Check out this video for more information.

    Copy and Paste
    The iPad has a copy and paste function that is quick and easy to use.

    As our time is limited I have listed all of the diffrent functions you will find in the settings app for your iPad.  I will go through several of these, but if you would like to know more about a specific one please let me know, and I'll cover it.

    • Airplane mode: turns off Wi-Fi 
    • Wi-Fi: lets know what network you are on
    • Bluetooth: allows you to communicate with some bluetooth enabled devices (not suggested at this time).
    • Do Not Disturb: is a function that you will get after updating to iOS6.
    • Notifications: allows you to customize how your iPad alerts you with notification banners and sounds.  Ex: how you are alerted that you have a new e-mail.
    • General - many of the functions in the General setting should be left alone, however the ones that are in bold print can be used to update and customize your iPad.
      • About - tells you the iPads name (don't change this), how much, and what type data you have on the iPad, available memory, and other assorted information (that you will probably never need).
      • Software Update - from time to time your iPad will ask you to update the software.  This is where you will do this.
      • Storage - lets you know what apps are using the most storage.  This also allows you to manage your iCloud storage space.  You can toggle you battery usage off in this setting as well, but I do not recommend doing this.
      • VPN stands for Virtual Private Network: This allows you to communicate private information securely on a public network.  Leave this setting alone.
      • Spotlight Search: allows you enable or disable searches for specific types of content or change the order that the results are displayed.
      • Auto-Lock is a function that will lock your iPad after it has been inactive for a specified period of time.
      • Passcode Lock goes hand in hand with Auto-Lock.  You will put in a 4 digit code to unlock your iPad.
      • iPad Cover Lock/Unlock is used when you have a smart case.  This function will turn off your iPad when you close the cover.  Try closing your cover and listen for a "click."
      • Restrictions: are used to turn off various functions of the iPad.  I suggest this be used with classroom iPads to prevent students from putting on their own apps or deleting yours.
      • Lock Rotation & Mute: are functions that the side switch can control.  You will need to make a decision about which function you would like to use.  Since I use my iPad on the go my preference is the Lock Rotation.
      • Multitasking Gestures: should be left on.  Read what each does and give it a try.
      • Date & Time: should already be set, but if you prefer the 24 hour clock this is where you can make that change.  You can also change your time zone if you do a lot of traveling.
      • Keyboard: allows you to turn off different keyboard functions.  I would leave this one alone.
      • International: allows you to change the language of your keyboard and type of calendar used.  Since all of my seminars will be done in the United States my advice is to leave this alone.
      • Accessibility functions: are designed to help people with disabilities use the iPad.  There are several functions in this sections, and I will cover them in a later post.
      • Reset: is a function that should be left alone unless you know what you are doing and have authorization to use.  Contact Ms. Tate before doing this.
    • Sounds: allows you to customize you alert sounds and turn off those annoying keyboard clicks.
    • Brightness and Wallpaper:is the function that allows you to make your screen brighter.  You can also customize your background and lock screen in this setting.
    • Picture Frame: takes your pictures and turns them into an animated picture frame. 
    • Privacy: lets you know which apps have requested access to apps that could contain private information
    • iCloud: you can manage what iPad features can communicate with iCloud.  Find my iPad will locate your iPad if it is lost.  You will need to enter your Apple ID and Password to use the iCloud function.
    • Mail, Contacts, Calendars: allows you to sync up outside email addresses such as Gmail, iCloud, or Yahoo.  You can also customize your email signature here
    • Notes: is where you can change the font used in your notes app.  You can also decide what email account your would like your notes sent too.
    • Reminders: Allows you to set your default reminder list here.
    • Messages: is where you can turn on iMessage and start sending messages between your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
    • FaceTime :is where you can use your Apple ID and password to have face to face conversations using your iPad.
    • Maps: is where you can set defaults for the built in map app.
    • Safari: is where you can decide on your default search engine, turn on auto fill.  You can also clear history or or clear data.
    • iTunes & App Stores: is where you will enter your Apple ID and password to gain access to purchase apps for your iPad
    • Music: is where you can adjust EQ for your music and use various Apple music services.
    • Videos: is where you can set defaults for your video player and turn closed captions on or off.  Please note that a video must have closed captions included before they can be used.
    • Photos & Camera: is where you can set your photos to be sent to your iCloud account automatically.
    Next Steps
    Survey Link- Please take this survey before you leave today!

    Post a Blog about the session today. To do so click on "comments" at the bottom of the page.

    • Update your iPad to iOS6.  Click Here for the video
    • Use your ipad!!  Explore the options and get comfortable!
    • Try to find at least three free apps that relate to your content or could be used in classroom instruction and install on your iPad.
    • Add at least one event to your calendar.
    • Send an e-mail from your iPad.
    Homework Extra Credit: Discover a useful ipad trick that hasn't been shared today and post to the blog.